Xbox controller drift lawsuit will also be settled out of court

xbox series x controller series s

Update - April 19: The long-running class action lawsuit alleging rampant drifting issues with Xbox controllers will be settled out of court, much like the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con lawsuit from 2020. 

As The Loadout (opens in new tab) reports, legal partner Benjamin Johns of US law firm CSK&D confirmed that the case has entered arbitration, a move that usually marks the "end of the road" for lawsuits like these since it all but guarantees they'll never reach a public court. Nevertheless, the firm claims that it received a "sufficient volume" of faulty controllers to highlight the alleged controller design flaw, and it will still seek damages for its many plaintiffs. 

Microsoft pushed for arbitration earlier this year on the grounds that the Microsoft Services Agreement, which all of these plaintiffs would have needed to accept to use things like Xbox Live, blocks such lawsuits from going to court. With the Joy-Con precedent in its favor, the company's now gotten its wish. 

Original story - January 4: 

Microsoft says that the class action lawsuit over the Xbox controller drift should be taken out of the courtroom. A new motion, filed by Microsoft (via VGC (opens in new tab)), claims that the suit's plaintiffs all agreed to the company's Services Agreement, which states that disputes should be settled by arbitration and an impartial adjudicator, rather than a jury.

The lawsuit was originally filed in April 2019, and alleges that drifting issues caused by wear on the controllers is the result of a design flaw that Microsoft was aware of, but did not inform customers of. In October, seven plaintiffs were added in an amendment to the original suit which also demanded the issue be settled in front of a jury.

Microsoft, however, argues that this shouldn't be the way the suit is resolved, as every plaintiff listed in the case "repeatedly agreed not to bring a lawsuit like this in court," when they "assented to the Microsoft Services Agreement" by using the controller as well as other Microsoft services, such as Xbox Live.

While perhaps not as prolific a problem as the Nintendo Switch's notorious Joy-Con drift (opens in new tab), the lawsuit claims that Xbox controller drift has been an issue since 2014, one which Microsoft has failed to disclose to customers and "routinely" refused to fix. 

Nintendo has faced its fair share of class-action suits over issues with its controllers, but last year, a judge allowed one of those lawsuits to be settled by arbitration, which could set an important precedent in Microsoft's favour. There's no word on when the suit may be settled, but it won't be until after the arbitration debate has been settled one way or another.

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Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.