Lawsuit Against Microsoft Over Allegedly Defective Xbox Controllers Now Includes Elite Series 2 Controller
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
A class action lawsuit against Microsoft regarding their Xbox Elite Series 1 controller was approved in April 2020, and amended in October of the same year to include the Elite Series 2 controller as well.
This lawsuit alleges that Microsoft has known about a “drifting” problem with the joysticks on their controllers, yet has done nothing to warn players, correct the problem, or reimburse players after their 90-day warranty has expired.
Drifting is a phenomenon in which a controller’s software registers unwanted motion unrelated to a player’s actual movement of the joystick.
Also referred to as “phantom input” and “stick drift”, this occurs when a controller registers motion on behalf of the player that is unwarranted, resulting in inaccurate movement in the video game and therefore inaccurate gameplay. In some cases, players claim that the drifting is so severe they can no longer play at all. In fact, the phantom input associated with these controllers has even been witnessed when the controllers remain stationary and untouched, allegedly due to a defect in the analog portion of the controller.
It is currently assumed that the drifting phenomenon both when in use and when untouched is caused by a defect in the potentiometer, a part of the thumbstick or analog component in a controller that translates a player’s physical movement of the joystick to their actions in-game. The lawsuit alleges that the potentiometer contains a known design flaw related to a lubricant used in the controller; this alleged defect causes material scraped off a curved track to make unwanted electrical contact, resulting in movement without input from the user.
Players allege that Microsoft knows about the problem, as complaints of drifting have been posted on official forums and gaming sites since the controllers’ release.
While the Elite Series 1 and 2 controllers may reportedly work for several months after purchase without exhibiting issues of drift, many gamers begin to experience this problem after the controller’s warranty has expired. According to the official class action complaint, “Microsoft manufactures these controllers and markets them as superior controllers that enhance game play while failing to disclose the joystick defect that interferes with proper game functioning.”
The complaint goes on to allege that Microsoft has been fully aware of the stick drift defect, yet refuses to repair controllers without charge by the time the defect kicks in, usually after the warranty has run out. The complaint also points out that while warranties for the Xbox gaming consoles last a year, the warranties on these controllers only last 90 days.
This defect has resulted in countless Xbox players spending time and money to repair and replace the supposedly elite controllers.
Like many others, the plaintiff responsible for bringing this class action lawsuit to light, Donald McFadden, first witnessed the Xbox Elite Series 1 debut at E3, a large
gaming convention. Shortly after, he purchased an Xbox One/ Elite Controller
Bundle, primarily in the interest of obtaining the new controller. After some time he noticed stick drift occurring, which later became so severe that accurate gameplay was impossible. At that point, he purchased a new Xbox Elite Series 1 controller which cost approximately $160 at the time of purchase. After only four months of owning this second controller, he began to experience significant drifting.
As an avid gamer, McFadden has some knowledge of gaming consoles and equipment troubleshooting and repairs, and he has devoted hours of time and energy to attempting to fix the controllers on his own. However, after exhausting his resources, he ended up with two essentially non-functional Elite Series 1 controllers. This class action lawsuit points out that this pattern of purchase, full-price replacement, and attempted unsuccessful repairs is remarkably common among those who purchased the Elite Series 1 and 2 controllers, and that Microsoft needs to take responsibility for the allegedly fraudulent marketing of these devices.
The recently amended class action complaint requests a jury trial to resolve the issue and has added several more plaintiffs to the case. McFadden and those similarly situated are seeking an injunction requiring Microsoft to inform players of the alleged defect and to pay monetary damages to their defrauded customers.