A law firm has begun an investigation for a class action lawsuit on Nintendo over Joy-Con drift

new-joy-con-1563458834681.jpg

Joy-Con connectivity issues have plagued Nintendo Switch owners since the launch of the console, more than two years ago. Recently, Joy-Con drift has become a topic of interest once more, due to fans vocally expressing their disappointment. With no real solution in sight, it appears that a law firm is stepping in to see if they can make things happen. The law firm, called Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP, is a three-decade old institution that focuses on class action lawsuits. According to CSK&D, they have begun an investigation into a possible class-action lawsuit against Nintendo for selling faulty Joy-Cons that have phantom input and interfere with gaming.

You can fill out the form in the link below to offer your personal experiences with your Joy-Cons to help give the firm more information to work with. If enough reports come in, then CSK&D will move forward with their lawsuit. Whether this will result in a solution or even make it to court is unclear, but the threat of legal action could perhaps spur Nintendo into coming up with a fix or revision for future Joy-con releases.

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bowser

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The Joycons use wipers the just like the 3DS circlepad, which isn't a problem on its own. Now add in the button that requires pressing the analog stick inward, unlike the 3DS, and now the wipers have tension placed on them laterally and longitudinally, which bends the prongs.

With the stretched out prongs reaching farther across the PCB traces, the prongs are now outside of the 'deadzone' set by Nintendo and is interpreted as user input instead of a new 'at rest' position.

...

But the material the pads on the JoyCon sticks are made out of seems to be the main problem. I don't know if the 3DS circle pads used the same material, but it looks like some sort of graphite material and wears out really easily.

...

The root cause of both faults is the same - the stick is "sticking" to a value. That is, unless a part of the assembly straight up broke off and no longer moves. :P They're definitely less common though, I'll give you that. Sliding the slider back and forth must put less stress on the carbon traces and the wipers than using the stick, which makes sense. Alternatively, they changed the carbon trace material to something softer and the wipers just tear right through it.

I have personally fixed my joy-cons by taking the joysticks apart. The problem is because of very fine dust covering the carbon traces and messes up the resistance readings. After cleaning off the dust with alcohol on a Q-tip they were A-ok. This is not a case of the sliders "eating up" the traces.

Now as to how the dust got in there in the first place, I'm not sure. It can be either from the external environment OR it can actually be ground up plastic from the internal components of the joystick. It was white and very fine like talcum powder and the internal pieces are white.

Q4lRvHhh.jpg


NMbM1khh.jpg
 
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SuzieJoeBob

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I have personally fixed my joy-cons by taking the joysticks apart. The problem is because of very fine dust covering the carbon traces and messes up the resistance readings. After cleaning off the dust with alcohol on a Q-tip they were A-ok. This is not a case of the sliders "eating up" the traces.

Now as to how the dust got in there in the first place, I'm not sure. It can be either from the external environment OR it can actually be ground up plastic from the internal components of the joystick. It was white and very fine like talcum powder and the internal pieces are white.

Q4lRvHhl.jpg


NMbM1khh.jpg
It looks like it could have been the white plastic sliders themselves grinding against the black plastic enclosure, which would explain the small black and white spots. Either way, the Joycons could have been made MUCH better than they are currently given the retail price.

Hell, the knockoffs analog sticks available on eBay are only $2 to $6 and function nearly as well, meaning it probably costs less than a dollar for Nintendo to make.

I wonder if we could cover the white slider in some form of noninvasive lubricant or coating that would prevent/reduce the friction between the slider and casing? Also, could we electroplate the slider wipers to make them less prone to degrading?
 

bowser

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It looks like it could have been the white plastic sliders themselves grinding against the black plastic enclosure, which would explain the small black and white spots. Either way, the Joycons could have been made MUCH better than they are currently given the retail price.

Hell, the knockoffs analog sticks available on eBay are only $2 to $6 and function nearly as well, meaning it probably costs less than a dollar for Nintendo to make.

I wonder if we could cover the white slider in some form of noninvasive lubricant or coating that would prevent/reduce the friction between the slider and casing? Also, could we electroplate the slider wipers to make them less prone to degrading?

Good point. It can also be from the ball and socket joint pieces that support the stick. Perhaps if they were made from a harder material that will solve it. The price for a set of joy-cons is daylight robbery at the moment. They are extremely overpriced.
 

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I have personally fixed my joy-cons by taking the joysticks apart. The problem is because of very fine dust covering the carbon traces and messes up the resistance readings. After cleaning off the dust with alcohol on a Q-tip they were A-ok. This is not a case of the sliders "eating up" the traces.

