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Level Up: Unlike Nintendo, Sony needs to come clean about its own ‘Joy-Con drift’ problem

As if the last few months haven’t been bad enough for fans of Sony’s gaming division, reports emerged this week that the PS5 DualSense controller is susceptible to the same problem that has plagued the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons for years: drifting.

Following an absolutely chaotic launch, wherein fans have been unable to beat scalpers to the punch whenever new stock of the PS5 does turn up, Sony needs to be swift and upfront about its DualSense drift issue and learn from the mistake of how Nintendo has handled Joy-Con drift.

If you’ve been lucky enough so far to avoid coming across any sort of drift issue, then allow me to enlighten you. Drifting is a technical problem wherein a controller falsely registers movement, even when no input is made on the part of the player. It’s frustrating for the impact it can have during gameplay, and it only gets worse as time goes on.

It’s an issue that a good chunk of Nintendo Switch owners have had to deal with quite some time – I personally encountered the issue back in 2018. What has made the situation so much worse however is the flippant attitude on the part of Nintendo.

For the longest time, Nintendo refused to acknowledge that Joy-Con drift was even a thing, and while the company does now offer a repair/replacement service for any players who are afflicted, it seems as though very little is being done to curtail the issue at the source by working on a permanent fix.

The situation’s gotten so bad that the European Consumer Organisation recently submitted a plea to the European Commission for an investigation, after receiving 25,000 complaints. The whole ordeal has only served to sour Nintendo’s image in the minds of its many adoring fans, but if there is one positive to be drawn from Nintendo’s handling of events, it’s in giving Sony a roadmap of what not to do.

Related: Where to buy a PS5 in the UK

It’s bad enough that even the act of sourcing a PS5 feels like a herculean task right now, but if PS5 hopefuls begin to second-guess the idea of purchasing a console that could come with potentially faulty equipment, then Sony needs to act, right now.

First of all, Sony needs to get in contact with its player base directly – whether that’s through email, message prompts on consoles or whatever else – to let them know that if they’ve been affected by the issue that they’re not alone, the company is working on a fix and what the protocol is for getting your controller repaired.

Second, the company needs to invest in that promise of solving the drifting issue. The longer this goes on, the worse it’ll be for everyone involved, and so the process should not be underestimated or underfinanced.

If Sony can tackle the issue head-on and find a fix soon, then maybe that efficiency can inspire Nintendo to commit in the same way. It seems absurd to me that after several years, Joy-Con drift is still an issue that’s taking place, and I would hate to think that we’ll all be talking about the DualSense in the same way just a few years from now. The ball’s in your court Sony – please set the example that gamers have been waiting for.

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