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So, how much did Sony actually pay Immersion?

The whole Sony and Immersion battle royale (so to speak... no schoolchildren were killing each other to our knowledge) has ended. Rumble is most likely on its way. What'll happen to the old SIXAXES (plural... even though technically it doesn't work since it's an acronym, probably)? What'll happen to the old games that didn't have rumble built in originally? Whatever! That's not important. What we really want to know is what truly went down in the courthouse.

So, the whole rumble lawsuit (where Sony was found guilty of using Immersion's patented technology in the PS-One and PS2) ended with a final settlement of $150.3 million dollars. Not satisfied with the settlement, Sony went the extra mile and licensed Immersion's technology to $22.5 million dollars. That's a good chunk of change in total, but will it be worth it? We'll find out when we see how rumble and tilt will work together. It'll be neat to have the controller rumble if you're tilting the wrong way in a game like Warhawk -- if you're getting drag on the left wing or something, the left side of the controller rumbles as you tilt it that way. So many options. Thoughts?

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1. My only wish is that it's as strong as the 360 controller's rumble. The first time I picked one of those up, I thought I was having a stroke. The Dualshock's vibration function was WAY too weak. You stopped noticing it after 2 minutes of playing.

That being said, I kind of wonder if people don't end up with serious wrist injury due to the strength of the rumble in the 360 controller...

Posted at 11:43AM on Mar 6th 2007 by Stef Geiger

2. The combo of motion-sensing and rumble is a fantastic one, and I can't wait to see the new controllers with rumble included.

If you have played Wario Ware twisted on the GBA, you'll know how cool this can be. Using the rumble to give you a physical response to your tilting (tilt the controller to select a menu option and you can "feel" it as the cursor highlights it) is a VERY enjoyable experience that just feels right.

Plus, if nothing else, this should add some much-needed weight to the existing SIXAXIS.

Personally, I can't wait. The one feature that the PS3 lacked (and the other two consoles had) will finally be fixed. Huzzah!

Posted at 11:48AM on Mar 6th 2007 by Chris

3. A couple weeks ago Phil Harrison said that rumble was "last-gen" and then Sony licenses Immersion's technology the next week. There is something more here than meets the eye. I don't think the SIXAXIS is getting rumble but rather a much more exciting technology called Touch Sense. You can read about it here:

http://www.immersion.com/gaming/video_pc/next-gen/

With this technology rather than just a constant rumble you get real tactile feedback. When you shoot a gun you feel recoil in the controller and when you're out of ammo you just feel a click. When you swing a lightsaber you feel a humming sensation in your hands.

This sounds like an awesome technology and it definately ties in with Harrison's "last-gen" statement. After all, Immersion calls this technology "next-gen" rumble. I hope this is true because this sounds amazing!!!!!!!!!!

Posted at 12:00PM on Mar 6th 2007 by Harold

4. @ Harold -- Oooh, nice find Harold! You're a real sleuth. Kudos. Hopefully we do get something along those lines! It sounds like something I'd get pumped about.

Posted at 12:09PM on Mar 6th 2007 by ndoerr

5. Pretty funny you actually take what Phil Harrison says as a truth. He said rumble is last gen because they didn't have it in their system. Had they had it at launch, it wouldn't be last gen.

Posted at 12:17PM on Mar 6th 2007 by scott

6. i agree Harold. if sony just throws in standard rumble, they look kind of dumb for not having it to start with. if they add a much more advanced rumble like you mentioned, they look like they're moving a step ahead of everyone else

Posted at 12:19PM on Mar 6th 2007 by jay

7. I can't imagine old-fashioned rumble alone would be enough to motivate people to invest in new $50 controllers in a hurry. (Oh, I like the feather-weight controller; I'm a wimp.)

Posted at 12:20PM on Mar 6th 2007 by san

8. Wow. Alright, that does sound cool and makes a bit more sense... but it doesn't really seem like the technology is different. Sounds like they might use larger motors for the vibration and maybe a solenoid or two.

Posted at 12:23PM on Mar 6th 2007 by Stef Geiger

9. Thanks ndoerr, also notice what it says on the Immersion Touch Sense product page about tilt sensing:

"Motion Control and Tilt Sensing

Next-gen vibration can work alongside motion-control and tilt-sensing features. Because the speed at which a user can move or tilt the controller is much slower than the frequencies generated by vibration feedback, it's possible to differentiate these signals using filtering and other techniques."

Looks like it can definately work with the SIXAXIS!

Also they product page states that often this technology is more power efficient than conventional rumble so no worries about battery life.

