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Man Sues Microsoft Over Xbox One Elite Controller Joystick Drifting

Xbox One Elite Controller

A man is reportedly suing Microsoft, over the Xbox One Elite controller’s joystick beginning to drift within a few months of purchase.

The news comes via Video Games Chronicle (VGC), reporting that “in court documents seen by VGC” plaintiff Donald McFadden is suing Microsoft.

McFadden claims that his Xbox Elite controller (RRP $179.99 VGC reports) that began to drift “after a short time” (in VGC’s words). For those unfamiliar, joystick drifting is when the joystick gives false input even when the joystick is untouched. Rather than remaining still when untouched, the input “drifts” around.

Later McFadden bought another Elite controller, but claims he experienced the same issue “three or four months later.” The lawsuit alleges (in VGC’s words) “Customers experiencing problems after their 90-day warranty expires are paying to repair a known fault.”

The court documents also claim (in VGC’s words) “Drifting issues have been experienced by a large volume of Xbox owners across various controller models.” Our own research found online tutorials for how to fix the drifting issue [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], as well as numerous threads on the subject on r/XboxOne.

VGC reports “the lawsuit was filed by McFadden on April 28 in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington.”

The first thing that comes to mind with drifting joysticks for consumers in the last few months is usually Nintendo. In case you missed our prior reports, the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Cons have issues with drifting–which is when the joystick remains untouched, yet input is still registered.

This 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. Nintendo recently even released a Nintendo Switch update that fixed an issue “sometimes causing incorrect joystick control” on the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.

Image: Microsoft

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Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.