Sony PlayStation 5 PS5 DualSense

Law Firm investigating a potential class action against Sony PlayStation 5 DualSense drift issues

The Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith, short for Chimicleslaw, is collecting complaints on the Sony PlayStation 5’s DualSense drift stick complaints. If it is able to get a large number of recorded and relevant complaints, it can warrant a class-action lawsuit. In its form, the law firm said the following:

CSK&D is investigating a potential class action based upon reports that Sony PS5 DualSense controllers for the PlayStation 5 console can experience drift issues and/or fail prematurely. Specifically, it is reported that the joystick on certain PS5 DualSense controllers will automatically register movement when the joystick is not being controlled and interfere with gameplay.

The story behind the phantom drifter…

The drifting issue with analog sticks on controllers occurs when internal mechanical components get stuck or damaged. This affects the gameplay as the in-game character moves around even without being controlled. Imagine that frustration in First-person shooters and racing games. Many of these complaints are not limited to any manufacturer. But the complaint is conveniently mirrored with other console makers in a matter of months since its purchase. With the case of a Nintendo Switch’s Joy-con controller, teardowns of affected controllers show wear and tear you’d expected at much longer use.

While it is not limited to Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo,  it wasn’t addressed even with successor consoles. The law firm also did similar investigations in the past. It involved both Nintendo Switch’s JOY-CON and Microsoft’s Xbox’s controllers. The lawsuit said this for respective controllers

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con:

The Amended Complaint alleges that the Joy-Con controllers are defective, leading to a phenomenon known as “drift.”  Specifically, it is alleged that when a user experiences drift, the joystick on the Joy-Con controllers will automatically register movement when the joystick is not being touched by the user, causing significant interference with gameplay. The Amended Complaint asserts claims for breach of warranty, fraud, and violations of numerous state consumer protection statutes.

The consumers in this lawsuit allege that the Xbox controllers suffer from a design defect which results in “drifting” during gameplay – something which, the plaintiffs allege, significantly interferes with gameplay. 

Planned obsolescence? Or a problem allowed to grow in time?

Product breakdowns are not new. Even more with input devices. But you’d expect controllers to have durability and much longer lifespan. It is no different with mouse and keyboards which is addressed with better switches and components to increase lifespan. Nobody likes to see anything break down in a matter of months. For now, speculating the end result of this investigation is premature. But it is likely to force console makers (and others) to find a solution.  If controller teardowns are an indication, you have to ask console makers- why not make more durable controllers?

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