Update: February 4
Western District of Washington Judge Ricardo S. Martinez has approved the request from Microsoft to take the lawsuit out of the courtroom.
This is on the basis that plaintiffs agreed to Microsoft's Services Agreement which requires disputes be solved by an impartial adjudicator.
“The avid Xbox gamers who bring this lawsuit repeatedly agreed with Microsoft to submit their disputes to a consumer-friendly, individual arbitration process,” according to court documents (thanks, VGC).
"The Court therefore should compel Plaintiffs to arbitration, where they can litigate their arguments as to scope, unconscionability, and disaffirmance.”
Update: January 14
Plaintiffs have suggested that the Microsoft Services Agreement should not mean they forgo their right to bring the case to court.
“Instead of publicly engaging on the merits of [our] allegations that [it] knowingly sold defective Xbox controllers, Microsoft seeks to have consumers’ claims compelled to confidential arbitration proceedings,” a statement reads.
Referring to the Services Agreement, it says “Xbox hardware accessories, like controllers, are not mentioned in the agreement. Because this dispute involves a defect in the controllers rather than claims relating to the live services covered under the click-through agreement, that agreement does not apply in any event.”
Drawing parallels between the case and a similar Samsung case in 2017, plaintiffs have noted that the included warranty pamphlet "gives no indication that it contains any information limiting the consumer’s rights.”
Original Story Follows
Microsoft has requested that a class-action lawsuit filed last year be taken out of the courtroom.
The lawsuit, based around controller drift on various Xbox One controllers, suggests an inherent design flaw with the pads which Microsoft failed to disclose.
Microsoft has now responded via the Washington Court. The company has requested to compel arbitration, suggesting the plaintiff's right to "bring a lawsuit like this" should be covered by the Services Agreement agreed to when the controllers were purchased.
Microsoft Responds To Xbox Controller Drift Lawsuit, Compels Arbitration
Arbitration would give the case to an impartial adjudicator, but Microsoft's argument stems from plaintiffs using the controller and Xbox Live services.
The alleged issue is due to a buildup of a grease-like substance within the pad which builds up and imitates controller movement.
“Plaintiffs repeatedly agreed not to bring a lawsuit like this in court,” Microsoft notes in the latest documentation.
“Instead, they assented to the Microsoft Services Agreement (‘MSA’) 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 (“AAA”). The Federal Arbitration Act requires enforcing these agreements.”
While there is currently no precedent, a Nintendo-focused class-action lawsuit is currently in arbitration for, you guessed it, Joy-Con drift.
This could help inform the outcome of Microsoft's own case.
In other Microsoft news, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer recently discussed the challenges faced in bringing the console to market during a global pandemic.
Speaking on the Major Nelson podcast, Spencer noted “It’s really just down to physics and engineering. We’re not holding them back. We’re building them as fast as we can. We have all the assembly lines going. I was on the phone last week with Lisa Su at AMD, ‘how do we get more?’"
"So it’s something that we’re constantly working on. But it’s not just us: gaming has really come into its own in 2020"