Nintendo Switch Joy-Con drift class action lawsuit paused as case moves to arbitration

The dispute between Nintendo and disgruntled Switch owners has been pushed out of the courtroom for the time being.

The 2019 class action lawsuit accusing Nintendo of knowingly selling defective Nintendo Switch controllers has been moved into arbitration, pushing the dispute between Nintendo and disgruntled customers out of the courtroom for the time being.

According to a Top Class Actions story spotted by the folks at ResetEra, the district judge presiding over the case agrees with Nintendo’s suggestion that purchasing a Nintendo Switch locks customers into a valid arbitration agreement with Nintendo.

Those behind the Joy-Con drift class action argued initially that California law invalidated any arbitration agreement, but the judge ultimately decided that the agreement is valid even under that law as it doesn’t prevent customers from seeking injunctive relief.

Despite siding with Nintendo on the arbitration request, the judge declined Nintendo’s request to have the entire case dismissed. Instead, the class-action is essentially on hold as both parties meet to settle the dispute outside of the courtroom. The result of those arbitration talks is to be returned to the court by December 31, 2020 or within 14 days of the conclusion of the whole process.

The entire dispute kicked off last summer when word of a seemingly widespread issue with the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con controllers came to light. The alleged defect causes joysticks on the Switch’s detatchable controllers to detect input when left untouched, an issue Switch owners say is encountered across both new, used, and even Nintendo-repaired Joy-Cons. The class action accused Nintendo of continuing to knowingly distributing defective controllers even after the defect had been brought to the company’s attention.

After the issue picked up steam that July, Nintendo reportedly moved to offer free Joy-Con repairs to those experiencing drift issues, though the gesture didn’t slow the class action suit, which itself was later expanded to cover the joysticks on the all-in-one Switch Lite handheld months later.

Latest Jobs

Cryptic Studios

Senior Producer

Anne Arundel Community College

Arnold, MD, USA
Instructor/Assistant Professor, Game Art

Night School Studio

Los Angeles, CA, USA
Level Designer / Scripter, Games Studio
More Jobs   


Explore the
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Job Board

Game Developer Newsletter


Explore the

Game Developer Job Board

Browse open positions across the game industry or recruit new talent for your studio

Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Follow us


Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more