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Law Firm files PS5 DualSense drift class-action against Sony

3liteDragon

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Mar 3, 2020
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A US law firm has filed a class action against Sony over alleged PlayStation 5 DualSense drift.
This week Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith (CSK&D), the firm behind the ongoing class action against Nintendo over Joy-Con drift, asked affected customers to get in touch via an online form.

Clearly, that call to action did the trick. The DualSense lawsuit has now been filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of a plaintiff called Lmarc Turner, of Virginia, and other affected customers in the US against Sony Corporation of America and Sony Interactive Entertainment.

The complaint, filed on 12th February and seen by Eurogamer, claims the DualSense is "defective". "Specifically, the DualSense controllers that are used to operate the PS5 contain a defect that results in characters or gameplay moving on the screen without user command or manual operation of the joystick. This defect significantly interferes with gameplay and thus compromises the DualSense controller's core functionality."

The complaint cites multiple online reports of DualSense drift on reddit and social media, including the tweet below that includes a clip of apparent drift while playing Rogue Company:



The complaint goes on to accuse Sony of being aware of this alleged DualSense drift via online consumer complaints, claims the company equipped the DualSense with "virtually the same analog components" as the DualSense 4, which reportedly suffered from drift, and that options for repair are "slim".
"Customers are experiencing long wait times and having to deal with a maze of pre-recorded phone prompts before finally speaking with an agent concerning repairs for DualSense controller drift," reads the complaint, which points out customers must pay for shipping the controller to a Sony repair center even for in-warranty repairs.

Turner is said to have bought a PS5 on 5th February 2021 and experienced DualSense drift on the same day. He contacted Sony customer service and was advised to reset his console, which didn't work. Turner ended up buying another DualSense controller priced $69.99 a few days later.

"Had Plaintiff been aware of the drift defect prior to purchasing his PS5, he otherwise would not have purchased the PS5, or would have paid substantially less for it," reads the complaint.

The complain claims Turner agreed to Sony's PlayStation terms of service and user agreement upon setup of his PS5, but wrote to Sony expressing his intent to opt out of resolving any disputes with the company through individual arbitration.

This is an important point in the context of CSK&D's ongoing case against Nintendo over Joy-Con drift. CSK&D filed a class action against Nintendo of America in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington back in 2019 over Joy-Con drift after a similar call for affected customers to get in touch. The Court compelled the case to arbitration, although it declined to dismiss the case. CSK&D says it's currently working to pursue the case through the arbitration process. Clearly, it's hoping to avoid going down that route with the DualSense case.

The complaint demands a jury trial, with the plaintiff seeking monetary relief "for damages suffered, declaratory relief, and public injunctive relief". Sony has yet to comment.


Controller drift has become a significant issue in recent years. There's an ongoing class action against Microsoft for "stick drift" on Xbox One controllers, which also includes specific reference to the company's most recent Elite controller, the Elite Series 2. And in January 2021, the European Commission confirmed plans to consider potential action against Nintendo over Joy-Con drift, prompted by calls for it to act from its own European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), which received more than 25,000 complaints from numerous countries.
 

Starhowl

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Wish they got called out for the dualshock 4 during the ps4 generation, they were such pieces of shit from a build quality standpoint
The DualShock 4 was the biggest joke I ever experienced in controllers: Had to cut off the light, buy 2 batteries until the third was a real and not a fake one so the charge would finally last adequately and had to replace the concave sticks to convex ones. Unbelievable, just unbelievable.
 

Skifi28

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Jun 28, 2020
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I'm not sure how common it actually is, but I'm all for not using those cheap potentiometers any longer. Whatever controller each of the big 3 make next, they'll probably think twice about using crap parts with all those lawsuits flying around.
 
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wvnative

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Feb 10, 2016
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The DualShock 4 was the biggest joke I ever experienced in controllers: Had to cut off the light, buy 2 batteries until the third was a real and not a fake one so the charge would finally last adequately and had to replace the concave sticks to convex ones. Unbelievable, just unbelievable.

