A class-action lawsuit which alleges that Microsoft knowingly distributed poorly-designed controllers has moved to arbitration. Microsoft wanted to settle the case through an impartial adjudicator back in February.
The lawsuit, which was originally filed in April 2020 by US law firm Chimicles, Schwartz Kriner, & Donaldson-Smith (CSK&D), claims that many Xbox players have reported “stick drift” from normal use. CSK&D’s suit alleges this drift is due to a manufacturing flaw, and publicly stated that they have a “sufficient volume” of defective controllers to support their claims. In an interview with The Loadout, the law firm acknowledges the controllers were obtained in return for an undisclosed fee.
An expert who examined the controller claimed the stick drift is caused by an issue with the controller’s potentiometer, which is “the mechanism that translates the physical movement of the thumbstick into movement within the video game.” Stick drift is not a Microsoft-only issue: both console manufacturers Nintendo and Sony are facing the same kind of lawsuits. The Joy-Cons are particularly bad, as the sheer amount of public outcry because of the price of these controllers, led Nintendo’s president to apologize for the problem.