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Nintendo president apologizes for Joy-Con drift

For the first time, top Nintendo brass has formally apologized for a Joy-Con controller malfunction that has impacted players around the world.

“Regarding the Joy-Con, we apologize for any trouble caused to our customers,” Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said at a recent investor question and answer session. “We are continuing to aim to improve our products, but as the Joy-Con is the subject of a class-action lawsuit in the United States and this is still a pending issue, we would it like to refrain from responding about any specific actions.”

A class of 18 plaintiffs representing all Joy-Con users slapped Nintendo with a lawsuit last year, alleging the company sold defective Joy-Con controllers that recorded movement even when players weren’t touching them. The class also accused Nintendo of failing to disclose the defect and charging customers for repairs.

The lawsuit’s lead plaintiff, Ryan Diaz, said that his Joy-Con controller started “drifting” less than a year after he bought it in 2017. Nintendo issued Diaz a replacement controller that suffered from the same problem just a few months after he received it.

Across Twitter, Reddit, and game forums, Nintendo Switch owners have similarly complained about their Joy-Con drift woes. We have a couple of Joy-Con controllers that suffer from the problem, as well.

Nintendo quietly changed its repair policy last year after an internal memo leaked online instructing customer service representatives to offer free repairs regardless of warranty status. Those who paid for a repair were also entitled to receive a full refund.

In March, a district court judge denied Nintendo’s request to dismiss the lawsuit and instead said both sides would need to enter arbitration because Nintendo’s End User License Agreement calls for it in disputes between the company and customers. The lawsuit hasn’t made any progress since then.

Still, Furukawa’s apology is notable, considering how quiet Nintendo has been about the lawsuit. After the suit was filed last year, the company only said that it takes “great pride in creating quality products” and is “continuously making improvements to them.” The company told affected customers to contact its support team for help.

Nintendo did not immediately respond to Digital Trends’ request for comment on Furukawa’s statement.

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Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology, video game, and entertainment journalist. He has been writing about the world of…
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