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Author Topic: PS3 Rumble.. For a Price  (Read 2898 times)
FyberOptic
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« on: May 19, 2006, 05:19:45 PM »

For anyone not up to date on the story, Immersion Corporation sued Sony a while back over use of "haptic" (rumble) technology in the DualShock controllers, used on both the original Playstation as well as PS2, claiming it was used without their permission (since Immersion owns the patent).  In the original case, Sony lost, and was ordered to pay $90 million to Immersion, as well as prevented them from selling games or devices which used such technology.  Well, Sony appealed the case, but nonetheless, they surprised people at E3 by announcing a new PS3 controller, which now included motion-sensing, but lacked rumble.   Even though fans weren't crazy about the original boomerang design, many think the lack of rumble is possibly worse, and a step backwards.

Sony of course claims that they dropped support for the rumble because it interfered with their motion-sensing feature, which might actually have some truth to it, since the motion technology for the PS3 controller is based on components inside the controller alone.  The Wiimote differs in the respect that a seperate device sits atop your television, detecting the physical position of the controller, which the rumble feature apparently isn't supposed to affect.  Most people don't buy this line from Sony however, and say the lack of rumble is all due to the original court case with Immersion.

Well apparently Immersion has had a change of heart as far as helping Sony goes.  They've offered to help Sony implement rumble technology into their new PS3 controller, as long as Sony agrees to drop their appeal of the original court case.  It might seem like a friendly gesture, which at some level it might be, but it would of course benefit Immersion quite a bit, considering the $90 million settlement rewarded at the initial trial.  Not to mention, they'd get a pretty penny in licensing fees from any technology provided for the PS3 controller itself.

While that's a lot of money to hand out, especially at this point in the development cycle (and when they've already slapped the motion-sensing on for developers to have to work with on such short notice), they may end up losing the appeal anyway, and by that time, not only have scorned their fans, but possibly made Immersion less willing to give them a hand on down the line.

The price of the console is already fairly extreme, and they've managed a lot of negative press over that and a handful of other things over the previous months, so it would probably be in Sony's best interest to swallow their pride and settle this case, and work with these people while the door's open.  Losing a popular feature doesn't seem like something they want to do as of late, especially when Microsoft already has a considerable lead on the next-generation market.


Original story picked up from Joystiq.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2006, 05:24:18 PM by FyberOptic » Logged
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