Nintendo has seen a great deal of success since the Nintendo Switch launched in 2017. Two years later, it’s currently the best-selling console of the year. It’s sold around 35 million units worldwide in its lifetime. Despite this success, some Nintendo fans have found issues with the system.
One of such issues lies within the Joy-Cons. Back when the system launched, people reported connectivity issues with their Joy-Cons, which would cause controller input issues, such as drifting in-game without actually touching the analog stick. At the time, Nintendo acknowledged the issue and quickly fixed it at the factory level, ensuring no future consoles would have the same problem. Additionally, they offered to fix any defective Joy-Cons free of charge for the first year after purchase. Nintendo argued there were no fundamental issues with the actual design of the Joy-Cons, but it appears some strongly disagree.
One such person, Ryan Diaz, has decided to take the issue to court. Diaz argues that many Switch owners continue to experience the problem. He personally dealt with faulty Joy-Cons, for which he used his warranty to send to Nintendo to fix. After getting them back, he began having the same problem a few months later. Rather than pay Nintendo to fix it that time around, he decided to just purchase new Joy-Cons.
On July 19, 2019, he filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Seattle, Washington, which alleges that Nintendo actually knows about the drifting issue with Joy-Cons from the company’s own testing pre-release and many online complaints from customers. Despite knowing about the issue, according to the suit, Nintendo fails to “disclose the defect and routinely refuses to repair the joysticks without charge when the defect manifests.” The suit specifically accuses Nintendo of “violations of California consumer fraud statutes, negligent misrepresentation, breach of implied warranty, unjust enrichment, and…violations of the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and California’s Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.” Diaz is seeking compensation from Nintendo.
Brandon J. Huffman, attorney with Odin Law and Media, told GameDaily he doesn’t believe Nintendo is in much trouble. “For Nintendo, the best case is it gets dismissed or the class does not get certified for some reason,” he said. “Worst case is that Nintendo faces millions in damages and millions more in attorney’s fees, but I think that is pretty unlikely.” The class would have to prove the problem actually stems from the Joy-Con’s design, Huffman explained, rather than the plaintiff and others experiencing the problem causing the drifting issue by taking poor care of their console.
Nintendo has yet to make a statement.