For years now, we’ve been hearing Nintendo Switch owners register complaints about thumbstick drift on their Joy-Con controllers, and now it seems like PlayStation 5 owners will be joining them. The PlayStation 5 is only a few months old but there are already reports of thumbstick drift making the rounds, suggesting that PS5 buyers could be in for the same frustrations as Switch owners.
Kotaku has collected a few examples of users reporting DualSense drift, linking to several Reddit posts that show video of the drift in action, and another Reddit post where a user reports experiencing drift just 10 days after getting their console. The worry, of course, is that as time goes on and these controllers age, the incidence of thumbstick drift will only go up.
For now, it seems to soon to say if this is just a defect in some controllers or if its an indication of a larger problem, but what happens if you do encounter a DualSense controller with drifting issues? At the moment, you should prepare for a long wait to get in touch with PlayStation support, as Kotaku reports that Sony’s customer service lines are currently inundated with people looking for a PlayStation 5. After getting in touch with a customer service rep, Kotaku says that it was told drift is covered under warranty, though users will have to pay to ship their controller to Sony for repairs (return shipping is apparently covered).
All in all, this isn’t a particularly great sign for the DualSense, which is an otherwise incredible controller. It seems that modern controllers in general have some kind of issue with thumbstick drift, as it was reported in the Xbox One controller, DualShock 4, and other gamepads from even further back in time.
It could be that thumbstick drift is a problem that’s just here to stay to some extent, but that’s not going to be a comforting thought to those who are currently experiencing it in brand new DualSense controllers or have experienced it in the past with others. We’ll see if more reports of DualSense drift surface in the future, so stay tuned for more.