Skin of your teeth, white-knuckle and overly elaborate escapes can be made all the more engaging and memorable by the subtle rumbling of the controller in your hands. Of course, having just stolen a Dual Shock 2 from the lonely demo unit in your local games retailer, palpable excitement is something you have in droves, not to mention rampant kleptomania. The vibration emitted by most of today's controllers also adds an extra level of immersion to games like Silent Hill and Halo -- just ask Immersion, they named their company after the idea.
Don't ask Sony, however, since it's a touchy subject. Currently appealing against a court ruling in favor of Immersion's claims that they treaded upon specific patents when they created the Dual Shock controllers (like the one you stole), Sony has come under some fire for dropping rumble functionality from the PS3 controller entirely. An accusatory finger was pointed at the newly implemented motion sensing technology, a move interpreted by some as Sony being unwilling to hand licensing fees over to Immersion. Whether or not that's the case is still up for debate, though Immersion has now unveiled new technology which indicates, at the very least, that a rumbling Dual Shake may still find its way into hands (especially thieving ones).
The "TouchSense" technology for use in next-gen controllers promises added realism in addition to full compatibility with motion and tilt sensing devices. "Because the speed at which a user moves the controller is much slower than the frequencies generated by TouchSense technology, the two signals can be differentiated using filtering and other techniques." Their statement goes on to say that Immersion "offers engineering services to implement the technology within a particular console system."
Will Sony grab this opportunity, or let it slip through their fingers? Is it really that big of a deal?
[Via PS3 Fanboy]