NINTENDO IS FACING an embarrassing and potentially costly class-action lawsuit over the Joy-Con controllers that clip onto the side of the Switch console.
The problem is so widespread that it has a nickname online - drifting. This is where controller inputs are registered when you don't press anything - like a really unhelpful ghost keeps pushing you off a cliff in Zelda.
The case has been filed by plaintiff Ryan Diaz in Washington, Seattle. Diaz himself had a Joy-Con fail, only to be fixed under warranty. When it broke again, Nintendo tried to charge for the repair, and he just bought a pair of new Joy-Cons instead.
Diaz's case states that Nintendo is aware of the issue but fails to "disclose the defect and routinely refuses to repair the joysticks without charge when the defect manifests and never disclosed this material defect to consumers."
What would be the remedy? Relief - and lots of it: "monetary relief for damages suffered, declaratory relief as to the parties' rights under the Defendant's warranty, and public injunctive relief."
There are certainly plenty of reports of drifting online, but one lawyer isn't convinced that that's representative of a big enough issue to win a class-action case.
"If 100 people total had this problem, and all posted about it and posted video, it does not mean, necessarily, that they are representative of millions more with the same issue," Brandon J Huffman of Odin Law and Media told GameDaily.
Is he right? Well, that's what a class-action lawsuit will test. But if you search for "drift joy-con fix" on YouTube, the top three tutorial videos have a cumulative 1.3 million views, which suggests there's quite a lot of people interested in the problem. Or, at the very least, a handful of people who are really interested in the problem.
In a statement given to The Verge, Nintendo acknowledged the problem and said it's "continuously making improvements" to its products.
"We are aware of recent reports that some Joy-Con controllers are not responding correctly," the firm added. "We want our consumers to have fun with Nintendo Switch, and if anything falls short of this goal we always encourage them to visit http://support.nintendo.com so we can help."
An exclusive poll conducted today in INQ's office found a massive 33.3 per cent of respondents had suffered from drifting Joy-Cons, against 33.3 per cent that hadn't. The other 33.3 per cent didn't respond. The sample size of three may not have been statistically significant. µ
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