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Sony defends loss of rumble

No second thoughts - Harrison

Sony's Phil Harrison says he has no regrets at all about not including rumble functionality in the PlayStation 3 SIXAXIS controller. But is he bothered about the overuse of capital letters?

"Not at all," he told Eurogamer's Rob Fahey recently, although to be fair he was talking about whether Sony has had any second thoughts about ditching rumble. "I think that the next generation interfaces that can be created built on SIXAXIS motion sensitivity give tremendous gameplay benefits that far outweigh a reactive vibration function.

"The vibration function is the game sending a single channel of feedback to the player - six axis of input puts the player in control in a much richer, deeper way. So, game design can go in much more interesting directions as a result of that than from receiving a single input from the game itself."

The obvious retort to which is surely Sony could just have included both? Immersion, which makes rumble and force feedback technology, has said they reckon it's pretty easy. "I think the caveat to that statement always has to be based on the fact that when we make a pad, we're making maybe 150, 200 million of them," Harrison explains. "So it has to be done at a price, and it has to be done at a volume that fits our production requirements. I think the decision that we’ve made to build in the SIXAXIS functionality, and Bluetooth wireless, and great battery life, and all the other functionality that comes with it, far outweighs the chatter that we’re getting on vibration. And, it's incredibly light! Just pick it up!"

For more of Rob's interview with Harrison, keep an eye on Sony's semi-official Three Speech blog, where it's being serialised over the coming weeks.