It looks like the PS5’s DualSense is the latest gaming controller facing the irritating problem of drift, where controllers register joystick movement without the player touching them. While it’s unclear how widespread the problem is, gamers looking to get defective controllers fixed are being faced with long wait times and extra shipping charges..
As reported by Kotaku, gamers are starting to post stories and videos online of their controllers drifting, as well as anecdotes about their experiences trying to get them fixed or replaced through Sony. The GameFAQs forum shows at least 9 different threads by users experiencing drift in their brand new PS5 controllers.
“The controller I had packaged with my PS5 had drift only a week in (I got it at launch) and it definitely was not wear and tear since I probably put in less than 10 hours at that point,” user Lionhartwolf explained in one thread. They also detailed their experiences with Sony as far as getting the defective controller fixed.
“They said they would send me a box so I could send it in. I’ve been waiting just under 2 weeks though and still nothing,” the post reads. “Once concerning factor I saw was with the shipping instructions though. Despite the [customer service] guy saying they will pay for shipping the email says I am responsible.”
A customer service worker contacted by Kotaku also confirmed that controller drift is covered by warranty, and explained that the customer was responsible for paying shipping to a Sony repair center, while Sony would pay for the shipping back to the customer once repaired.
Controller drift is probably most infamously associated with the Nintendo Switch and its Joy-Cons, with the debacle forcing an apology from Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa. Nintendo has offered free repairs for Joy-Con drift since 2019.
Microsoft has also been the target of a class action lawsuit over drift in Xbox controllers, which alleges that Microsoft was aware of controller drift problems and failed to tell customers about it. A judge recently granted Microsoft’s request to take that case to arbitration.
With the PS5 only newly released, and still suffering from stock shortages, it’s unknown whether drift problems will end up as widespread as Nintendo’s, or whether the cases will remain few and far between.