Now as to how the dust got in there in the first place, I'm not sure. It can be either from the external environment OR it can actually be ground up plastic from the internal components of the joystick. It was white and very fine like talcum powder and the internal pieces are white.

Q4lRvHhl.jpg


NMbM1khh.jpg
Having not looked into it I can't say but I would say be careful making such definitive claims based on a sample size of 1. Similarly if we are talking about grit/wear products getting embedded in carbon acting in a mechanical role we have this little thing called brushed motors.
 

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@cucholix @ploggy let's settle this once and for all!
Fuck off, Nintendo, and your cheap-ass sticks!
It's finally time for someone to put them in their place.

How does it feel being sued, huh, Nintendo?
Got a taste of the same medicine that Nintendo loves so much.
Hope they get their asses kicked as karma for what they've done to fan projects and the emulation scene.

The fact the sticks are almost as cheapy made as if they were illegal clones while costing so damm much is really unfair.

I like the Switch but not the Switch controllers.
 
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bowser

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Having not looked into it I can't say but I would say be careful making such definitive claims based on a sample size of 1. Similarly if we are talking about grit/wear products getting embedded in carbon acting in a mechanical role we have this little thing called brushed motors.

I suppose, but some people have had luck blowing compressed air into the stick and temporarily fixing it for a few days/weeks before the problem recurs. I would say the dust was moved around before settling back onto the contacts because of the moving parts. I'm not saying it proves my claim but it gives it some credibility.

The joy-cons operate with a very thin layer of carbon having a tiny footprint which makes them super sensitive. I don't know much about brushed motors but do they operate in similar circumstances? I imagine they have bigger parts and are less sensitive to dust?
 

FAST6191

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I suppose, but some people have had luck blowing compressed air into the stick and temporarily fixing it for a few days/weeks before the problem recurs. I would say the dust was moved around before settling back onto the contacts because of the moving parts. I'm not saying it proves my claim but it gives it some credibility.

The joy-cons operate with a very thin layer of carbon having a tiny footprint which makes them super sensitive. I don't know much about brushed motors but do they operate in similar circumstances? I imagine they have bigger parts and are less sensitive to dust?
It was not a lack of credibility or viability of that failure mode as much as claiming it is the only one/likely not another.

As for brushed motors. Yeah you have two or more blocks of carbon (sometimes impregnated with other materials) that are held in by springs to the spinning bar (called a commutator) of usually copper and wear down as the motor turns. Grit getting in and things falling off and getting bound up in it is probably second only to the brushes themselves wearing out, or maybe the stake wires coming off (especially if they are not epoxied in like a lot of cheap devices skip). Aside from the limited lifetime brushed motors have an awful lot of advantages so almost everything before about 5 years ago with any torque will have used them somewhere in it (even if only as a starter) and even today they are still common as you like -- if something is not brushed it will be in the sales fluff saying whoo this is brushless.

Also the carbon on board approach has been used for many years; if you have some old remote controls then pull them apart, chances are the cheaper devices will be this (or the reverse and have a membrane pad with it embedded it in). Most of those are single press buttons but flex fracture and wear are seen there, as well as dust and grime.
 

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The bumper microswitches are mounted exactly the same way as all vertical microswitches are - using two additional pins on each side. The switches on the 360 controller are mounted the same way, it's actually fairly robust. The gap is there to allow for some flexibility - if the switch was mounted too snug, you could accidentally lift a trace. By giving it a little bit of room the microswitch will just bend back a little and, hopefully, spring back into place, but I can see what you mean - there is potential for it bending permanently depending on how ductile the metal is. They could implement a secondary vertical board to mount the microswitch flat, but I don't think it's too offensive.

As for the flex cable, I wouldn't worry about it at all - it's not a moving part, so there is no reason for it to develop a fault unless it's pinched during assembly. Flex cables fail when they're repeatedly flexed back and forth, that's why we see screen failure on clamshell systems like the DS or the 3DS whereas Circle Pad or mic faults are relatively rare unless it's the user who was messing about. Cables in general work harden, they don't disintegrate randomly. :P

View attachment 173508
The cables break only after a few flexes. I only opened mine twice before they broke.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Also I wouldn't call the carbons traces thin, they're about 0.5mm IIRC, mine barely had the surface scratched.
 

MrCokeacola

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Controllers are not meant to last forever. If a Joycon breaks after it is no longer under warranty then that's just though luck. It's up the to consumer to be the judge if they want to buy an item that is of dubious quality no one is forcing you to buy Joycons or a Switch. If this class action actually goes anywhere it will set a bad precedent for any electronic manufacturer that purposefully puts built-in obsolescence into their products.
 
