Yet another “controller drift” lawsuit has finally ended. This time it is the class action brought against Microsoft for the Xbox controller drift phenomenon.
Can we all just find a new potentiometer manufacturer, please, console designers?
Xbox Controller Drift Settled Out of Court
The class action lawsuit brought against Microsoft by US law firm CSK&D has moved to arbitration, meaning it will be settled out of court.
CSK&D brought the case against Microsoft back in April 2020, stating that Microsoft knowingly sold faulty devices to consumers, which were subject to the same drifting issues experienced by PlayStation 4/5 controller and Nintendo Switch Joy-Con users.
Now, the courts have granted Microsoft’s call for an independent body to review the case. This means it will enter into arbitration, and the independent body (the arbitrator) will look over the claims, rather than a judge.
What Is Xbox Controller Drift?
Controller drift doesn’t just affect Xbox controllers. Essentially, drift occurs when the potentiometer inside the thumbstick malfunctions. There are several reasons why a controller might drift, including dirt, wear and tear, and low-quality components.
When a controller drifts, you will see action on the screen as though you are operating the thumbstick, when really you’re not even touching the controller. So, your controller might cycle through menu options, or move the character around on the screen, with no input at all.
Why Is Controller Drift Bad?
Think about it, would you want any input device (not just an Xbox controller) to complete commands without your involvement? No, as it means you can’t enjoy the parent device properly.
This works just the same way for an Xbox controller. There is nothing enjoyable about not being able to play games on your expensive console because its manufacturer sold you a controller it knows has a limited shelf-life.
Controller drift is bad not just because it ruins the overall gaming experience, but it also says a lot about what these console manufacturers think about their user base. If a company sells you something they know is defective, or will become so after minimal use, does it really care about you?
This is the principal argument in all of these controller drift lawsuits. It is always about the fact that the manufacturer knows it is buying below-par components, and it is putting them inside controllers that cost you $ 70 and up.
Do You Suffer With Controller Drift?
If so, check out your warranty terms. You may still get a replacement if your controller is under warranty. If not, you might want to tear the controller down and clean it out properly (or replace the thumb stick if you feel confident) before you go buying a new one. You might save yourself a few bucks in the process.