Categories: BusinessTechnology

French advocacy group accuses Nintendo of “planned obsolescence” over the Switch Console


Nintendo is in the hot waters once again as a French consumer advocacy group issued a “planned obsolescence” complaint about an issue with the Switch console’s controller, which the company has left hanging, the group claimed last Tuesday.

UFC-Que Choisir’s charge draws from a 2015 law that empowers France’s green economy goals through an established framework.

According to the law, any entity found guilty of marketing a product with a decreased lifespan with sentience is liable to face prison terms or fines up to five percent of such entity’s annual revenues.

Chained Complaints

The group’s most recent complaint follows its denouncement over the issue which it raised last November. It cites no less than 5000 individuals claiming an issue, aptly called the “Joy-Con Drift.”

Joy-Con drift is a term coined especially for the Nintendo Switch controller’s unresolved issue about ghost movement. An event that sees the controller taking false input, particularly a drift to a specification direction, despite the absence of human touch.

Part of the group’s denunciation of the case is also a class-action lawsuit in the United States, which was subsequently sent for arbitration in March.

In response to the aforementioned case, Nintendo France director offers free repair to controllers that acquired the defect. Even including those which are already beyond the warranty of their purchase.

Despite months following the debacle between the French group and Nintendo, the former claims that the issue remains unresolved. Coincidentally, it meant an ongoing deluge of complaints on a similar issue for the group.

Years-long Problem

The problem has not been recent, however. As the group itself claims, it has been a case that is aware of Nintendo for a few years. Pointing to the company’s failure to come up with an actual solution to the root issue ever since it all started.

“With the problem now known for the past three years, the Japanese firm must now commit itself to fixing the problem, instead of simply correcting it.”

The issue about the Joy-Con drift is not necessarily oblivious to the group, however. They are able to identify it based on two of its known faults. One, it claims, is the premature failure of the controller’s circuit boards. And two, is the controller’s inadequate seals that pave way for grime and sweat inside the hardware.

In the highlight of the complaint, Que Choisir points to the statistics of consumers experiencing the problem relative to their level of usage.

“65 percent of affected consumers say this problem occurred less than a year after purchase.”

“… even to people playing fewer than five hours a week.”

The complaint was filed by Halt Planned Obsolescence (HPO), which is keen on setting Nintendo for an example.

Image used courtesy of Nintendo Life/YouTube Screenshot

Jermaine D. Delos Santos

Published by
Jermaine D. Delos Santos

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