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Joy-Con drift lawsuit adds Switch Lite to class-action complaint

Players alleging defects after 20 hours of use

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a red-haired woman playing the Nintendo Switch Lite Photo: Michael McWhertor/Polygon

The Joy-Con drift lawsuit brought against Nintendo has added the Nintendo Switch Lite — barely a week old — to its claims that defective design ruined the thumbsticks for the consoles.

The lawsuit now includes allegations culled from social media, YouTube and Reddit that says the thumbsticks on the Switch Lite are drifting after 20 hours of play. The suit, originally filed in federal court in July, seeks class action status.

“I beat Link’s Awakening over the weekend on my original Switch Lite system, I had only put like 20 something hours on it, and it started to show joy-con drift,” wrote one player cited in the complaint, on Tuesday. “Why is this happening earlier on than with the earlier Switch?”

“I can’t believe it, my Nintendo Switch Lite is already drifting,” said another. “I was playing BOTW and the camera kept moving without touching the analogue stick. I tried to calibrate and update the controllers but it was still the same.”

The firm of Chimicles Shwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith brought the lawsuit, which lists 18 plaintiffs in 16 different states, after a brief investigation this summer. That followed complaints and anecdotes about Joy-Con drift almost since the console’s launch in March 2017.

Joy-Con drift is when a thumbstick for the Switch’s stock controller continues to register input even though it isn’t being moved. This can cause significant gameplay problems. The lawsuit asserts federal claims of fraud and breach of warranty, as well as violations of state consumer protection laws.

Nintendo’s brief public response doesn’t address any specific claims in the lawsuit but does acknowledge the company is aware that “some Joy-Con controllers are not responding correctly.” The company has asked anyone affected by this to get in touch with its support department.

At the end of July, Nintendo was offering free repairs with no questions asked, according to an internal memo obtained and published by Vice.

A full copy of the new complaint is below.

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