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FAST6191

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Controllers are not meant to last forever. If a Joycon breaks after it is no longer under warranty then that's just though luck. It's up the to consumer to be the judge if they want to buy an item that is of dubious quality no one is forcing you to buy Joycons or a Switch. If this class action actually goes anywhere it will set a bad president for any electronic manufacturer that purposefully puts built-in obsolescence into their products.
So manufacturers will think twice about planned obsolescence? Don't tease us like that.

Also in most places the manufacturer is expected to provide an item suitable for task, though the US has some of the weakest consumer protection laws in the developed world.
 

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If this class action actually goes anywhere it will set a bad precedent for any electronic manufacturer that purposefully puts built-in obsolescence into their products.

Good. I'm sick of corporations deliberately building things to fail not long after the warranty period. Things use to be built to last. Now I cannot find a table fan that doesn't have a sealed motor to allow me to re-lubricate the bearings myself every 3-4 years from heavy use. I really hope it does set a precedent and serves as a stark deterrence from screwing over consumers any further. If the Joy-Cons were like $20 it would be acceptable, but given the cost of these they should be built like a tank.

I'll never buy Lasko products again because they seem to be dead obvious when it comes to planned obsolescence of their fans.

If Nintendo keeps it up I'll only buy their hardware used if at all to avoid them getting any money from me until they start building high quality hardware again. I have a GameCube controller from 2003 that still works 100% fine. The R button was sticky but that was because something somehow got in it, but that was my fault not Nintendo and I disassembled it and cleaned it and now it works as good as new. I've used that thing for thousands of hours. It's the only controller I use for GameCube emulation and N64. If the Joy-Cons were even HALF the quality of the GameCube controller I'd be satisfied.

I bought a used Pro controller - was going to buy it new but decided I'm not giving Nintendo any more money until they seriously address this issue and offer to replace problematic Joy-Cons and THEY pay for shipping both ways. Given the egregiousness of this, they should in this one case do what Logitech does or use to do and just send out a replacement Joy-Con using a new analog stick design to anyone who submits an RMA. Perhaps requiring attached proof in the form of a video taken with a cell phone pointed at the Switch when in the stick calibration screen showing the cursor off-center with nothing touching the stick. When I had a Logitech mouse go bad and submitted an RMA, I had a new one waiting on my porch two days later -- they didn't even ask me to mail in the broken one.

I think given that they probably had prior knowledge by their QA department of this problem before the launch of the Switch, that they should also replace the out of warranty ones. Also they should recall all existing stock that was shipped to stores as soon as they have a revision that uses a different stick mechanism.

I've owned Nintendo hardware since 1990 when my first console as a child was the NES. My NES controller still works, my N64 controller still works, SNES, DS, 3DS, and so on. I also have a DualShock 2 that sustained abuse over the years that still works as the day I bought it. The Joy-Con is the first controller made by anybody that I've experienced drift with - including a brand new set of neon yellow Joy-Cons that drifted out of the box even with the non-solution software 'solutions' such as the calibration menu.

Also, given reports of malfunctioning d-pads on the Pro controller and failure of the SL SR and shoulder buttons in the Joy-Cons this firm should investigate those as well. While probably not as widespread as the drift issue, they still warrant investigation.. Though I have yet to experience those issues myself I've seen plenty of posts from people who did.

Remember, all consumers benefit when tort against faulty electronics makers succeeds. It deters companies from excessively cheaping out forcing them to use a higher minimum standard of quality. Suits such as these are watched by Nintendo's competitors as well. If Nintendo is found liable for damages, other companies that design peripherals with analog sticks will be less likely to overly cheap out. Remember, the Joy-Cons are not cheap -- they are controllers of bottom shelf quality being sold at mid-to-high shelf quality prices. When you buy some $10 third party controller off eBay you have a reasonable expectation that it is not high quality and thus it's expected to not last, but when you charge top shelf prices you had better have top shelf quality to go along with it.
 
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The fact the sticks are almost as cheapy made as if they were illegal clones while costing so damm much is really unfair.

I like the Switch but not the Switch controllers.

the joycons are more than the sticks used in them.
and compared to almost all other controllers on the market, there's a ton of stuff crammed into these tiny things.

granted, not all of that was all that useful looking back, just like 3d on 3ds, hd rumble never took off in the way nintendo probably hoped it would.
appart from labo, barely anyone used the IR cam, it might've been cheaper to leave it out of the joycon and just bundle a labo stick with the cardboard.
taking those out would open up room for the battery whcih in turn would allow space for a more conventional stick setup as found on the pro controller.

that said, the stick was clearly a compromise decision, it was likely the thinnest one on the market at the time, potentially only existing because the vita used them before?
 

