Nintendo's Week-Old Switch Lite Added to Joy-Con Drift Lawsuit

By Alyse Stanley on at

In the ongoing saga of Nintendo’s Joy-Con drift problem, it appears even the Switch Lite isn’t immune. On Saturday complaints about the barely week-old system were added to a class-action lawsuit against Nintendo.

Originally filed in July, the lawsuit alleges Nintendo knew about a design defect in the Switch’s controllers and has failed to correct or acknowledge the problem. This issue causes a Joy-Con’s analogue stick to register input, a.k.a. drift, even when nothing’s touching it, significantly disrupting gameplay.

And it doesn’t appear to have been fixed with the Switch Lite. Online reports of players experiencing drift on Nintendo’s newest system started cropping up days after its release, several of which were referenced in the lawsuit.

“I can’t believe it, my Nintendo Switch Lite is already drifting,” one player cited wrote. “I was playing BOTW and the camera kept moving without touching the analogue stick. I tried to calibrate and update the controllers but it was still the same.”

“I beat Link’s Awakening over the weekend on my original Switch Lite system,” said another, “I had only put like 20 something hours on it, and it started to show joy-con drift. Why is this happening earlier on than with the earlier Switch?”

The firm Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith (CSK&D) is representing 18 plaintiffs in 16 different states as part of this suit, which goes on to cite online complaints of drift with a new version of the Switch released last month. This updated version sports a longer battery life and apparently the exact same joystick defect.

While there are no official numbers indicating how widespread this problem may be, online complaints have been cropping up since the Switch’s launch in 2017. One of my Joy-Cons started experiencing it recently, causing problems that range from frustrating to completely game-breaking.

Though not nearly as frustrating as having the issue crop up on the Switch Lite. While Nintendo hasn’t addressed the problem in any kind of detail, the company did begin offering free Joy-Con repairs, no questions asked, after the lawsuit was entered. But the Switch Lite’s controllers are built into the system itself, which means any kind of fix would involve shipping the whole thing off to a repair centre, a process many users have reported takes weeks.

Plenty of online tutorials have popped up offering DYI methods for troubleshooting and fixing Joy-Con drift yourself, but they don’t always work and, in the case of the Switch Lite, could damage the console itself. According to a company memo obtained by Vice, Nintendo doesn’t require warranty information as part of this free Joy-Con repair offer, but there’s been no official news yet regarding anything similar with its newest system. Worst-case scenario, you could just be out a Switch Light.

The updated complaint in its entirety can be found here, per Polygon, and you can sign up here to enter your name to participate in the litigation.