Microsoft acknowledges unresponsiveness problem in new Xbox controllers, is working on fix

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In brief: We’ve heard a lot about the PlayStation 5 DualSense drift issues recently, but it seems Sony isn’t the only company with problematic controllers. While not drifting, Microsoft’s new Xbox Wireless Controller is failing to register button presses for some people, a problem that’s present on both the Xbox consoles and PC. The Redmond firm has acknowledged the issue and is working on a fix.

Drifting has been a blight on controllers for years. The most famous sufferer is Nintendo’s JoyCons, though Microsoft’s previous Xbox One controllers, including the $180 Elite Controller, experience the same problem.

Last month brought reports of some PS5 DualSense units experiencing drift, leading to Sony facing a class-action lawsuit over the matter. Nintendo and Microsoft are also dealing with class actions over their controllers.

As reported by The Loadout, the new Xbox Wireless controller that arrived alongside the Xbox Series X/S occasionally fails to register button presses. A user called SK Lee bought one of the controllers as an upgrade from their Logitech F310 but found the Y button often doesn’t work, which is particularly annoying for someone who mostly plays FIFA.

“The controller consistently failed me several times in a 15-minute game,” said SK Lee, who notes that the A and X buttons also occasionally fail, though not as often as the Y button. They’ve now gone back to their Logitech controller.

Microsoft said it is aware of the situation and is working on a solution, though we don’t know when it might arrive or what it might entail. “At Microsoft, we put all of our products through rigorous quality assurance testing and are committed to providing customers with an unparalleled gaming experience,” the company said. “We are aware some players may be experiencing unresponsiveness with their new Xbox Wireless Controllers and our teams are actively working on a solution. For the best experience, we encourage customers to visit Xbox Support for assistance.”

A recent teardown of the DualSense controller showed part of the problem is that Sony, along with other companies, use components with low durability as a “wilful cost-saving calculation on the consoles makers’ part,” according to iFixit.

The usual disclaimer is that not all new Xbox Wireless Controllers are experiencing the problem; this writer’s is working fine after a few months of use. But it’s disappointing to see so many reported issues with the new devices, especially when they cost $60 and more.

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