Drift—a good thing in racing, bad in consoles

Nintendo sued over Joy-Con drift

Jon Peddie

French consumers organization UFC-Que Choisir announced that it's suing Nintendo for planned obsolescence and anti-consumer practices.

This is yet another lawsuit over the Joy-Con drift problem – an issue that has plagued the console since its launch in 2017. The ‘drift’ refers to a defect in the Switch controllers such that when in the neutral position the cursor or character will slide or drift to one side while playing. Its also know as bias in that there is no natural or off spot.

UFC-Que Choisir said in a press release that while Nintendo offers free repairs to affected users, it has not changed the way the controllers are manufactured and is still selling Joy-Cons that have the defect…

UFC-Que Choisir found 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.

BAM!  And therein lies the complaint and the charge –Nintendo did this on purpose so you’d buy a new unit.  Really?  Does anyone really believe Nintendo or any international company would so something so stupid and blatant?

Probably not, but the UFC-Que has probably chosen this way to get Nintendo’s attention for a retro-fit or recall to finally fix the problem.

Nintendo’s Joy-Con controllers (Source: Nintendo)


“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.

In September 2019, the Switch Lite was added to the Joy-Con drift class action lawsuit, just a week after its launch. Earlier this year, a Washington court denied Nintendo's move to dismiss the class-action lawsuit but referred it to arbitration.

Poor Mario, as soon as he fixes one leak, another one pops up.

UFC-Que Choisir French consumers group with 160 domestic local groups. UFC-Que Choisir defends the rights of consumers in litigation against corporations and pushes for public policies reinforcing the rights of consumers. It publishes a magazine called Que Choisir.