PlayStation 5 users have been reporting claims that the DualSense controller is suffering from joystick drift.
Kotaku reports various users have been complaining about the issue on social media. They cite four Reddit posts [1, 2, 3, 4], and numerous claims on Twitter [1, 2]. One Reddit user claimed their DualSense controller started drifting within 10 days of purchase. Drifting is when the joystick remains untouched, yet input is still registered.
Further, Kotaku report that while Sony have a dedicated portal for PlayStation 5 support, the support team are likely swamped with dealing with requests about when the console will be available to buy.
In their own testing, Kotaku note they were on hold for 17 minutes after wading through the pre-recorded messages. While repairs are being done when the controller is under warranty, users will have to pay for shipping. Sony only cover the return shipping cost.
This now means all of the “Big Three” in console gaming have had issues with their console’s controllers having a drifting defect. Microsoft extended the Xbox Wireless Elite Series 2 controller warranty to one year in October 2020, after it was added to the Xbox One Elite controller drift class-action lawsuit.
Of course the more well known and prolific drift issue is with the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons. In case you missed our prior reports, the Joy-Cons’ issues resulted in a class action lawsuit by Chimicles, Schwartz Kriner, & Donaldson-Smith in July 2019. Reports suggest Nintendo even began repairing Joy-Cons for free mere days after the lawsuit became public knowledge.
The Nintendo Switch Lite was later added to the lawsuit, and the hardware failure causing the drift was exposed. Curiously, a Tencent representative (the distributor of the Nintendo Switch in China) told a customer that the drift was caused by playing an imported game.
In late December, 2019 we also reported how French consumer magazine 60 millions de consommateurs awarded Nintendo their “Golden Cactus” award (specifically the “Cactus of the Too Fragile Product”), which is given to products and services that cause the most frustration. Belgian consumer organization Testankoop also demanded Nintendo repair all Joy-Cons for free, and honor a two year warranty.
In May 2020, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled a lawsuit against Nintendo due to the Joy-Con drift must go to arbitration.In early October 2020, a mother and son sued Nintendo over the Joy-Con drift, asking for over $5,000,000 USD.
Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa reportedly apologized “for any inconvenience caused to our customers” due to the drift, during an investor Q&A in June 2020. Since July 2019, Nintendo have been repairing Joy-cons even outside of users’ warranties.
A collective of European consumers’ associations announced in early December 2020 that they were investigating the infamous Joy-Con drift defect. As part of the European Green Deal (“promoting policy to make consumer products more sustainable”) curbing issues with durability, repairability, and tackling products that fail sooner than expected are “high on the agenda.”
On January 15th, Canadian lawfirm Lambert Avocat Inc. have announced they have started a class action lawsuit for those in Québec.