Microsoft recently requested that a class-action lawsuit over Xbox controller drift go to arbitration instead, and a US judge has now granted that request.
VGC reports that Washington Judge Ricardo S. Martinez agreed with Microsoft’s assertion that the plaintiffs had agreed to the Microsoft Services Agreement, which requires arbitration for such disputes. Microsoft had requested arbitration on the basis that agreeing to its terms of service bound the plaintiffs to use arbitration, and that a class-action suit wasn’t even permitted.
“The avid Xbox gamers who bring this lawsuit repeatedly agreed with Microsoft to submit their disputes to a consumer-friendly, individual arbitration process,” the judge wrote. “The Court therefore should compel Plaintiffs to arbitration, where they can litigate their arguments as to scope, unconscionability, and disaffirmance.”
Judge Martinez rejected the plaintiffs’ arguments that would have undone the arbitration requirement, such as the fact that it appeared only online, since product guides enclosed in the controller boxes gave a summary of the arbitration terms.
The suit alleges that Microsoft was aware of the Xbox controller drifting issues and failed to disclose the problem to customers. It claims that many consumers have been complaining of the problem since 2014.
Microsoft does seem at least somewhat aware of the issue, as it extended the Elite 2 controller warranty to reassure a “small percentage” of users experiencing mechanical issues.
Nintendo has also been facing criticism over drift in its Joy-Con controllers, prompting the company to extend service to faulty controllers and an apology from Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa. Valve has also faced its own legal challenges over controllers, recently losing a suit over patent infringement.