PS5: Sony sued over DualSense! After all, what causes the ‘drift’?

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DualSense

A few months have passed since the launch of the PlayStation 5, but a lawsuit against Sony is already underway for a joystick drift problem in the acclaimed DualSense. Sony is thus the latest victim of a malfunction that has been common in the controls of the latest consoles, regardless of the brand.

Several players have reported problems with the left analog stick, which cause the character of a game or the camera to move in an uncontrolled way without specific instructions from the user.

The problem reported here is known as “joystick drift,” and has already been detected in several commands from different companies. The most popular case will be the Joy Con on Nintendo Switch.

Fault may lie in the quality of DualSense components

DualSense
DualSense Joystick module. Image Credit: iFixit

The iFixit company recently dismantled the new PlayStation controller and came to some important conclusions.

Once again, it seems that the Japanese manufacturer, like its rivals, chose to use components from a company already known for placing products with serious defects on the market.

IFixit was able to isolate 4 main reasons that may contribute to the problem in this and other modern commands, but it also suggests potential solutions.

The 4 potential origins of the problem

DualSense
Detail of the DualSense potentiometer
  1. Sensor Wear: the first potential cause of drift is related to the wear of the potentiometers of the analog module. Continued movement can generate imperfections and alter the voltage readings at the terminals – similar to what happens with a scratched CD.
  2. Spring Fatigue: the springs are responsible for measuring the movements of the joystick based on a stable point. The mechanism can slowly stretch to create a new “neutral” position.
  3. Material Elongation: another factor to consider is the fact that the plastic present on the Joystick can stretch over time. The sudden movements can contribute to the mechanism being looser and less responsive, but it can also lock the mechanism in the wrong position.

  4. Dust, Moisture and Dirt: finally, we have a problem that has always existed, which is called contamination. The dust created by the movements of the analog accumulates and can prevent its correct functioning. Even the self-lubricating plastics used today are degrading and contributing to drift.

Obviously if the problem exists, you will have two chances. Either send the command to the guarantee and wait or try to resolve the drift by your own means, which is not advisable.

The ideal solution for drift on the PS5 controller

The ideal solution to this problem would be that console manufacturers should be more careful when choosing the components that will rest within their products.

The focus should not only be on design and functionality, but also on ensuring that end consumers are not harmed by attempts to save money in the manufacturing process.

Especially when it comes to equipment subject to as much wear and tear as a game controller there should be greater care in choosing the hardware.

In the end, the drift is always the fault of the companies’ headquarters for saving change and maximizing profits. After all, the controls are relatively inexpensive to manufacture, and are much more expensive to repair.

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