Microsoft Calls For Out-Of-Court Arbitration On Xbox Drift Lawsuit

Published: January 4, 2021 11:26 AM /


A close-up of a Microsoft Xbox Elite controller

Microsoft has called for a lawsuit over Xbox controller drift to be resolved out of the courtroom. The Redmond tech giant wants the Washington Court to compel arbitration, arguing that the lawsuit's plaintiffs agreed to this when purchasing the Xbox controllers in question.

What does Microsoft want for this lawsuit?

According to VGC, Microsoft is looking to take the lawsuit - which revolves around Xbox controller analog sticks "drifting", or moving on their own - out of court. The company argues that arbitration is part of the Services Agreement that every consumer agrees to when they buy an Xbox controller from Microsoft. In the motion in which Microsoft requests arbitration, the corporation says that plaintiffs "repeatedly agreed" not to bring a lawsuit such as this one into court.

This lawsuit was originally filed back in April 2020. It alleges that controller drift - a defect which causes controllers' analog sticks to move by themselves or incorrectly register user movement - is caused by a component fault in Xbox controllers and that Microsoft is fully aware of this issue. Despite its awareness, according to the plaintiffs of the suit, Microsoft "routinely refuses to repair" devices when they suffer from this fault. In October, the plaintiffs expanded the lawsuit to accommodate seven additional plaintiffs, add new Xbox controller models, and demand a trial by jury.

Controller drift is a recurrent issue for gaming companies

It's not just Xbox being hit by this issue. Last year, a UK gamer won a lawsuit against Nintendo over a defective Joy-Con for which the Japanese gaming company wouldn't issue a refund. In a decision that's sure to buoy Microsoft's hopes, a judge ruled that a class-action lawsuit against Nintendo for the same issue should go to arbitration in May last year.

Two people playing Nintendo Switch consoles. Nintendo has also been hit with controller drift lawsuits just like Microsoft
Just like Microsoft, Nintendo has also been hit with controller drift lawsuits.

For its part, Microsoft has taken some action to address complaints about its hardware. In October last year, the company extended the warranty on its Xbox Elite controllers from 90 days to a year. This is in contrast to Nintendo, which has reportedly argued that Joy-Con drift is not "a real problem" and does not "[cause] anyone any inconvenience". We'll bring you more on this issue as soon as we get it.

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Joe has been writing for TechRaptor for five years, and in those five years has learned a lot about the gaming industry and its foibles. He’s originally an… More about Joseph