Nintendo Hit by Lawsuits Over 'Defective' Joy-Con Controllers

The BEUC is the latest to call for an investigation into the Nintendo Switch's joy-con controllers.
Chris Young

The European Consumer Organization (BEUC) is calling for the European Commission (EC) to investigate complaints regarding "drift" in the Nintendo Switch console's joy-con controllers, the umbrella organization announced in a press statement.

The BEUC statement adds to growing pressure on Nintendo to properly address technical issues in the controller of its latest console after a number of lawsuits have been filed against the company in different countries.

"Drift" is a term used to refers to a videogame controller picking up movement input in-game when the player has not moved the controller's analog stick. This can be caused by dust in the analog joint or manufacturing defects.

The BEUC group, which represents over 40 consumer organizations throughout the European Union, says it received nearly 25,000 complaints from consumers across Europe about defective Joy-Con controllers in recent months. Most of these cited controller "drift."

Nintendo Hit by Lawsuits Over 'Defective' Joy-Con Controllers
The Nintendo Switch's Joy-Con controllers attach to the hybrid console's hybrid screen and can be detached for flexible play options, Source: Nintendo

"According to consumer testimonies, in 88% of cases, the game controllers broke within the first two years of use,” says the BEUC.

The group has submitted a complaint to the European Commission claiming Nintendo is involved in planned obsolescence — similarly to Apple in recent years — and that the famous videogame company is guilty of "misleading omissions of key consumer information."

Nintendo must 'come up with proper solutions'

"Consumers assume the products they buy to last an appropriate amount of time according to justified expectations, not to have to pay for expensive replacements due to a technical defect. Nintendo must now come up with proper solutions for the thousands of consumers affected by this problem," said BEUC boss Monique Goyens.

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Reports of Joy-Con issues first emerged four years ago shortly after the launch of the Nintendo Switch, and in recent months, the Japanese videogame company has faced several lawsuits — including lawsuits filed in CanadaFrance, and the United States.

According to a mail correspondence published on Reddit, Nintendo claims the drift "isn't a real problem, or hasn't caused anyone any inconvenience" — a slew of video accounts on YouTube beg to differ.

As for the BEUC's complaint, the European Commission will have to decide whether to open a formal investigation into the issue regarding Nintendo's incredibly popular hybrid gaming console.

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