Nintendo, facing up to a class action lawsuit stateside due to repeat complaints of Switch Joy-Con drifting (where there’s movement detected, even when the stick isn’t touched), has issued a statement asking customers to reach out to them directly with hardware headaches.
The statement, given to Eurogamer, makes no direct mention of the lawsuit filed in the US, but does mention Joy-Cons “not responding correctly”, so its timing seems to be in response to the legal action. The statement, from an unnamed Nintendo spokesperson, reads as follows:
“At Nintendo, we take great pride in creating quality products and we are continuously making improvements to them. We are aware of recent reports that some Joy-Con controllers are not responding correctly. 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.co.uk so we can help.”
Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons / Credit: Nintendo
The drifting issue has come into sharp focus in recent weeks as more and more Switch users have complained about the issue (touch wood, I’ve not had the same problem, on any of my Joy-Cons). On Friday last week (July 19), a lawsuit was filed via the United States District Court by lawyers Chimicles, Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP (CSK&D), on behalf of Californian Switch owner Ryan Diaz, who first experienced drifting after just 11 months of use.
The class action lawsuit alleges that Nintendo is selling controllers that it knows to be “defective”, as Engadget explains. The suit also states that Nintendo refuses to fix the issue free of charge, and hasn’t officially acknowledged the issue. It remains to be seen if their statement of today qualifies as that acknowledgement.
The lawsuit goes further, accusing Nintendo of misrepresentation, and CSK&D is seeking monetary damages as well as action from Nintendo to combat the drifting problem, for all customers.
Nintendo Switch / Credit: Nintendo
Upon asking for other reports of Switch Joy-Con drifting, CSK&D received some 5,500 further complaints about the issue in just 24 hours, as reported by Polygon.
Speaking on behalf of the law firm, associate attorney Andrew Ferich told Polygon: “We really read a lot of newspapers and online periodicals and consumer websites, we keep our ear to the ground. We’ve been following this issue and we know that gamers that own the Switch console are very frustrated by this issue.
“We first saw that this is an issue that’s been really bothering some people, but then we realized that it was a much bigger issue. To date, we’ve been contacted by 5,500 consumers, and that’s in the last 24 hours, so we think that it’s a really big issue.”
So big that Nintendo, clearly, can’t ignore it any longer. We’ll be watching this situation closely, as it’d cost Nintendo a lot of money to fix every defective Joy-Con. There are echoes of the red ring of death here – back in 2008, a class action lawsuit was filed against Microsoft for defective Xbox 360 consoles, and it’s said that fixing the issue cost the company $1.15 billion. Yikes.