PS5 DualSense controller experts claim joysticks only have 417 hours of operating life — drift unpreventable

Repair experts have revealed the disappointingly low life cycle expectancy of PS5 DualSense controller, and it all comes down to an age-old joystick module. Unfortunately, it will be quite familiar to those who own other controllers, too.

According to a recent teardown on repair site iFixit, the PS5 DualSense Controller uses the same joystick components seen in a PS4 controller, Xbox Series X controller, Nintendo Switch Pro controller and even the very pricey Xbox One Elite controller. What’s worse, brands knew about the controller’s expected life cycle, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s not very long.

Torn down

The joystick hardware for the DualSense comes from Japanese company Alps, and taking a quick look at the product sheet of the joystick module — or, more specifically, the RKJXV series ThumbPointer — shows the operating life of the potentiometers (in layman’s terms, the sensors for the joysticks).

It revealed to be 2,000,000 cycles, which definitely sounds like more than enough, but iFixit broke down that number and put it in realistic terms. For those who play games that don’t require intense joystick action, rotating 80 times per minute, gamers will make 2,000,000 rotations in 417 hours. That is just 209 days, playing an average of 2 hours per day. 

The repair experts also did the math for more extensive use for gamers that play games such as Call of Duty, which came down to a life cycle of just 139 days at 2 hours per day. So, the joysticks were known to have a life expectancy of just less than a year. But the question is, how can stick drift happen more rapidly for some gamers and barely at all for others? 

One module fits all 

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