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After 25k complaints, EU calls for joy-con drift investigation

cormack12

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Mar 21, 2013
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Source: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/...estigation-into-nintendo-switch-joy-con-drift

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), the EU's joint consumer programme, has called for a Europe-wide investigation into Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift after receiving more than 25,000 complaints from numerous countries.

The group has now submitted its own complaints to the European Commission and national consumer protection authorities around Europe, based on its rules surrounding "premature obsolescence and misleading omissions of key consumer information on the basis of the EU's Unfair Commercial Practices Directive".

In the vast majority of cases - 88 per cent - Nintendo Switch owners reported issues with their Joy-Con controllers within the first two years of use, the BEUC said.

Complaints have been received from Switch owners in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia and Greece.

The BEUC has called for Nintendo to repair faulty Joy-Con for free - something it has done in the past - and to inform consumers of the "limited lifespan" of Joy-Con at present.
 

StormCell

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Dec 11, 2018
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Good. I think they need to expand their investigation to all Nintendo Switch controllers made by Nintendo. The drift issue isn't magically limited to joycons. I've got a 4 year old Pro controller that has bad drift suddenly, and I feel like I took very good care of this controller with cleaning it and putting it away.
 

Panajev2001a

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Jun 7, 2004
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Good.

Crazy that we're nearly 4 years into the Switch lifecycle and Nintendo haven't really done anything to fix this
Difference between the company having an official repair policy and committing to only “well, call us... we will see, but the controllers are perfect and the problem does not exist!!!!!!!!!!!”.
 
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nowhat

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Sep 18, 2017
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In the vast majority of cases - 88 per cent - Nintendo Switch owners reported issues with their Joy-Con controllers within the first two years of use, the BEUC said.
Just as a side note, within EU most (all?) of the member countries have a mandatory warranty of two years from the retailer (which in turn will bill the manufacturer if needed) for electronics. So before shelling out money for "extended warranty", be sure to check out your local laws. But also depending on the country, there may be a reasonable expected life time - say you buy a washing machine, it is expected to last for more than two years, so if it borks out after two and a half, do contact your retailer. And if needed, your local consumer agency, whatever it is called.
 

cormack12

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Mar 21, 2013
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I do think the complaints would be higher if consumers were aware of a single place to lodge these complaints.

I can thank Brexit for not getting in on this. I sent mine off and it cost £40 to repair at the official centre. Was hoping to recoup that.
 

tusharngf

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Oct 25, 2017
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thing like this should be investigated. Nintendo is no god that you pass your hard money like this.
 

Banjo64

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Dec 8, 2020
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I’ve read that Nintendo couldn’t use full sticks without this problem, can anyone shed light on that for me? The PS Vita is just as thin, and has 2 fantastic sticks, that don’t drift.
 

xrnzaaas

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Dec 9, 2013
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Sony should also be looked at, it may not be a game breaking issue with most Dualshocks, but drifting in noticeable in games with no / minimal dead zones set by default (like in Cyberpunk).
 
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mcz117chief

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I’ve read that Nintendo couldn’t use full sticks without this problem, can anyone shed light on that for me? The PS Vita is just as thin, and has 2 fantastic sticks, that don’t drift.
PSP has a similar design in its stick as Switch yet it never drifted as far as I know
 
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BusierDonkey

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Sep 21, 2018
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Why do they need to investigate anything? The issue is blatantly obvious. The units are cheap shit and they don't lubricate the units anymore with white grease. The debris crated from the plastic parts wearing gets jammed up in the drums and the units can't return to center anymore. The L3 and R3 click stick exacerbate the issue and you have drift.

I can buy a bag of 10 analog units for the Switch for $25. That's currently because there is a huge demand for these pieces of shit since they break down so fast, when I replaced the unit in my own Joycons that physically broke I paid less than a dollar a piece.


Likewise I can replace both units in the XSX/PS5.X1/PS4/SPro controllers all at the same by buying a bag for $7


You can do a couple preventative things that will prevent drift:

- Apply white grease into the units base where the white plastic pad slides around and to the pivot points. This used to be how they shipped, when I would take apart early PS1 analog controllers there was always the white jizz inside the units. This will keep the pads from wearing down and will lubricate any contact point inside. When I stopped seeing this, drift started becoming an issue. This requires physically opening your controllers but doing so is relatively easy with the PS, Xbox, and Switch Pro controllers. The Joycons are sealed units and are much harder to get into unfortunately, I don't recommend trying to open them up.

