Our colleagues at GameDaily BIZ spoke with Victor Viegas, CEO of force feedback patent holder Immersion, about Sony VP Kaz Hirai's recent comments on the PS3 controller's lack of rumble. Hirai told Kikizo in a taped interview, "If we have to come up with technology ... to isolate the vibration from the sensing, but if that means that the controllers are going to be so expensive, then we're doing the consumer a huge disservice by coming up with a controller that is not very affordable."
Viegas responded that his company "knew how to technically solve their problems" and they now "know how to do it without adding any incremental cost." He even cited a third party PS2 controller, the G-Pad Pro, that "incorporates both motion sensing and vibration and goes for the retail price of just $29.95." That's only $5 more than a Dual Shock.
We can't help but be shaken, rumbled even, by the irony of proclaiming cost sensitivity as the purported rationale for excising the controller's force feedback functionality when the console it will wirelessly communicate with has been criticized, by most everyone below the 35% tax bracket, for being extravagantly expensive. Note to Sony: We're pretty sure anyone ponying up $500-$600 for a PS3 would be more than willing to shell out an extra $5 for force feedback.
With Nintendo's rumbling, motion-sensing controller combo going for a princely $60, and Microsoft's rumbling, motion-free 360 gamepad going for a steep $50, how should Sony price their lightweight, rumble-free Sixaxis? They've already said it's got to be affordable.
Other peripheral pricing:
PS3: Dual Shake is dead, long live Sixaxis
Read - Hirai: No Rumble in PS3 Controller Due to Cost
Read - Immersion CEO: Rumble + Motion Not Cost Prohibitive