Nintendo Faces Another Lawsuit, This Time for Joy-Con Drift

Joy-Con drift has been a problem for some since the Switch launched, but one consumer is taking his grievances with the controllers to the next level.

Nintendo is facing a class-action lawsuit over alleged Joy-Con drifting issues. The suit comes from California resident Ryan Davis, with the law firm Chimicles, Schwartz, Kriner, & Donaldson-Smith handling the suit on his behalf.

Davis' claim is one we've heard repeatedly since the Nintendo Switch launched: after a short time of carefully using the Joy-Con, the left control stick develops a drift issue, which is where the stick won't center and continually causes movement in a given direction. Diaz says the problem started after 11 months, then came back three months after Nintendo repaired them, and he purchased a brand-new pair of Joy-Con that had the same problem.

While Nintendo uses bits of foam to correct the issue, and many recommend using contact cleaner from time to time, this is the first time legal action has been considered as a means of addressing the issue.

The law firm is now looking for others to take part in the suit, encouraging beleaguered consumers to fill out this form should they wish to officially express their problems with the Joy-Con. It claims there are "various" statutes and consumer protection laws that validate the action, which is taken on behalf of those who bought "Switches" and Joy-Con controllers.

Hardware problems are nothing new. For example, the Nintendo GameCube controller exhibited persistent drift problems, and the Xbox 360 notoriously died with no warning.

How widespread the Joy-Con issue is remains unclear. Twitter searches for Joy-Con and the #joycondrift hashtag turn up few and no results respectively prior to the lawsuit's first announcement. Since then, naturally, mentions and hashtag use have exploded and make up almost all the discussion about Joy-Con drift over the last month.

Still, Twitter user and software engineer Justin Albano claims the issue is fundamentally related to manufacturing. He says the problem is in Nintendo using different materials for different parts, some of which wear down over time and cause the drift problem.

This isn't the first legal issue Nintendo has faced since the Switch launched. From various claims that it copies some aspect of previous hardware to eShop policy issues overseas, it's been as busy as ever on the legal side of Nintendo's business.

And so has its hardware business, in spite of the fuss. Two new Joy-Con color schemes are set to release this fall, shortly after a slightly upgraded Nintendo Switch model.


Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.

Platforms Nintendo Switch
Published Jul. 22nd 2019

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