Consumer watchdogs won't let Nintendo off the hook for Joy-Con drift

It turns out trying to sweep your product's defects under the rug is not a great business strategy.

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Pretty much everyone (admittedly, including Nintendo... sort of) is aware by now that, despite being one of the most massively successful console releases in history, the Switch's Joy-Con has a drifting problem. Even so, the video game giant seems reluctant to do much about it, and instead would rather nudge consumers towards buying slightly cheaper replacement controllers than fix the actual issue. For some strange reason, however, this strategy has not sat well with gamers, not to mention consumer protection agencies. In July 2019, Nintendo was hit with a stateside class-action lawsuit, and by the looks of things, seems to be heading towards a similar legal entanglement in Europe.

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Further legal actions on the horizon — Earlier today, the Dutch Consumers' Association put out a public call asking for reported instances of Joy-Con drifting issues. The DCA solicited the information in conjunction with "Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and the European umbrella organisation BEUC," according to an article in Video Games Chronicle, hinting that future legal actions are almost certainly imminent on the other side of the Atlantic.

"If we cannot reach a solution in discussions, we will jointly go to court," a DCA spokesperson told the Dutch news agency, NOS.

Slow, reluctant change — Following the US-based suit filed against Nintendo back in June, the company's president, Shuntaro Furukawa, said in a statement, "regarding the Joy-Con, we apologize for any trouble caused to our customers. We are continuing to aim to improve our products, but as the Joy-Con is the subject of a class-action lawsuit in the United States, we would like to refrain from responding about any specific actions." Not long after, Nintendo changed its policy to allow for free Joy-Con repairs, as well as issuing refunds to anyone who previously paid for said Switch fixes.

Still, Nintendo stopped short of actually admitting its controllers might contain an inherent defect, and hasn't indicated any future plans to stave off what sound to be widespread, inevitable drifting issues. Perhaps another round of legal threats, this time from multiple countries banded together, will finally prompt Nintendo to do more than issue meager, shoulder-shrug apologies and knock off a few bucks from its replacement controllers.