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The cost of Immersion: DualShake a possibility

Adams Briscoe

What is it about innovation that seems to bring out the worst in companies? When Sony began showing off its newest controller, cries from fans elsewhere claimed that they had copied Nintendo's motion-sensing technology. Back in the day, the PS2 had a similar situation that prompted litigation which Sony is still grappling with today. The idea was the rumbling technology, and Immersion said it was theirs.

Enter the Sony-Immersion headache. The latter took it to court in an effort to settle their rights on certain patents which claimed the controller tech. Long story short: Sony's been paying out a royalty every quarter in a deal which circumvents a $90 million settlement they would otherwise have to pay to Immersion. With a pending appeal against the settlement, many are saying Sony has dropped the rumbling technology from their latest PS3 controller due to the bad vibe between the companies.

But what should they do if along came a solution to the motion-sensing rumble conundrum? This is where TouchSense comes in. According to Immersion, they have the ability to make the PlayStation 3 controller shake, rattle and roll with force feedback, all the while retaining its sensing feature. However, there's still that icky $90 million thorn in their side. If Sony would cough up the cash, gamers could have their cake and eat it too. But they're saying it's too late and there's just not enough time to implement TouchSense. This, of course, contradicts Immersion's claim that it would only take a matter of weeks. Is force feedback worth the price? Would gamers even notice? These are questions that we're betting Sony is still trying to tackle.

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