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iFixit investigation shows PS5 DualSense controller ‘stick drift’ kicks in after 400 hours

Sony has been catching some criticism over the PS5 ‘DualSense’ controller for a few weeks now, with some even participating in a class action lawsuit. In an investigation over the controller’s ‘stick drift’ issues, some experts pin the DualSense’s lifespan at around 417 hours before stick drift issues start to kick in. 

The folks at iFixit uploaded a teardown of the DualSense controller recently in an effort to find the root cause of these joystick drifting issues. During the teardown, the group found that the current revision of the DualSense could “easily exceed” its operating life in just over 400 hours of gaming.

The group also obtained an information sheet from manufacturer ALPS, who creates parts for Joysticks used by larger companies like Sony for building their gamepads. According to ALPS, the expected operation life cycle of the joysticks is 2 million cycles, followed by a 500,000 cycle life-span for centre-push function of the joystick.

The iFixit team argues that console manufacturers should be designing controllers to have easily replacable joysticks due to the relatively short life span offered for these parts: “After this research, it’s bizarre to us that console makers don’t consider joysticks to be consumable parts and design them to be easily replaced.”

Currently, Sony is facing at least one class-action lawsuit in the US over DualSense joystick drift. Nintendo is also facing several lawsuits over the same problem and recently, Microsoft has also been embroiled in a legal battle over the life-span of the Xbox One controller.

KitGuru Says: The last few years have made it clear that console makers like Sony, Nintendo and Xbox need to take more care when it comes to designing and choosing parts for their controllers. The lifespan of gamepads seems to be getting concerningly short and stick-drift is becoming more and more common across the board. 

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