The popular tech channel iFixIt, issued a video regarding the DualSense and problems some players have experiencing. According to this video, Sony’s new controller uses the same off-the-shelf joystick hardware as so many other platforms’ controllers, including PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and more.
As reported by VGC, each of these platforms have seen drifting issues form some users with Switch Joy-Cons, Xbox controllers and Now DualSense, all of which are facing class-action lawsuits over the problem in the U.S.
iFixIt notes that an information sheet from ALPS — the manufacturer of the joystick parts — revealed that the expected life for the sticks’ potentiometers is 2,000,000 cycles, while the push function (when the stick clicks in) is 500,000 cycles.
iFixIt’s own analysis of Call of Duty: Warzone gameplay translates this to just 417 hours of playtime before the manufacturer’s operating life for the parts is over. However, this obviously varies based on the games being played.
Breaking it down, if a PS5 player used their controller for two hours a day, they would technically exceed their controller’s life expectation within 7 months. The channel concluded that the biggest reason for the joystick drift was general use, which is the same allegation made within the lawsuit against Sony.
Those who are currently experiencing drift have three choice: “fix it, either yourself or through an experienced tech; if it’s still under warranty you can send the controller to the manufacturer for a fix; or if neither of those are possible, you’re stuck buying a new one.”
iFixIt did state that “After this research, it’s bizarre to us that console makers don’t consider joysticks to be consumable parts and design them to be easily replaced. No device rated for a finite number of actions, especially one that lives next to so much contamination and takes so much abuse, can maintain perfect performance forever.”