- Stop using the click sticks if possible. Remap or use paddles/attachments. Putting all that pressure on the stick while moving the stick around is grinding the friction pad at the base of the centering spring down. The debris from this is finding it's way into the drums that read position. It's also causing the pad to become uneven in cases where you're wearing one end of the pad more, for instance using the L3 clickstick as a dash button and holding up/up left/up right while running. If you can't stop using the stick, try not to drag the stick around while pressed if possible, set sprint/crouch to toggle for example.

I had several X360 controllers with drift issues, and several OG Xbox controllers (with the IR sensors). Since then I've started using the two steps above and have not had a single controller exhibit drfit, including my Joycons. My S1 Elite controller has well over 2500 hours on it with zero drift. My S2 Elite is at 1500 hours with zero drift.

PSP has a similar design in its stick to Switch yet it never drifted as far as I know

That's probably because the PSP and Vita units don't function as L3/R3 clicksticks.
 
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iconmaster

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Jul 18, 2013
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I love the Switch, but the recurring drift issues suck. I've sent in four different joy-con halves for repair – one of them twice. (At first I swapped out sticks myself, but got sick of solving Nintendo's problem for them.) The free repair service is welcome, but it's not worldwide and you can't count on it forever.

My last repair was six months ago, though, so I wonder if Nintendo could have made a change somewhere in there.

Glad to see this picking up steam, if only so we can get some answers.
 
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Bonfires Down

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Why do they need to investigate anything? The issue is blatantly obvious. The units are cheap shit and they don't lubricate the units anymore with white grease. The debris crated from the plastic parts wearing gets jammed up in the drums and the units can't return to center anymore. The L3 and R3 click stick exacerbate the issue and you have drift.
Oh boy. Triggering my PTSD.


 
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BusierDonkey

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what

No, it really isn't.

It's common on all controllers as they all share analog units. Why do you think there are hundreds upon hundreds of videos addressing how to fix it?

DS3 Drift

DS4 Drift

Dualsense Drift

Switch Pro Drift

X360 Drift

Xbone Drift

The Playstation controllers use the exact same unit that the Xbox and Switch Pro do. You can de-solder the unit in a Dualshock 4 and reinstall it into an Xbox controller and it will function exactly the same.

The failure rate difference is likely down to the types of games played on each system (games that use L3/R3 for crouch/sprint) as well as how wide the dead zone settings for the sticks are. You can completely eliminate drift on PC with a controller you know has drift issues through 3rd party software by simply increasing the default dead zone. Why console manufacturers haven't just taken this step is mind boggling as it would eliminate the issue and cost almost nothing to implement through an update.

EDIT: The Switch Joycons are more susceptible to drift due to their design. Instead of using drums to read position they use two sliding trays in channels. Again, these have no lubrication and are constantly wearing against each other. Using the click stick creates even more friction and degrades them even faster. The centering spring on the switch is about as strong as grandpa's boner especially near-center so it can't re-center the trays and you have drift.

Oh boy. Triggering my PTSD.



Fucking Mario Party. Jesus hands and powdered controller :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 
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Zog

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what its impressive to me its how the gaming media sucked nintendo dick on this one
Why is that impressive, the gaming media hasn't represented consumers in a long time. Remember, 'gamers are dead' to them.
 
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BusierDonkey

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Have there been enough complaints that the eu calls for either of those controllers to be investigated?

Your question should be "have the complaints been picked up by the media forcing the government to pretend they give a shit?"

I explained in my edit that the Joycons are especially susceptible to drift. Them being more susceptible to drift doesn't make drift on all the other controllers no longer an issue though does it?

If you have three car manufacturers and one has a seatbelt design that fails 1/2 the time and the others fail 1/4 of the time you don't ignore the ones that fail 1/4 of the time just because the other fails more.

This is an industry-wide problem caused by cost-cutting measures and poor design choices dictated by cost savings. The only way this will get resolved is if pressure is applied across all manufacturers. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo all use these shitty analog units and instead of brushing the issues aside for one because the others have higher instances of drift, they should be tossed under the same spotlight until these units are replaced with better tech or they figure out how to prevent these units from failing.
 
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Kerotan

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Oct 31, 2018
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what

No, it really isn't.
You think it's only a big issue on switch?

