The Nintendo Switch is perhaps one of the most popular gaming consoles out right now.
The product gained extra popularity during the early phases of global lockdowns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. People were stuck at home with nothing to do.
The Switch seemed like the perfect machine to occupy those countless hours spent cooped up at home. To a certain extent, it still is, with Nintendo having to ramp up production of the popular console just to meet global demand.
Plus, everyone wanted to hop on the Animal Crossing: New Horizons bandwagon.
But if you’re a Switch owner, you may have noticed one odd occurrence with your controllers – a phenomenon called ‘Joy-Con drift’.
To be more specific, in-game characters move by themselves, even when nobody is touching the controller, as if being commandeered by a ghost.
This problem has been consistently occurring among Switch owners, forcing them to send their beloved devices to the repair shop.
And for one little boy and his mother, the incessant drifting was enough for them to file a class action lawsuit against Nintendo.
Filed in Northern California, the complaint was brought to attention by Luz Sanchez and her 9-or-10-year-old son, who in court documents is only referred to as M.S.
Sanchez had gotten the Nintendo Switch for her son back in December 2018, when the boy was just eight years old. According to the filed complaint, the console’s Joy-Con controllers started to drift just one month after purchase. It got so bad that not too long after, “the Joy-Con drift became so pronounced that the controllers became inoperable for general gameplay use,” says Sanchez.
She then bought replacement controllers, begrudgingly. But the problem didn’t end there. Just seven months after buying new Joy-Con controllers, they started drifting as well.
But it seems that Sanchez isn’t the only victim of Joy-Con drift.
It won’t take long to find multiple threads on Reddit filled to the brim with Switch owners lamenting the same issue.
This Reddit thread, for example, has garnered over 28,000 upvotes, with users of the forum complaining about not being able to (fully) control in-game characters because of Joy-Con drifting. Some have had to buy multiple replacements just to play their favorite Switch titles. A rather expensive (and probably temporary) solution if you ask me.
And according to French media outlet Que Choisir, a French consumer group even filed a complaint, alleging that Nintendo had failed to disclose the planned obsolescence of the console.
After the initial brunt of the backlash, Nintendo offered to repair faulty Joy-Con controllers for free, even if their warranties had expired.
But that isn’t enough for Sanchez.
“Defendant continues to market and sell the Products with full knowledge of the defect and without disclosing the Joy-Con Drift defect to consumers in its marketing, promotion, or packaging,” the complaint reads, adding that the “defendant has had a financial motive to conceal the defect, as it did not want to stop selling the Products, and/or would need to expend a significant amount of money to cure the defect.”
The plaintiffs are asking for more than US$5 million in damages.
Have you been a victim of Joy-Con drift?
Read more Nintendo Switch stories:
Police played Animal Crossing to find the owner of a lost Nintendo Switch
This teenager’s online shopping bot is the reason you couldn’t buy a Nintendo Switch
‘Ring Fit Adventure’ on Nintendo Switch will make you sweat
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Cover image sourced from NintendoWire and Lunatic Laboratories.