Sony has been offered help introducing "rumble" technology to its PlayStation 3 controller by a very unusual source - the president of the company that sued it for using the technology in the first place.
In a press release shortly after its pre-E3 conference, the platform holder said the addition of tilt sensors to the PS3 controller meant it was impossible to implement rumble technology - something balked at by a number of commentators, and widely criticised following the show.
Speaking to Gamasutra, Immersion president Victor Viegas said he'd "offered them numerous solutions to the problem". "I don't believe it's a very difficult problem to solve, and Immersion has experts that would be happy to solve that problem for them."
For this to happen, however, Sony would have to drop its current appeal against the 2004 lawsuit that saw it told to pay approximately USD 90 million in damages to Immersion, which had alleged it made illegal use of its "haptic" (rumble) technologies.
Sony is currently appealing against an injunction that would prohibit it from making or selling PlayStation controllers featuring rumble technology. Microsoft, originally named in the same lawsuit, settled with Immersion for $26 million, also taking a 10 per cent stake in the company and becoming a licensee of its technology. Immersion has taken no action against Nintendo at this time.
"[Sony has] taken aggressive positions with the use of patents to try to invalidate our claims, and have argued that Immersion committed fraud," Viegas told Gamasutra. "There's been quite a lot of legal activity and a lot of unnecessary energy expended over this."
Viegas feels that the removal of rumble from PlayStation 3 is a backwards step for Sony, telling Gamasutra, "to take vibration out of a driving game or a first person shooting game, I can't imagine how people will be able to view that as an advancement in gaming".
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