Posted at 12:32PM on Mar 6th 2007 by Harold

10. "Pretty funny you actually take what Phil Harrison says as a truth. He said rumble is last gen because they didn't have it in their system. Had they had it at launch, it wouldn't be last gen."

Well he said that LESS THAN A WEEK before Immersion and Sony made their deal. IMO, that can only mean one of two things:

1. He was bluffing at the last minute hoping that Immersion would realize that they needed Sony more than Sony needed them and that Immersion would then accept a better deal.

2. He knew about the new technology and weanted it in Sony's hardware. Then when they release the new TOUCHAXIS or whatever they call it Sony can save face and say traditional rumble was last-gen but this is next-gen rumble!

Because I am pretty sure that in a lawsuit that went on for so long and was so drawn out that Sony and Immersion must have been working on an agreement for some time and it was probably finalized AT LEAST a week before the press release came out so that all the lawyers and PR people could look the agreement over I am pretty sure that option 1 isn't really a possibility. In fact, I am virtually certain that on the day Phil said that rumble was "last-gen" he MUST HAVE already known that an agreement between the two companies had been completed or would be completed in the next few days.

Posted at 12:43PM on Mar 6th 2007 by Harold

11. OH GOD! What would we do if they gave us rumble... but the new controller was the boomerang design????

I'd throw myself off a cliff.

Posted at 12:47PM on Mar 6th 2007 by Stef Geiger

12. I am a huge playstation person, but I always hated rumble. It never added anything to games, IMHO. In fact, some games, it was pretty much intrusive on gameplay, and nopt fun.
So to this, I say, Who cares about rumble. Such a useless feature.

Posted at 12:54PM on Mar 6th 2007 by bob

13. @Scott

I don't think that anyone actually believed what harrison said as most thought since sony paid up rumble would be coming. I think the person is saying that they HOPE harrison would be smart enough to keep with what he was saying and sony would provide the enhanced (next-gen) rumble. Any rumble is fun for me but what Harold linked to would be tight.

Posted at 1:07PM on Mar 6th 2007 by DirtDiver

14. "OH GOD! What would we do if they gave us rumble... but the new controller was the boomerang design????"

Actually, the boomerang design makes a lot more sense with motion control (I covered this forever ago - think steering wheel, and better grips). As the SIXAXIS stands right now, it sure doesn't make much sense since the grips are so small. Not to mention the boomerang design matches the wacko design of the PS3.

I'm glad this happened. The SIXAXIS controller stinks without rumble. Rumble won't interfere with motion control, because the motion control isn't sensitive enough to care. Played a Wii? It has both. And then there was that one PS1 controller that had both...it worked fine.

Funny how this is good Sony news...yet they ended up paying $173 million...oh well that's not our problem.

Posted at 1:27PM on Mar 6th 2007 by SuicideNinja

15. It would be a good idea for sony to 1up the competition by using immersions new haptic technology as opposed to traditional rumble. The only problem is that it may make rumble in old games not work, I dont know how big an issue that is.

Immersion last year talked about how their new tech is far more precise, capable of sharper staccato-like jolts like firing a gun, instead of the constant fuzzy buzz you get in current vibration techology. It can produce a wide variety of rumble, that would allow for even better immersive experience.

Imagine being able to feel the extremely subtle pit pat of walking on grass, versus the sharp thud of hitting a tennis ball with a racket. If the choose that over the run of the mill rumble, I will be a happy camper.

Posted at 1:28PM on Mar 6th 2007 by Brandon

16. Sometimes, if rumble is not used correctly, it can be annoying. (GRAW riding in a vehicle while getting mission info, constant rumble is VERY annoying) But, if used correctly, it does add a dimension to the game experience.

Example: When an explosion comes out of nowhere and there is a loud boom through the 5.1 surround sound with subwoofer and the controller gives a jolt, it sometimes makes me jump. It wouldn't give me the same effect without the jolt from the controller.

I tried the motion control on the SIXAXIS yesterday for the first time on the Motorstorm demo. Talk about Gimmicky!!! Rumble is MUCH better.

Does anyone else have issues with the size of the SUXASSES controller other than me? It's feels like it was made for a 10 year old's hands. It is very uncomfortable to use the triggers and the analog sticks are too close together.

Posted at 2:28PM on Mar 6th 2007 by Rob Holiday

17. well when the PS1 cam out originaly...NO ANALOG STICKS!
couple of months later...ANALOG STICKS!
'scuse the rant but the same happened with the original xbox controller (size shape etc)
jeez im just glad sony got it sorted...and this 'new gen' stuff sounds cool as you like mr gates ;)

Posted at 2:42PM on Mar 6th 2007 by seedaripper

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