The consumer protection organisation Test Achats/Test-Aankoop has launched a campaign to collect evidence of a problem with gaming controllers for the Play Station 5 (PS5) platform.
According to initial reports, the controllers, which are used to direct the movements of players in the games, rapidly lose functionality and the images on-screen can no longer be controlled – a condition known to gamers as ‘controller drift’.
“It cannot be the intention that a controller breaks down after a short time,” said Simon November of Test Achats.
“We recently saw such premature obsolescence appear on the Nintendo Switch as well.” Then there was pressure on the manufacturer from consumer organisations worldwide to rectify defective manufacturing and to provide proper follow-up.”
The organisation is now calling on anyone who has experience the problem to report it on the website Trop Vite Usé (FR) or Te Rap Kapot (NL), to allow Test Achats to bundle all complaints and make a tighter case to the manufacturer, Sony.
As November mentioned, the approach has previously been successful, not only with a complaint against Nintendo, but also in other fields, including complaints of cancelled Ryanair flights.
The Nintendo matter arose last year, when users of the Joy-Con controllers for the Nintendo Switch found them suffering controller drift. Under pressure from a class action lawsuit in the US, Nintendo promised to make good the damages.
Meanwhile in Europe, nine consumer organisations including Test Achats started to gather complaints. In Belgium alone, the appeal harvested over 900 complaints from Switch users.
The PS5 only appeared on the market, in limited numbers, in November last year, and yet problems are already appearing. And now, while gathering complaints, and with the experience of Nintendo at their back, the European organisations have taken the initiative to write to Sony headquarters in London to demand information and action.
“For us, the drift problem is a prime example of premature obsolescence: manufacturers try to save as much money as possible during the production process, which results in a loss of quality in the device,” said spokesperson Julie Frère.
“The consumer renews their products more quickly and the mountain of waste grows. This must stop.”
The Brussels Times