Rumble back in PS3?

Sony and Immersion kiss and make up

What a long and ridiculous tale it%26rsquo;s been. When Sony announced at last year%26rsquo;s E3 that the PS3 Sixaxis controller wouldn%26rsquo;t be incorporating rumble, it seemed like a serious step backwards. SCEA President Kaz Hirai claimed that it simply wouldn%26rsquo;t work in conjunction with the motion-sensing feature of the (otherwise dandy) controller for a reasonable price, and that rumble really wasn%26rsquo;t part of the future of gaming.

Those of us who knew better quite easily chalked it up to Sony%26rsquo;s ongoing litigation with Immersion Corporation, who held the patent on vibration technology in controllers and were ordered to be paid $90 million by Sony in 2005. Even Immersion CEO Victor Viegas thought their reasoning behind its omission was suspect: %26ldquo;I%26rsquo;m very surprised and shocked because I don%26rsquo;t believe [that] to be the case.%26rdquo; Ouch.

Times change, thankfully, and we can now herald the coming of a new age of everyone rumblin%26rsquo; in harmony together. The lawsuit was settled last week, and Immersion and Sony have entered into a business partnership. Kaz Hirai has changed his tune a bit, and we couldn%26rsquo;t be happier: %26ldquo;We look forward to exploring with Immersion exciting new ways to bring the largest and best range of gameplay experiences to our customers. We are very excited about our new partnership with Immersion and the potential for new and innovative products incorporatingitstechnologies.%26rdquo; That%26rsquo;s the spirit Kaz!

So while that doesn%26rsquo;t necessarily mean that the Sixaxis will see rumble added back in%26hellip; oh who are we kidding, it probably does! Or at the very least, a vibrating PS3 peripheral ofsome sort. It might have taken a while, and potentially screwed over PS3 early adopters in the process, but gamers can only benefit from this new outcome when all is said and done.

March 5, 2007

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