While the Nintendo Switch has been a big hit, the system has faced a perpetual problem throughout its lifetime: Joy-Con drift. The issue has resulted in multiple lawsuits against the company, and the latest seeks $5 million in damages. The suit is being brought by Luz Sanchez and her son, who is nameless in the suit, as he is a minor. Sanchez claims that she purchased a Nintendo Switch for her son in December of 2018, and within one year the Joy-Con drift "became so pronounced that the controllers became inoperable for general gameplay use." While Sanchez replaced the set, she claims that the replacement faced a similar issue seven months later.
According to the filing obtained by Wired, Sanchez takes issue with the fact that Nintendo "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." Nintendo has acknowledged the issue in the past, but has done little to make the general public aware of the problem.
For the uninitiated, Joy-Con drift is a situation where the Switch console registers movement despite the fact that the analogue sticks aren't being physically moved by the player. It is unclear how prevalent the issue is, but it does seem to be a common occurrence for a lot of Switch owners. As of July 2019, Nintendo has offered full repairs for Joy-Cons suffering from the problem, even if they are no longer covered under the system's warranty.
A class action lawsuit was brought against Nintendo regarding the issue, and is now in arbitration. Similarly, a French Consumer Group has also filed a complaint against the company regarding the issue. It's impossible to say how successful any of these lawsuits might be, but it will be interesting to see how the courts might rule.
Rumors have been swirling for some time now that Nintendo is planning a new, more powerful version of the Switch hardware. None of these rumors have been substantiated, but it's safe to say that a new version of the Joy-Cons would likely be a high priority. While that would not have any impact on the company's current legal issues, it could prevent more from happening in the future.
Are you a Nintendo Switch owner? Have you encountered Joy-Con drift? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!