Image: Nintendo

For years, Nintendo Switch owners have been complaining of Joy-Con “drift” – a dreaded controller defect in which analog sticks will register inputs (i.e., movement) despite being in a neutral position. The problem became so widespread that a class action lawsuit was filed by attorneys with Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP (CSK&D) in July 2019, but despite reaching arbitration, Nintendo is still adamant about Joy-Con drift being an overblown issue.

According to a recent email sent by CSK&D to affected owners, Nintendo has argued that Joy-Con drift “isn’t a real problem” or “hasn’t caused anyone any inconvenience.” Therefore, users are being urged to provide short video clips to convince arbitrators that the Japanese gaming giant is full of it and should own up to what’s allegedly an obvious defect.

“Thank you for contacting our law firm about the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Drift litigation,” an email from CSK&D reads. “We are working on putting together a montage of video clips from Nintendo Switch owners such as yourself as a way to give voice to the joy-con drift issues you’ve experienced. This will be helpful to us in responding to Nintendo’s arguments about how this isn’t a real problem or hasn’t caused anyone any inconvenience.”

“In an effort to humanize and demonstrate these issues and their impact on consumers, it would be helpful to our prosecution of the case if you would submit a short (90 seconds or less) video to us describing your experience with the Joy-Con drift on your controllers. You can record it on your phone and email us the video. We will combine the results we receive from all of the consumers who contacted us into a video that we plan to share with Nintendo’s attorneys and the company’s representatives.”

Nintendo’s dismissal of Joy-Con drift in this case is somewhat surprising, being that CEO Shuntaro Furukawa offered a public apology for it during a recent investor Q&A in June 2020. Nintendo has also been offering free repairs of drifting Joy-Cons, which would suggest that there is a legitimate issue.

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16 Comments

  1. That’s some mayor bs. 2 pairs I own both with drift.
    It seems I finally fixed it rather permanently by injecting a little corrosion x moving it a lot and re calibrating them.
  2. I only had my switch for a few months; so I never experienced the problem. Sold it just before the pandemic because I never used it. Now I’ve had lots of free time to play. Go figure.
  3. ****ing Nintendo. I got my Switch as a gift for Christmas in 2017, and yeah I’ve experienced joy-con drift several times. I only have the one pair of joy-cons that came with the system, and I don’t even use the left one anymore cuz I got a 3rd-party one with a real DPad (from HORI but officially licensed by Nintendo). Most of the time I’m using the Switch Pro Controller, or Retro-bit’s SEGA-official Saturn and Genesis USB/wireless controllers. Still get drift on the right joy-con, but it was the original left one that experienced the issue more. Yet it hasn’t come up often enough for me to bother sending them in to Nintendo for replacements or whatever.
  4. Just fix it already ****. All this waiting is just making it worse. A larger install base of messed up devices.
    I love Nintendo but their pride is sooo strong some times.
    1. I think the problem is that it isn’t fixable. It has to do with the non-traditional design of the analog sticks, and that was necessary to fit it in the form factor.
  5. Are any of you who have issues with the joy-cons drifting going to upload a video of it anywhere?
  6. Has drift on our Nintendo switch less than 1 year old. Both sides, two different occasions. Contacted Nintendo customer service online. They emailed me shipping label. I sent to service center for evaluation. They replaced with new one at no cost to me. Just took some time, that’s all. Easy fix!
  7. It is getting to a point with my son’s Nintendo switch that we don’t want to play because the joy-cons are so bad. good to know that’s what this is what’s wrong with them because I couldn’t figure it out. frustrating when you’re trying to play and the joycons are not working.
  8. Are any of you who have issues with the joy-cons drifting going to upload a video of it anywhere?

    Next time it happens, I will definitely whip out my phone and try to get a recording of that ****, throw it up on YouTube. You never know when the issue will strike. It seems so random. I’d really like to know what the cause of it is. If I could get it to happen reliably, it would be much easier to document the issue.

