The complaint describes the PS5 DualSense controller as “defective”, as it contains “an error that results in characters or gameplay moving on the screen without user command or manual operation of the joystick”, popularly known as controller operation. In addition, the complaint alleges that Sony “at all relevant times” has been aware of operational issues, “through online consumer complaints, consumer complaints directly to it and through its own pre-release test.”
The suit also claims that Sony’s options for controller repair are too limited: “When consumers experience Drift Defect, the options for repair are slim. It is said that Sony PlayStation’s dedicated portal for problems with PS5 hardware – including the DualSense Controller – lags behind. redirect consumers to contact a customer service agent via the PlayStation Support contact page. Customers experience long waits and have to deal with a maze of pre-recorded phone calls before finally talking to a DualSense Controller Operations Repair Agent. “
The case seeks a jury trial and “monetary exemption from damages, declared relief and public injunction.” The documents point to the counter of breach of excess warranty, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, unfair enrichment and violations of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.
The Virginia-based plaintiff, Lmarc Turner, reportedly bought their PS5 on or about February 5, 2021, and found that it was out of service the same day. Turner apparently then contacted Sony customer service and was told to reset the game and console, but offered no further help. The issue was not resolved, Turner then purchased another DualSense. “Had the plaintiff been aware of the operating defect before purchasing his PS5,” the documents add, “otherwise he would not have purchased the PS5 or would have paid significantly less for it.”
An interesting extra detail: Turner admits to having accepted Sony’s terms and conditions during the set-up of the PS5, but allegedly sent a letter to Sony expressing an intention to opt out of “any disputes with Sony through individual arbitration.” A separate CSK & D class case against Nintendo regarding controller operation was recently forced into arbitration before the courts. A similar move may not be possible in this case, making it more likely to reach the requested jury trial.Apart from Turner’s report, the documents show a number of examples of comments from social media regarding PS5 operation, where players complain about operation out of the box or within a few days of use. CSK & D also points to reports of operation on PS4’s Dualshock 4 controllers – given that the pins within both controller models are the same, CSK & D adds it to its proof of Sony’s prior knowledge of the problem.
The suit says there is “no indication” that Sony has developed a DualSense operating solution: “Rather, it appears to be simply doing some sort of minor overhaul and sending the DualSense controller back to consumers who are still defective. and susceptible to manifestation of Operational Errors in the future. “
The case calls for relief in the form of an order to stop Sony’s “illegal, misleading, fraudulent and unfair business practices”, the creation of a recall program or free replacement program for DualSense controllers, compensation damages and more.
IGN has contacted Sony for comment on the lawsuit.
Operation has become an increasingly hot topic in recent years. We have done this before called operation of Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers a “disaster” for the company, and Nintendo is now faces official controls and litigation worldwide, including one study by the European Commission.
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