The PS5s DualSense is a modern controller that suffers from drift issues, but iFixit’s disassembly reveals the cause of the frustrating problem.
iFixit has noticed that there are many factors that can contribute to DualSense drift. The main thing is that the potentiometer’s joystick module has an operating life of only 2 million cycles, which seems to mean that it will eventually fail, especially if you’re attending a long game session.
The potentiometer is manufactured by the Japanese company Alps Alpine and its operating life is stated on the spec sheet. Two million cycles may seem like a lot, but iFixit did the calculations and found that it was far from the case.
In fact, people who play games for two hours a day can begin to experience potentiometer failures within four to seven months, depending on the game they are playing. Obviously, it’s just an estimate, and potentiometers can fail before and after that window.
iFixit quickly pointed out that these modules are also not dedicated to DualSense. These are exactly the same as those used on the PS4s DualShock 4, Xbox One controller (including the $ 180 Xbox One Elite controller) and Nintendo Switch Pro controller.
Other factors that affect the approaching drift include plastic stretch and stress on the spring mechanism that help center the joystick, and common dirt and dirt that accumulates over time. According to iFixit, the amount of solder used to connect these components to the motherboard means that some serious soldering gear is needed to replace them.
In the months since its launch, there have been an increasing number of complaints related to DualSense drift. One Reddit user even claimed that the controller began to drift within 10 days of purchase.
Sony has promised to repair all broken controllers that are still under warranty, but not enough for some, and the company is facing a class action proceeding from a dissatisfied player.
iFixit argues that this is not the way it should be. This issue is due to the fact that game companies use cheap components that are difficult to replace, and if these components fail, the controller will be expensive to repair.
The site states that older controllers like the Sega Dreamcast and Nintendo 64 do not have similar issues. The former uses easily replaceable magnets and the latter uses optical sensors that appear to function correctly even after the analog stick itself begins to fail.
Eventually everything will fail, but there can be more clarity to delay the inevitable.
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