Microsoft Argues Xbox Drift Lawsuit Isn't Allowed, Should Go To Arbitration

Microsoft claims that simply using its controllers binds customers to an arbitration agreement, disallowing a class-action suit.


Microsoft has requested a class-action lawsuit over malfunctioning Xbox controller go to arbitration. In fact, the filing issued to a Washington court claims that Xbox users have already agreed to use arbitration through the Microsoft Services Agreement.

VGC reports that in the motion, Microsoft says users consent to its services agreement simply by using Xbox controllers and Xbox Live, and according to that agreement, such a class-action suit is not permitted.

"Plaintiffs repeatedly agreed not to bring a lawsuit like this in court," the company's filing states. "Instead, they assented to the Microsoft Services Agreement and to warranty agreements in which they promised they would arbitrate disputes on an individual basis using a consumer-friendly process before the American Arbitration Association. The Federal Arbitration Act requires enforcing these agreements."

Arbitration would require each dispute handled individually by an arbitrator, whereas a class-action suit combines several users' claims together into a single legal proceeding.

The lawsuit was originally filed in April, claiming Microsoft didn't disclose drift issues with Xbox One controllers, including the pricey Elite model. In October the suit was amended to include both the Elite Series 1 and 2 controllers. Each of these controllers are forward-compatible with the new Xbox Series X and Series S, though the suit has not yet amended the new controllers included with those systems.

This is similar to litigation faced by Nintendo, which has been facing ongoing complaints regarding drift in its Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers.

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