    Has drift on our Nintendo switch less than 1 year old. Both sides, two different occasions. Contacted Nintendo customer service online. They emailed me shipping label. I sent to service center for evaluation. They replaced with new one at no cost to me. Just took some time, that’s all. Easy fix!

    Maybe I should just ****ing send mine in. About how long did it take?

  9. I bought the switch when it first came out for my daughter for Christmas in 2018 and within a month or 2 one of the joy cons quit working completely. They both drifted terribly and for a young kid just learning how to play a nintendo this can be very frustrating for her and I as well! I ended up buying 2 new ones and they both drifted as well and 1 quit working. I am now on my 3rd set of joy cons but this time I bought off brand and they are now starting to drift. I just bought these 2 a month ago for her 8 year old birthday! I reached out to Nintendo support in 2018 for the first set and no response from them. I tried multiple times thinking maybe it didn’t go through but it did. Then I reached out again in 2019 several times for the 2nd set and bringing up the first as well but still no response. They need to get their s**t together since I paid $500 for the Switch initially, $70 for the 2nd set then I went cheap and spent $40 for the off brand. Oh and I also bought 2 Rock Candy wired controllers as well just so my kids could play whatever game it allowed a wired controller with. Very disappointed in Nintendo!!
  10. The drift is indeed frustrating, but it really is only a minor inconvenience…it’s not the end of the world, and certainly not worth getting this worked up over. It can be fixed by simply cleaning joy stick socket, a lawsuit is pretty ridiculous.
  11. The drift is indeed frustrating, but it really is only a minor inconvenience…it’s not the end of the world, and certainly not worth getting this worked up over. It can be fixed by simply cleaning joy stick socket, a lawsuit is pretty ridiculous.

    It would not be so bad if a pair of them didn’t cost $80. The price of controllers has gotten a little out of control over the years, and I’m not changing my expectations about getting my money’s worth out of something. Back in the day I’d go through Xbox 360 controllers like candy, but it didn’t bother me much because they were only $40. For double the price I expect to get a little more mileage out of them before they need to be replaced. It’s also not such a simple task taking the Joy-Con apart.

  12. Video evidence, get a drifting one put it in calibration mode and see the little dot move on its own.

    The drift is indeed frustrating, but it really is only a minor inconvenience…it’s not the end of the world, and certainly not worth getting this worked up over. It can be fixed by simply cleaning joy stick socket, a lawsuit is pretty ridiculous.

    Its definitely not dirt. And it definitely makes them unusable , though sure depending on the game you can modify that to simply irritating. So I guess you can play animal crossing.

    This video shows you how to get alcohol in the right spot, under the assumption its about dirt. Alcohol will fix it for a bit ( tried it)
    I followed the same idea but put Corrosion X ( a drop or two should do it).
    I had purchased a thumb stick replacement kit under the idea that I might kill the sticks by putting corrosion x (though its great with electronics, you never know) , I used quite a bit on them but I think a drop or two would have been enough… They been fixed for months now.
    Forgot to mention after adding corrx you may need to squish it around and recalibrate.

  13. Video evidence, get a drifting one put it in calibration mode and see the little dot move on its own.

    Its definitely not dirt. And it definitely makes them unusable , though sure depending on the game you can modify that to simply irritating. So I guess you can play animal crossing.

    This video shows you how to get alcohol in the right spot, under the assumption its about dirt. Alcohol will fix it for a bit ( tried it)
    I followed the same idea but put Corrosion X ( a drop or two should do it).
    I had purchased a thumb stick replacement kit under the idea that I might kill the sticks by putting corrosion x (though its great with electronics, you never know) , I used quite a bit on them but I think a drop or two would have been enough… They been fixed for months now.

    I think this has been discussed ad nauseam at this point, but a lot of us have pointed out that it is most likely from the sharp edges of the joystick wearing away the graphite tracking pad on the inside. The DS and its variants do not have this issue because the joystick nubs that make contact with the graphite are smooth instead of sharp. I can’t think of anything else but maliciousness here on the part of Nintendo, hoping they could get away with this to force people to need to continuously buy replacements. I guess they were not expecting a lawsuit over it.

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