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The law firm which brought the first class-action lawsuit against Nintendo over Switch Joy-Con drift says it’s examining whether there are grounds for a similar case concerning PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller.
US-based Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith (CSK&D) is asking PS5 owners who have experienced DualSense drift issues to contact its attorneys by completing a form detailing their experiences.
Respondents are asked to describe the problems they encountered, how long they had owned their PS5 once the issues started occurring, whether they have contacted Sony and about their experiences and if so, what response the company provided.
“CSK&D is investigating a potential class action based upon reports that Sony PS5 DualSense controllers for the PlayStation 5 console can experience drift issues and/or fail prematurely,” it said.
“Specifically, it is reported that the joystick on certain PS5 DualSense controllers will automatically register movement when the joystick is not being controlled and interfere with gameplay.”
Some PS5 players began reporting DualSense drift problems less than 10 days after receiving the console, which launched in mid-November 2020 in the US, Europe, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.
PlayStation 5 at retail
A number of affected users have posted videos online documenting the problem, which causes analogue sticks to register movement even when untouched.
A Kotaku reporter who contacted PlayStation customer support about the issue was told that DualSense drift is covered under the console’s warranty, but that they would have to pay to ship the controller to a Sony repair centre.
VGC has contacted PlayStation for comment on this report.
CSK&D originally filed a class-action lawsuit against Nintendo in July 2019, alleging that the company is aware of a defect which causes Joy-Cons to drift, causing unintended movement.
Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Nintendo of America stopped charging for repair of drifting Joy-Cons and began refunding those who had already paid for a fix, although it did not acknowledge an actual fault with Switch controllers.
CSK&D’s lawsuit was amended in September 2019 to include the Switch Lite. In March 2020 a US District Judge approved Nintendo’s move to compel arbitration, but they also rejected the platform holder’s bid to dismiss the case.
Nintendo has since been hit with multiple Switch Joy-Con drift lawsuits which allege that the company is aware of the problem but has chosen to continue selling defective products rather than fix it.
Nintendo’s president offered the company’s first public apology for Switch’s drifting Joy-Con issue during an investor Q&A in June 2020.
“We apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers regarding Joy-Con controllers,” Shuntaro Furukawa said.
“We are continuing to improve our products, but currently Joy-Con is subject to a class-action lawsuit in the United States and is a pending issue so we cannot comment on any specific actions we may take.”
In December 2020, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser gave the clearest indication yet that the company could be considering fixing the drifting issues with future Joy-Con iterations.
“What I will say, as we look at our repair cycles, we’re always looking at what is being sent in and for what reasons, and understanding that better,” he told Polygon. “And without going into any details, it always gives us an opportunity to make improvements as we go forward.”
In January 2021, the European Commission was called upon to investigate Switch Joy-Con drift issues by consumer rights umbrella group BEUC after its member organisations received almost 25,000 complaints about the problem.
Microsoft is also facing a class-action lawsuit which alleges that a product defect causes Xbox controllers to drift. The platform holder recently issued fresh statements calling for the lawsuit to be taken out of the courtroom by compelling arbitration, which would see the disputes resolved by an impartial adjudicator.