Nintendo is facing a class action lawsuit filed by US lawyers after concerns around the issue of the Joy-Con drift problem began resurfacing last week. Joy-Con drift is the term for a problem that has persisted in Nintendo Switch hardware since the console launched over two years ago, and refers to the tendencies of some controllers to behave like a user is tilting the analog stick a certain direction even when they’re not touching it.
Nintendo Switch users have been complaining about the problem since launch, but part of the issue is that not everyone is affected, which has led to many people suggesting affected consumers simply send theirs back for a replacement. While Nintendo has been relatively good about repairing Joy-Con controllers under warranty, once the issue affects a model that no longer is protected, users simply have to purchase replacements themselves – and newer models continue to suffer from the exact same problem, meaning there’s every chance they are affected by Joy-Con drift once more.
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Nintendo has been silent on the subject up until this point, but that’s a luxury the company can no longer afford. According to Eurogamer, a lawsuit has been filed via the United States District Court in Washington by the law offices of Chimicles, Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith (CSK&D) that alleges Joy-Con controllers should be deemed defective because they can begin drifting after a certain amount of use, something persistent enough across models to render the label appropriate. The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of California native Ryan Diaz, who purchased a Switch in July 2017, began experiencing Joy-Con drift 11 months later, had a replacement model act up three months after that, and then purchased an extra pair that ended up suffering the same issue on top of the first model.
The lawsuit also suggests that the problem is more common than Nintendo has been willing to admit, a suggestion that is substantiated by the many online complaints from other users facing the issue. Now, CSK&D is imploring other affected Nintendo Switch consumers to join in the lawsuit, which now has an online form to fill out that fans can use to file their complaints. Some of the questions include the age of the affected Switch and Joy-Con, when drifting began, and whether Nintendo has already been contacted about the issue.
For Nintendo, it’s an extremely bad look that couldn’t have come at a worse time – a new model of the Switch and the Switch Lite are both slated for release, and they’re likely to have the same Joy-Con design as the original device. That means Joy-Con drift will continue to happen and, if the lawsuit becomes bigger and is deemed reasonable, could incur huge costs and negative publicity for Nintendo just as the company has begun to return to form as one of the most influential and profitable in the industry.
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