Nintendo have fallen afoul of the The European Consumer Organisation (BCEU/Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs) over Joy-Con drift.
For those of you who’ve managed to resist Breath of the Wild’s charms and avoided the Nintendo Switch so far, Joy-Con drift is not an anime Fast and Furious film. It’s an issue that’s been plaguing the Joy-Con’s joysticks, leaving the controllers ‘stuck’ with a push to either side.
When they aren’t being touched characters will still drift in one direction. This is, understandably, incredibly frustrating for gamers.
Nintendo’s response so far has been pretty lacklustre, initially stating that “Joy-Con drift isn’t a real problem”. They also charged people to repair them, or asked them to buy new ones. At $99 a pair, the Joy-Con isn’t a cheap toy, and with the vast majority of these issues popping up within the first year of use, Nintendo were accused of planned obsolescence and sued in a class-action in 2019. After that, they quietly stopped charging people for repairs.
This has been an issue with the Joy-Cons from the start, and now, adding to the growing list of legal issues Nintendo is battling, the EU’s official consumer watchdog BCEU has hopped into the fray.
They’ve collected 25,000 complaints from users in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia and Greece, with the plan to submit these to the European Commission and the consumer protection bodies of all countries impacted.
If it’s found that Joy-Con drift is baked into the Joy-Cons to ensure a steady return stream of customers, then Nintendo will face huge fines, product recalls, and potentially massive refunds.
But hey, if all else fails, at least you can still use your PS5 with the Switch.