Sucks too, it's actually personal favorite controller ever from a design standpoint :(
 

hroerekr

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Dec 28, 2020
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What stick based controllers DONT get drift?. All my Xbox controllers i use on PC eventually get drift.

The issue is how long it takes. For 3 months use that is not normal.
I guess every console should have a system level dead zone calibration to at least mitigate this.
 

Allandor

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Feb 8, 2018
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Seem like almost all consoles in the last 8 Years have this problem.
xbox one had it with the first batch of controllers. They fixed it with the v2.
Switch has it. I already replaced many sticks in switch controllers. Good thing that they a just loose components in there and not soldered like those in the xbox controllers. At least that makes replacing them much easier.
And now PS5 seems to have the issue all over again.

I guess that has to do with the fact that controllers get more and more precise and sensitive and small issues can lead to "bigger" problems there. A bigger deadzone could help as most times it is just a really small "defect" that leads to this problem.
 

Gamerguy84

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Mar 25, 2019
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This feels too soon. Isn't the hardware covered under a year warranty? So if you have drift you just get a replacement?

Also drift is something I've not even heard about with these so far. Don't get me wrong if you have any defects I hope it gets taken care of.

Feels like an attorney cash grab so fill me in on what I'm missing here.
 

GHG

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Nov 9, 2006
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What stick based controllers DONT get drift?. All my Xbox controllers i use on PC eventually get drift.

It's actually down to the analogue stick components which I think are the same in the majority of controllers regardless of the manufacturer. Either that or they are all based off the same design/patent.

This is a defect that has been around since the dawn of analogue sticks and nobody has managed to eradicate it.

Had 3 DS4 controllers and 1 out of the 3 experienced stick drift. Only got one dualsense so far and no issues so far *touch wood*.
 
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wvnative

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Feb 10, 2016
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It's actually down to the analogue stick components which I think are the same in the majority of controllers regardless of the manufacturer. Either that or they are all based off the same design/patent.

This is a defect that has been around since the dawn of analogue sticks and nobody has managed to eradicate it.

Had 3 DS4 controllers and 1 out of the 3 experienced stick drift. Only got one dualsense so far and no issues so far *touch wood*.

None of my PS2, PS3, N64, or Gamecube controllers ever got noticeable drift
 

billyxci

13 year old console warrior. Put me on ignore.
Aug 3, 2014
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0 issues with mine and my DS4, both from launch consoles.


good for you. your post adds nothing. do you think just because you have ZERO ISSUES with yours that it means everythings fine? there are obviously people out there experiencing the problem so again your comments adds 0 to the conversation.
 

azertydu91

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Sep 11, 2013
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Are we getting more stick drift because games are leaning on R3 and L3 today?
That's an interesting take on the subject.It seems possible although I never experienced drift on any of the controllers I own (I don't have a switch).I do realise that the sticks are more clicked and used since the ps360 era.Maybe some people click too hard on it ?I don't really believe that theory though ,I have strong hands and can click very hard on the sticks I feel like I should've experienced drifts on at leat one of my about 20 controllers.
 

iHaunter

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Sep 6, 2015
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All controllers get drift eventually.

Xbox, Joy-Cons, DS4, and Dual Sense. I wonder why they're still using this tech?
 

Aenima

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MS and Sony use the exact same thumbstick component for the thumbsticks. This component is what may cause drift especially if player play alot of games that use L3 and R3 to run.
Nintendo switch pro contoller also use the exact same as these ones.




Switch joycons uses a different one, that is actually seems to be worst and be more suscestible to drift.



Dont fall into FUD. Enjoy ur consoles, it u get a faulty controller thats what warranty is for.

I own:
2 Dreamcast controllers
3 Xbox OG controllers
2 PS2 controllers
2 PS3 controllers
1 X360 controller
3 PS4 controllers
2 PS5 controllers

Zero Problems between all these controllers, aside from batery life reaching a point of very low charge on the PS4 controllers after 4 years of heavy use.

