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Nintendo Joy-Con Lawsuits Keep Piling Up

One of Nintendo's biggest console embarrassments is the long Joy-Con "drift" saga, and it's not over yet. According to Polygon, Nintendo is facing another class action lawsuit regarding the design flaw.


One of the Nintendo Switch's biggest issues from launch had to do with a flaw in the Joy-Con controller design. Specifically, for many players, the Joy-Con controller's left stick would "drift," causing the player character to begin moving in an unintended direction without player input. This issue led to class action lawsuit in July 2019 with a US-based legal firm, Tousley Brain Stephens PLLC (on behalf of A.C. and Maria Carbajal), alleging Nintendo knowingly sold Switches with defective Joy-Con controllers.

The issue has arisen again with an additional class action lawsuit making similar claims that, despite Nintendo's praising of the Joy-Con controllers, they don't work as intended. The new class action complaint gives a thorough technical analysis of what likely causes the Joy-Con to drift, which is "extensive wear on the pad on the interior of the Joy-Con." This is according to a "technical expert" brought in to analyze the issue's cause.


The lawsuit also accuses Nintendo of being fully of the issue and refusing to notify or fully compensate consumers. Furthermore, the firm mentions various European consumer advocacy groups who claim that Nintendo's practices involve "planned obsolescence" for their products (translation via GamesIndustry.biz).

The lawsuit also goes over the fact that, after repairs to defective Joy-Con controllers, Nintendo "has been unable to successfully eliminate the defect or prevent it from re-manifesting," resulting in more dissatisfied customers. Moreover, the complaint outlines how Nintendo Switch Lites have suffered from the same issue, even though the handheld-only Switch consoles don't have detachable Joy-Cons.

The drifting issue has existed now for three years, since the console's 2017 release. Customer service at Nintendo was instructed to fix Joy-Con drifting for free, even for Switch owners whose consoles no longer have warranties. However, the issue's persistence has been a consistent point of criticism for Nintendo, which apologized to consumers for the problem.

While the Nintendo Switch has been beleaguered by the Joy-Con drift, it has otherwise been a huge success for Nintendo. It has well outsold Nintendo's previous console, the Wii U. Further, the Switch has outsold the PS4 in Japan, despite the former's release more than three years prior to the Switch.


A Nintendo Switch Pro has been rumored to be in development. Rumors claim that the console is capable of 4K resolutions. Even so, much like the original Nintendo Switch wasn't quite as powerful as the Xbox One or PS4, the Switch Pro would be up against the next-gen Xbox Series X and PS5.