Home After 5 years lawsuits over Joy-Con drift have concluded

After 5 years lawsuits over Joy-Con drift have concluded

Two major class action lawsuits against Nintendo over Switch Joy-Con drift are to be dismissed due to an arbitration clause. A third was already dismissed in 2022.

Despite Joy-Con drift being a well-known, ongoing issue affecting consumers who purchase Nintendo Switches, Nintendo has successfully dodged legal ramifications due to a clause in its End-User Licence Agreement (EULA). Switch owners are compelled to agree to in order to use their devices.

When they agree to the EULA, Switch owners agree that they “waive their right to file a class action [suit] or seek relief on a class basis” and agree that disputes will “be finally settled by binding arbitration”. None of the plaintiffs named in the class action suits undertook the process to opt out of arbitration, according to court records.

It is this clause that has resulted in what is now three class action lawsuits about Joy-Cons being dismissed in the US, reports Game File.

What is Joy-Con drift?

Joy-Cons, the Switch’s controllers, are known for a defect called Joy-Con drift. The controller’s joysticks are prone to register inputs even when there are none, leading to controls ‘drifting’ in a direction unwanted by a player. Nintendo has been aware of the issue since it began and has been offering free repairs to Joy-Cons since 2019, shortly after the first class action lawsuit was filed.

They acknowledged the continued problem in a 2020 Q&A (in Japanese), where Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa apologized for the ongoing issues, but declined to go into detail due to the lawsuits.

Will the Switch 2 have Joy-Con drift?

Consumers were pleased when Nintendo started offering free repairs to drifting Joy-Cons, but disgruntled users were quick to point out that the Switch Lite, which launched in 2019, also suffered from the issue, and could not be sent off easily for repairs because the controllers are integrated with the unit and are not detachable, such as with the larger console.

Little is known at present about the Switch 2. We aren’t even sure if it will have the same structure as the Switch – Nintendo changed the console drastically between the Wii and its successor, the Wii-U. It is a sure thing that people will be on high alert for drift from the get-go though, and possibly more aware of the rights they are signing away when they skim past the EULA and hit “I agree” without a thought.

Featured image credit: Nintendo

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Ali Rees
Tech journalist

Ali Rees is a freelance writer based in the UK. They have worked as a data and analytics consultant, a software tester, and a digital marketing and SEO specialist. They have been a keen gamer and tech enthusiast since their childhood in are currently the Gaming and Tech editor at Brig Newspaper. They also have a Substack where they review short video games. During the pandemic, Ali turned their hand to live streaming and is a fan of Twitch. When not writing, Ali enjoys playing video and board games, live music, and reading. They have two cats and both of…

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