The law firm behind a PlayStation 5 controller drift lawsuit has filed an amended complaint demanding a jury trial.
The class-action lawsuit, which was brought against Sony Interactive Entertainment in February 2021, alleges that PS5 DualSense controllers “contain a defect that results in characters or gameplay moving on the screen without user command or manual operation of the joystick”.
Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith (CSK&D) filed its updated complaint with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California after six plaintiffs “exercised their right under Sony’s terms-and-conditions to opt-out of arbitration to pursue their claims in court versus arbitration”.
In the US, the terms of PS5’s software license agreement—which users must agree to in order to play games on the console—include an arbitration clause which, if enforced, means consumers may be unable to pursue claims in a traditional court or on a class-wide basis.
However, PS5 owners can opt-out of resolving disputes through arbitration by sending a letter to Sony within 30 days of first booting up their console.
To help them do so, CSK&D has prepared a template letter for class-action members to fill out, which it is offering to send to Sony on their behalf.
Its amended complaint confirms that six of the class-action’s members have exercised their right to opt-out of arbitration in a bid to ensure the case is settled in a courtroom.
CSK&D previously filed similar class-action drift lawsuits against Nintendo and Xbox, both of which were compelled to arbitration, a situation the firm is hoping to avoid a repeat of with the DualSense lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims that “Sony is—and at all relevant times has been—aware of the Drift Defect through online consumer complaints, complaints made by consumers directly to it, and through its own pre-release testing.”
It accuses Sony of violating state consumer fraud statutes, breach of warranty, and unjust enrichment. Plaintiffs are seeking “monetary and other appropriate relief for damages suffered, declaratory relief and public injunctive relief”.
A teardown video published in February investigates why joystick drift occurs in controllers including DualSense and suggests that PS5’s analog sticks have an operating life of around 417 hours.
This means that if a PS5 player used their console for two hours a day, they would technically exceed their controller’s operation life expectancy within seven months.
The PS5 drift lawsuit references the iFixit teardown, which “revealed that the DualSense Controllers were all but destined to fail, contemplating whether the sensors and parts used in a controller [were] used as a ‘willful cost-saving calculation on the consoles makers’ part to not offer more reliable, or replaceable, sticks.’”