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I have personally fixed my joy-cons by taking the joysticks apart. The problem is because of very fine dust covering the carbon traces and messes up the resistance readings. After cleaning off the dust with alcohol on a Q-tip they were A-ok. This is not a case of the sliders "eating up" the traces.

Now as to how the dust got in there in the first place, I'm not sure. It can be either from the external environment OR it can actually be ground up plastic from the internal components of the joystick. It was white and very fine like talcum powder and the internal pieces are white.

Q4lRvHhh.jpg


NMbM1khh.jpg
The trace is not pure carbon, it's a mixture of carbon and resin, so the dust resulting from friction wouldn't necessarily be black. That said, judging by the fact that it was "very" white in this instance, my guess is that it actually comes from the analog assembly itself - that's where most of the friction occurs.
xTdYbzw_d.jpg
It would also be consistent with what happens on other sticks, except there the potentiometers are better-isolated due to their position and the shape of the assembly. There are some inert greases meant specifically for plastics that would solve this problem and lube things up, might be a good idea to give it a little dab. Plastic gear grease is cheap, a small application in the mechanism, working it in and removing the excess would not only stop the plastic from shearing during use, but it would also "catch" any dust that's already on the surfaces and trap it in the grease - something worth considering for all the home-grown engineers here.
The cables break only after a few flexes. I only opened mine twice before they broke.

Also I wouldn't call the carbons traces thin, they're about 0.5mm IIRC, mine barely had the surface scratched.
The end-user is expected to open it zero times, it's not something the average user should have to do at all, so you can't blame Nintendo for the flex breaking during disassembly. As for the scratches on the traces, you won't necessary see the damage with the naked eye - we're talking about a high precision part with very specific tolerances. Even a bit of dust ingress can render it unusable, let alone microfractures or scratches on the resin.
 

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Hell, the knockoffs analog sticks available on eBay are only $2 to $6 and function nearly as well, meaning it probably costs less than a dollar for Nintendo to make.

What you appear to have missed is this generation of joysticks is generic off-the-shelf components. These joysticks are used by more than Nintendo and are generic components manufactured in the same form by multiple companies. So those sticks on eBay aren't knockoffs, they're just compatible OEM joystick components.
 

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What you appear to have missed is this generation of joysticks is generic off-the-shelf components. These joysticks are used by more than Nintendo and are generic components manufactured in the same form by multiple companies. So those sticks on eBay aren't knockoffs, they're just compatible OEM joystick components.
I would not be surprised if the excessively cheap sticks you often see sold in large batches were exactly the same sticks that failed QC due to small differences in tolerances, or even straight up the exact same sticks, depending on price. *Some* assemblies are custom, but that's exceedingly rare nowadays, yes.
 

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@cucholix @ploggy let's settle this once and for all!
Fuck off, Nintendo, and your cheap-ass sticks!
It's finally time for someone to put them in their place.

How does it feel being sued, huh, Nintendo?
Got a taste of the same medicine that Nintendo loves so much.
Hope they get their asses kicked as karma for what they've done to fan projects and the emulation scene.

Nintendo's been sued on multiple occasions before, as most major companies do. Fan Projects infringe Nintendo's copyrights, and they don't even ask permission to use their characters. Sadly, even if they did ask permission, they would say no. Nintendo is also against Emulation because it's piracy (unless you rip the game itself and don't provide it to anyone), but they're not dealing with the situation enough.
 

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I never personally experienced the drifting, but I did have a weird thing happen where my left Joycon (attached) would say low battery multiple times in a row if I take the Switch out of the dock after sitting in it for over a month.
Same problem, however I never even used the dock... I leave my switch OFF for months, but the console is always at 99-100% and the joy-cons after just a few time are always at 0%...

But I guess is because I also never used the joy-cons wirelessly so I never done a cycle in them so that they learn the full 0 to 100% calibration...

Anyway I really hate that almost everything uses pots that keep scratching and wearing out and leaving dust inside when there's lot of other cheap technologies which last like almost 4 ever.
 

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I would not be surprised if the excessively cheap sticks you often see sold in large batches were exactly the same sticks that failed QC due to small differences in tolerances, or even straight up the exact same sticks, depending on price. *Some* assemblies are custom, but that's exceedingly rare nowadays, yes.
Nah the fake sticks are designed differently. They're replicas. You can tell them apart visually.
That said, original parts are now available from China.
 
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