You might not think it is bad on xbox/playstation but if use R3 to jump on games like warzone then you best believe you'll get stick drift!
 

JimboJones

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Your question should be "have the complaints been picked up by the media forcing the government to pretend they give a shit?"

I explained in my edit that the Joycons are especially susceptible to drift. Them being more susceptible to drift doesn't make drift on all the other controllers no longer an issue though does it?

If you have three car manufacturers and one has a seatbelt design that fails 1/2 the time and the others fail 1/4 of the time you don't ignore the ones that fail 1/4 of the time just because the other fails more.

This is an industry-wide problem caused by cost-cutting measures and poor design choices dictated by cost savings. The only way this will get resolved is if pressure is applied across all manufacturers. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo all use these shitty analog units and instead of brushing the issues aside for one because the others have higher instances of drift, they should be tossed under the same spotlight until these units are replaced with better tech or they figure out how to prevent these units from failing.
Probably exacerbated on switch with a younger audience possibly not taking a much care and then harassing their parents. Portability, these sticks are probably going through more abuse than regular controllers living in the livingroom /bedroom.
 

Lanrutcon

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Feb 19, 2014
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Irrelevant
Your question should be "have the complaints been picked up by the media forcing the government to pretend they give a shit?"

I explained in my edit that the Joycons are especially susceptible to drift. Them being more susceptible to drift doesn't make drift on all the other controllers no longer an issue though does it?

If you have three car manufacturers and one has a seatbelt design that fails 1/2 the time and the others fail 1/4 of the time you don't ignore the ones that fail 1/4 of the time just because the other fails more.

This is an industry-wide problem caused by cost-cutting measures and poor design choices dictated by cost savings. The only way this will get resolved is if pressure is applied across all manufacturers. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo all use these shitty analog units and instead of brushing the issues aside for one because the others have higher instances of drift, they should be tossed under the same spotlight until these units are replaced with better tech or they figure out how to prevent these units from failing.

My question stands.

I have never in my life heard of anyone go "These DS4 controllers are built like shit" in the 7 years they've been around. I have ones that lasted years. There has been no public outcry about them. They are widely regarding as amazing to the point where PC players jump through hoops to use them.

Conversely, I have not heard anyone (anyone) sing the praises of the joycon. They have been slammed since day 1. Their shitty design is such common knowledge that no-one even bats an eyelid when they go wrong. My nephew's lasted all of 3 months. The product hasn't even been around for 3 years, much less 7.

Saying drift is a "big issue" on actual decent controllers in the same breath as the disastrous joycon is just plain bullshit.

Edit: Maybe I'm being a bit harsh. To be clear: I'm pissed at the attempt to downplay how utterly terrible joycons are by claiming other controllers are even remotely as bad. Nintendo fucked up and they know they fucked up.
 
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llien

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Feb 1, 2017
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I had an issue about 6 months into ownership.
It was fixed.
And now again the same issue with "new" joycons which I'd have expected to have newer, improved hardware.

Just as a side note, within EU most (all?) of the member countries have a mandatory warranty of two years from the retailer (which in turn will bill the manufacturer if needed) for electronics. So before shelling out money for "extended warranty", be sure to check out your local laws. But also depending on the country, there may be a reasonable expected life time - say you buy a washing machine, it is expected to last for more than two years, so if it borks out after two and a half, do contact your retailer. And if needed, your local consumer agency, whatever it is called.
It does exist, but shop, not the manufacturer is responsible.
The big famous guys like amazon always honor it in classy ways, others not so much.

I had a case of Nikon's flash issue close to 2 years of ownership.
No visible damage, not even a scratch on it.
Shop asked to send it in.
Then sent it back with short diagnosis: "Error - customer"
Lovely, ain't it?

I still managed to get it repaired (perhaps a tip for people). Nintendo certified shop simply picked it up, diagnosed things themselves and sent repair bill to the company.
 

nowhat

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It does exist, but shop, not the manufacturer is responsible.
The big famous guys like amazon always honor it in classy ways, others not so
That is what I mean, shop as in retailer. Which will, eventually, make the manufacturer pay for it. If the shop/retailer doesn't honor it, take it up with your local consumer agency (sorry, don't know the official term). That may take a while, a long while even though.
 

justiceiro

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Feb 27, 2015
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Honestly, at this point, people that still buy those hardware must be ok with it happening, because would incribibily stupid to buy hoping won't affect them.