Only controller that broke on me was the Master System 2 one. D-Pad stoped working, and i cant play alex kid anymore. Too lazy to buy a new controller from e-bay. :(
 

BusierDonkey

Gold Member
Sep 21, 2018
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Maybe they'll develop a better analog unit for the next run of controllers or ditch click-sticks in favor of buttons on the back side of the controllers.

That's an interesting take on the subject.It seems possible although I never experienced drift on any of the controllers I own (I don't have a switch).I do realise that the sticks are more clicked and used since the ps360 era.Maybe some people click too hard on it ?I don't really believe that theory though ,I have strong hands and can click very hard on the sticks I feel like I should've experienced drifts on at leat one of my about 20 controllers.

I think the theory has merit. I started getting drift when the click sticks came around, sometimes on new controllers after just a few weeks. When I started using controllers with paddles I stopped using the click sticks and stopped having drift issues. On my Switch I avoid using them whenever possible and when I do use them I'm super delicate about it. My Joycons are still fine after three years.

Even if they aren't a cause, they are awful and should be axed.
 

Spukc

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Jan 24, 2015
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MS and Sony use the exact same thumbstick component for the thumbsticks. This component is what may cause drift especially if player play alot of games that use L3 and R3 to run.
Nintendo switch pro contoller also use the exact same as these ones.




Switch joycons uses a different one, that is actually seems to be worst and be more suscestible to drift.



Dont fall into FUD. Enjoy ur consoles, it u get a faulty controller thats what warranty is for.

I own:
2 Dreamcast controllers
3 Xbox OG controllers
2 PS2 controllers
2 PS3 controllers
1 X360 controller
3 PS4 controllers
2 PS5 controllers

Zero Problems between all these controllers, aside from batery life reaching a point of very low charge on the PS4 controllers after 4 years of heavy use.

Only controller that broke on me was the Master System 2 one. D-Pad stoped working, and i cant play alex kid anymore. Too lazy to buy a new controller from e-bay. :(
cool dude now actually play games with them and you will see they will break
 

Aenima

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cool dude now actually play games with them and you will see they will break
I have more than 200 games on PS4 and platinumed more than 70. Just on PS4 i count 600h of FF14, 600h of Conan Exiles, 500 hours of WItcher 3, 500h of NMS and many, many more games with way over 100h of gameplay on them. I play alot to the point i drained the batery of my 2 launch Dualshocks 4. And not even the rubber from the thumsticks pealed like there was alot of reports about it.

Sucks if a controller broke on you. Dont pretend it happens to everyone, cus it dosent.
 

RPSleon

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Apr 3, 2015
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I only noticed it so far on the warzone map screen with the right stick. So far nothing else.
 

isoRhythm

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Sep 15, 2020
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Sony knows no mercy when it comes to controllers. You own the next generation? Throw your old controllers away! Battery defect? Buy a new one! Make controllers from other systems functional? Buy ours instead because we want to increase sales!
I hate when people throw away a perfectly good controller when the battery is degraded.. you know you can replace the DS4's battery in less than 5 minutes?

Also, am I the only one who's never gotten drift problems? I have the OG 360 controller, PS3/4/5 controllers and everything works just fine.
 
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KuraiShidosha

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I find this issue very strange for Sony controllers. Since the 360, I've noticed Microsoft controllers have absolute garbage center point out of the box compared to Sony controllers. For instance if I try to calibrate the deadzone to the least amount required for the controller to not read false movement away from dead center, both my PS4 controllers and my DualSense require exactly 3% deadzone to 0 out the stick reading to perfect center. Meanwhile every single Xbox controller I've used since the 360 (original Xbox controllers both duke and S were unaffected) have required insane amounts of deadzone to cancel out bad center point readings. For the 360 controller out of the box it needed a whopping 25% to completely block all upward movement from "center". My Xbox One controller needed 18%. Every friend's Xbox controller I tried was in the same field of 15% or more. This is insane and speaks to a serious fault in the manufacturing process on these controllers. In comparison, my Sony controllers have all been super tight going all the way back to the first dual analog controller I used on PS1.
 

