Microsoft has announced an extension of the warranty, from 90 days to 1 year, for the Xbox Wireless Elite Series 2 Controller.
The dreaded “controller drift”, wherein analogue sticks register input whilst in a neutral position, seems to be an all too common defect in this past generation’s controllers.
It’s continuing to prove a thorny issue for Nintendo as a fresh class-action lawsuit has been filed by a mother and her child over the issue in the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con controllers. According to US law firm CSK&D, Nintendo argues that drift “isn’t a real problem or hasn’t caused anyone any inconvenience”. This is in spite of repairs being made free and refunds being offered last year. In retrospect, even NOA president Doug Bowser’s apology addressing the matter failed to recognise any real systemic nature to the technical issue.
Microsoft is the latest to face its own class-action lawsuit, from plaintiff Donald McFadden. He took issue with customers having to pay to repair what is a “known fault” across various Xbox One controller models after the initial 90-day warranty is over.
What makes this all the thornier, however, is that one of the controllers in question is the Xbox Wireless Elite Series 2 Controller which has an MSRP of £159.99. Not the supposed quality of product you’d really want to have to pay to repair after just three months.
In an official support post on their site, Microsoft addressed, in its words, the “claims that a small percentage of our customers are experiencing mechanical issues” with their priciest controller by announcing the extension of the warranty from 90 days to 1 year from the date of purchase.
As with Nintendo’s customer service offering, Microsoft is also making this warranty retroactive, so refunds will be swiftly issued to anyone who had to fork out for their repair within a year.
As for other Xbox controllers which may suffer from the same issue, anyone outside of Europe might be fresh out of luck for the time being. EU law “stipulates that you must give the consumer a minimum 2-year guarantee (legal guarantee) as a protection against faulty goods” but such protections aren’t guaranteed outside the EU. (Ahem. The less said on that the better.)
It’s a drift towards the right thing, then. Perhaps, as is the impetus behind the new Nintendo lawsuit, tackling the design flaws head-on would be the best solution. Here’s hoping the coming generation’s controllers can keep on the straight and narrow.
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