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Teardown Video Exposes PS5 Controller Defect

A new teardown video has exposed the problem causing “joystick drift” in the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controllers, for which manufacturer Sony is staring down a class-action lawsuit.

Users have reported issues with drift in their controllers, which causes the console to respond as if the joystick is being pushed even when it is perfectly still; this causes characters and other items controlled by the joystick to move unprompted, impairing gameplay.

In a new video by global repair site iFixit, a DualSense controller is dismantled to reveal the source of the problem: what writer Kevin Purdy slams as “off-the-shelf joystick hardware with a long history of predictable, preventable issues”.

According to the video, the issue lies in the potentiometers in the joystick modules, which sense up/down and left/right movement. Manufactured by Japanese company Alps Alpine, which also supplied modules for the PS4 DualShock 4 controller; the Xbox One and Xbox One Elite controllers; and the Nintendo Switch Pro controller, the potentiometers are rated for 2,000,000 cycles – or just 4-7 months of gameplay, according to iFixit.

Sony has been hit with a class-action lawsuit over the drift issue, with plaintiffs saying it “significantly interferes with gameplay and thus compromises the DualSense Controller’s core functionality”; if successful, the lawsuit could see users compensated for repairs or provided with free replacements.

The issue of controller drift is not new or unique to Sony; Nintendo’s Switch console has been plagued by “Joy-Con drift” since its launch, which has also resulted in multiple lawsuits.

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