GloveSlap

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Dec 28, 2007
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On Xbox and PS sticks the failure point seems to be the grey plastic clip that houses the L2/R2 clicker. Its plastic rubbing on plastic, which can wear very fast (especially when clicking the sticks alot). It could probably be solved with a bearing, but nobody wants to pay for it i'm sure..

As mentioned earlier, they really need to add a calibration program to the OS on these systems. You can solder in a a genuine new analog, but you have to callibrate it by hand which is a major pain. The issue annoys me on the Elite controller especially. For such an expensive controller it should have either premium analog sticks or a modular stick design where you can just plug in new ones and callibrate them automatically.
 

Fredrik

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Jun 27, 2005
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What stick based controllers DONT get drift?. All my Xbox controllers i use on PC eventually get drift.
On PC I still use the same old wired 360 controller since I don’t know how many years back, probably 10. Zero drift.

But I’ve already swapped out two Switch controllers for drifting in 4 years.
 

Duchess

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Oct 2, 2020
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According to some on Reddit, applying contact cleaner can help to alleviate the drift problems with other controllers.
 

Con-Z-epT

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good for you. your post adds nothing. do you think just because you have ZERO ISSUES with yours that it means everythings fine? there are obviously people out there experiencing the problem so again your comments adds 0 to the conversation.
Thanks.

It does! It shows that despite all the negative comments in this thread, there are people without any stick drift for an entire generation.

I do not think that everything is fine and that it is correct to sue Sony if there are problems.

I came here because i'm very satisfied with my Playstation controllers.



Usually people complain about the negative things. And the ones who are alright don't show up.

The average hardware failure rate is between 0.5% and 3% of a 100%. Let it be 5% if YOU want. Do not forget that!

It is ok to let your voice be heard and claim your waranty. I'm there with you.

But in the end their are more people out there with flawless products.
 
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Stuart360

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On PC I still use the same old wired 360 controller since I don’t know how many years back, probably 10. Zero drift.

But I’ve already swapped out two Switch controllers for drifting in 4 years.
Yeah i think part of my problem is that i use the controller to control my PC, as i'm a couch gamer through a back problem, and have my PC connected to my TV. I also have my PC on for 12+ hours a day so yeah i use my controllers more than most lol.
 

Dick Jones

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Mar 7, 2015
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Okay.
If you have a dualsense and it is drifting, why not get it replaced as it must be under warranty. Why go straight to lawsuit? What's the story there?
I believe electronics have a 2 year warranty in the EU. Is the warranty in the States less than 6 months?
 
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Giallo Corsa

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Feb 4, 2021
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This is good and it shows that corporations can't get away all the time with these kind of things.
Now, people should do the same thing regarding the Xbox controllers where besides stick-drift, the bumper buttons have been failing left and right since the OG xbox One.
I know that there was a class action lawsuit regarding the Elite 2 controllers but the build quality of the "plain" new xbox controllers is also woeful.
 

lukilladog

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Feb 6, 2018
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They need to replace this POS potentiometers with something better, I´m tired of soldering this stuff for myself, family members and their friends. Gamepads now occupy front shelf space in stores because of how good of a business they have become with this designed to fail policy. I think they probably tried to do it with the consoles themselves too (RROD, bumpgate, baked PS´s) but realized it was a dangerous game.
 
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GHG

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None of my PS2, PS3, N64, or Gamecube controllers ever got noticeable drift

The deadzones were bigger (on the ps1 and N64 they are huge) and the bit precision was lower. The PS2 for example only had 8 bit resolution sticks whereas sticks now use 10 bit and 12 bit precision.

A bigger deadzones + less sensitivity = smaller/slight discrepancies in movement not registering and no "drift".
 

Yoboman

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Sep 17, 2005
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Is there actually a solution to analog sticks without drifting?

Genuinely curious as it seems to be an issue with everybody
 

Brigandier

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I would love to know what people do with there controllers for them to fuck up so often....

I'm not saying genuine faults don't happen but so many people are full of shit too, Dropping them and throwing them and not looking after stuff tends to cause problems.