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Nintendo makes vague apology for Joy-Con drift issues

A lawsuit over the controller’s drift issue was filed last year.
Ann Smajstrla
June 30, 2020
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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 24: Nintendo Joy-Con wireless controllers for the Nintendo Switch are displayed during the debut of Allied Esports' "PlayTime With KittyPlays" esports variety show at HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas at Luxor Hotel and Casino on March 24, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)
Gabe Ginsberg via Getty Images

Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa apologized for problems with the Switch’s Joy-Cons during a recent Q&A. Furukawa acknowledged a class-action lawsuit filed in the US over Joy-Con issues, which complainants say causes the controller’s analog sticks to register non-existent input and cause “drifting.”

“We apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers regarding Joy-Con,” Furukawa said. He didn’t address the drift issue, citing the pending lawsuit as a reason he couldn’t further comment. “We will do our best to ensure that our customers can use our services and products with peace of mind,” Furukawa said.

The lawsuit, filed in California, alleges that steel brushes inside Joy-Cons rub away soft carbon material that make up a pad surface inside the controller. “Extensive wear,” according to the lawsuit, is what ultimately causes the drift issue -- which at the time of the 2019 filing Nintendo had not addressed. Customers had to pay Nintendo to repair the controllers, the lawsuit said, and the fixes weren’t always adequate.

The lawsuit accuses Nintendo of violating California’s fraud laws as well as state- and federal-level warranty laws. The lawsuit proposes a few measures for relief, including that Nintendo pay monetary damages to the complainants and offer free replacement of the devices.

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