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Wednesday, May 22, 2024 | Back issues
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Class ‘Disturbed’ by Defective GamePad for Wii

(CN) - Nintendo's new Wii U game controller rattles noisily in use, distracting consumers from their video games, a class claims in Federal Court.

Click here to read Courthouse News' Entertainment Law Digest.

Lead plaintiff Joubin Rahimi claims that the GamePad controller for the Wii U has a manufacturing or design defect that causes it to "rattle" noisily, "thereby impeding the gaming experience."

Nintendo of America released the Wii U, the latest update to its movement-sensing system, in November 2012. A basic system costs approximately $300, and the deluxe costs $350, according to the complaint in the Northern District of California.

The Wii, predecessor to this version, sold more than 97 million units as of 2012, according to the complaint.

A GamePad controller is the big selling point for the Wii U, Rahimi says. It comes with a built-in, 6.2-inch touch screen, motion sensor, "rumble" feature, two analog thumb sticks and two back-side triggers, according to the complaint.

Rahimi says he exchanged his Wii U at Best Buy three times, but each time the controller exhibited the "same disturbing rattling." He also says other Nintendo consumers have complained about the same problem on Internet message boards.

The Kyoto, Japan-based Nintendo knows of the problem, but has not disclosed it to unsuspecting consumers, and it refuses to make changes, according to the complaint.

Nintendo customer service center is likewise unhelpful, Rahimi claims.

"Rather than solving the actual cause of the problem, Nintendo merely advised Rahimi that if he held down all the buttons of the GamePad controller at the same time (an abnormal action to take while using the video game controller) the rattling would be diminished," the complaint states (parentheses in original).

The class seeks an injunction and damages for breach of warranty and violations of California's Consumer Civil Remedies Act, California's Unfair Competition Law and the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Nintendo is the largest video game manufacturer in the world, based on revenue, according to the complaint. It allegedly sold roughly 637 million video game hardware units and more than 4 billion software units as of September 2012.

Roy Katriel, of San Diego, represents Rahimi.

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