Nintendo sued over Joy-Con drift in planned obsolescence claim

Nintendo is facing another lawsuit over the Joy Con drift problem – an issue that has blighted the console since its launch in 2017. The ‘drift’ refers to a defect in the Switch controllers, which even when in the neutral position, will cause an uncontrollable drift to one side while playing.

In response to this issue, French consumer organisation UFC-Que Choisir has announced that it is suing Nintendo for planned obsolescence and anti-consumer practices (via GamesIndustry.biz).

In a press release announcing the decision, UFC-Que Choisir states that while Nintendo does offer free repairs to affected users, this does not change the fault in how the Joy Cons are produced. While Nintendo have changed how Joy Cons are produced, they have not fixed the drift issue, despite being aware of it.

According to the consumer organisation, there are two flaws that may be creating the problem. One is premature degradation of the electronic circuits, and the other is a sealing defect which “causes a worrying amount of debris and dust within the joystick, the origin of which appears to be both internal and external.”

“While Nintendo was informed of this malfunction, the Japanese giant chose not to modify the components subject to this failure,” reads the press release.

“The nature of the failure, its frequency of occurrence with players, the limited lifespan of these products and the inertia of the manufacturer, however informed of the malfunction … These are all characteristics that indicate that Nintendo is engaged in practices of planned obsolescence . 

“The UFC-Que Choisir has therefore filed a complaint with the Public Prosecutor of Nanterre. Our association once again calls on Nintendo to review the manufacture of its controllers to avoid the almost systematic appearance of this failure.”

This is not the first time Nintendo has been sued over this issue, having faced a class action lawsuit last year, which expanded to include Switch Lite users who reported the issue, despite that system not featuring detachable Joy Cons.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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