Almost a year after having brought to light the problem of the "Joy-Con Drift", a recurring bug in the controllers of the Switch, the UFC-Que Choisir has announced that it is filing a complaint against Nintendo for planned obsolescence.

The consumer association believes that the Japanese firm has knowingly continued to market defective controllers.

New episode in the fight of the UFC-Que Choisir against Nintendo: almost a year after giving notice to the Japanese firm to resolve a problem with defective controllers, the consumer association filed a complaint against it on Tuesday with of the public prosecutor of Nanterre.

Despite the promise made by Nintendo at the beginning of the year to resolve this dysfunction, called "Joy-Con Drift", the UFC believes, after new laboratory tests, that "the company continues to sell controllers which are destined to fall. broken down before the end of the first year of use, knowingly ".

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A defect caused by a lack of sealing

The "Joy-Con Drift" is a bug noted when the console was released in 2017 by players and relayed last year by the UFC-Que Choisir.

Concretely, this is a defect present on many controllers and creating phantom movements: without moving the joystick, it performs commands, which for example leads a character to move alone or a cursor to become uncontrollable. in the menus.

It is therefore a problem which can purely and simply prevent playing.

Especially since it is coupled with another problem: it is not linked to seniority. 

The UFC-Que Choisir laboratory therefore examined the controllers of the Switch.

According to its experts, the fault has two causes: "premature wear of the printed circuits" or "a sealing defect which causes a worrying amount of debris and dust within the joystick, the origin of which appears to be both internal and external".

The laboratory noted "a pile of dirt absolutely not normal", specifies Raphaël Bartlomé, legal director of UFC-Que Choisir.

While Nintendo celebrates 35 years of Super Mario, "it is ironic to note that the father of the famous plumber does not manage to seal a problem with the tightness of his controllers ...", comments the press release published Tuesday morning.

New controllers still fail

The association, which has received nearly 10,000 testimonials from affected players, says that "65% of consumer victims have noted this failure less than a year after purchasing the controllers."

Nintendo has adjusted its return policy accordingly.

Consumers who have purchased a defective controller can return it to customer service, which, if the bug is found, offers free repair, including out of warranty.

In addition, Nintendo has modified its controllers marketed for a few months "but not on the problem at the origin of the failures", notes the UFC-Que Choisir.

"This is only a palliative, not a definitive solution", regrets Raphaël Bartlomé.

"Today, we are collecting testimonials from consumers who have had their controllers repaired to follow up, see if the problem persists. And indeed, we see that new controllers always break down," said the legal director of the UFC-Que Choisir.

"At 70 euros for a new controller, this is not normal. We consider it to be planned obsolescence," he denounces.

Hence this complaint which aims to force the Japanese giant to react.

France is not the only country to point the finger at Nintendo controllers: in the United States, a group action has been underway for three years.