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Sony Under Fire & Hit With Lawsuit Over Controller Drift

Sony Under Fire & Hit With Lawsuit Over Controller Drift

A class-action lawsuit has, reportedly, been filed against Sony and accuses the tech company of consumer fraud and breaching its own warranty agreements on the Playstation 5’s DualSense controllers. The lawsuit alleges the controllers are defective and “drift”, meaning, characters on-screen move by themselves without any input from the player.

As reported by IGN, the American law firm, Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP (CSK&D), filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York- the first of its kind against Sony.

Drifting Away

The complaint alleges Sony was already aware of the drifting issues “through online consumer complaints, complaints made by consumers directly to it, and through its own pre-release testing”. The lawsuit goes on to claim current repair options are too limited, stating that Sony’s dedicated repair page “is experiencing a backlog and redirecting consumers to contact a customer service agent” where customers are greeted with long wait times and pre-recorded messages.

The lawsuit is filed on behalf of the plaintiff, Lmarc Turner, and anyone else affected by this issue. He is seeking a jury trial  as well as “monetary relief for damages suffered, declaratory relief, and public injunctive relief.”

Social Media Stories

The plaintiff, Lmarc Turner, explains that he bought his PS5 around February 5 and he discovered the controller’s drifting problem right out of the box. He isn’t the only one. There are numerous posts and videos on social media of people expressing their frustrations and experiences with the DualSense drift.

Due to its widespread occurrence, CSK&D set up a form on their website where people can contact the lawyers on the case and recount their experiences with the controller drift.

Hardware Error

Tech YouTube channel, iFixIt, ran an investigation on the DualSense drift, and according to the investigative video, the PS5 controller uses the same hardware that’s in the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Coincidentally enough, all three gaming companies have faced or are facing a class-action lawsuit over controller drift.

The joystick modules come from the electronics manufacturer, ALPS, but the video states they probably aren’t the ones to blame. Rather, the potentiometer in the controller wearing down due to general use is the culprit.

Joy-Con Drift

The Switch’s Joy-Con controllers also suffer the same issue, with Nintendo offering to fix impacted controllers for free, even if the warranty has expired.

See Also

Nintendo has a dedicated web page on its customer support site for repair requests; customers need to fill out the form and coordinate the return.

But that hasn’t stopped the lawsuits from coming. Currently, Nintendo is facing multiple lawsuits over controller drift with the latest one filed in November 2020.

Tough Spot

The Sony lawsuit claims that Sony has not developed a fix for the drift but instead “[performs] some sort of minor refurbishment and [sends] the DualSense controller back to consumer still defective…” The complaint also calls for Sony to stop “unlawful, deceptive, fraudulent, and unfair business practices”.

Sony released a report on their third-quarter earnings earlier in February with the company stating it sold 4.5 million PlayStation 5s between launch and December 31.

Question: have any of you PS5 owners dealt with controller drift? And what do you think will happen to Sony? I’d love to hear your responses.

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