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Why Can't Motion and Rumble Get Along? 113

Posted by Zonk
from the controller-fight dept.
LifesBlood writes to mention coverage on GameDaily of a contentious controller-related issue. Kaz Hirai, SCEA's president, is claiming there is no rumble in the SIXAXIS controller because of prohibitive cost issues. President of Immersion Corporation Victor Veigas, on the other hand, disagrees. As the company holding the haptic controller rumble patent, he says that the technology could be included for a very reasonable price. From his statements: "If you remember, the day after they announced they were going to take vibration out of their controller I said that we'd be happy to work with them to solve the technical problem, and our engineers in less than a day had come up with three solutions; one is filtering and the other is processing and neither one is incrementally an increase in the cost. Both are using software to filter out the different commands--tilt vs. vibration--so that both can work side by side, and neither solution will add an increase to the cost of the system... We knew how to technically solve their problems and now we know how to do it without adding any incremental cost."
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Why Can't Motion and Rumble Get Along?

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  • by 0x15e (961860) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @06:32PM (#16329055)
    Hirai says they're removing the technology the consumer doesn't really need so they can make it more affordable. That makes perfect sense in context, don't you think?
    • It would, but last reports showed Sony's controller costing $42 compared to Nintendo's $40 (not including the Nunchuck). This is technology defenders of Sony claim they patented years before the controller's debut, compared to Nintendo's very recent innovation, yet it costs $2 more?

      Are they removing it to make it more affordable or to make more money?
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I'm going to let you in on a little secret:

        The Wiimote costs a lot more to produce than the PS3 controller, because the Wiimote has more technology (3 Axis accelorometer, 3 axis gyroscope, 3d-position detection, IR/UV sensor, Rumble, Speaker, Wireless interface, Wired add-on interface, etc.) and Retailers have the same mark-up on both controllers; so yes Sony is cutting back features to increase their margin.

        The question is why did Sony drop the Rumble feature (which has some value in a gaming system) yet r
        • by Dev59 (953144)
          Why will nobody accept that Blu-Ray actually add something important to the system? And I don't mean as a movie player. There will be launch games for the PS3 that will already be larger than something you could fit on a dual-layer DVD-9 and it's just going to get worse as system life progresses. After developers are comfortable with both systems, the increased texture resolution alone will give the PS3 a graphical advantage while the storage capacity of DVDs continues to put a crimp on what the 360 can do.
          • Just look at the Game Cube from the passing generation. It has more powerful hardware (by far) than the PS2 and wasn't that far off from what the XBox was capable of... but multi-platform games consistantly looked worse AND lacked features because their proprietary disc format just didn't have the storage that was available on the PS2 and the XBox. Um... what? Have you ever done a side-by-side comparison? The Cube rarely lost to the PS2 in graphics, and with the XBox, it was often a toss-up. The disc als
            • by Dev59 (953144)
              The big multi-disc RPGs on the PS2 had multiple discs because of voice, actually. They mostly use the in-game engine now instead of pre-rendered stuff. Bethesda had to reduce texture resolution to fit Oblivion onto a single DVD with how much voice-work they had done.
              • IIRC the PS2 used up a lot of space for audio because it had problems with audio compression, for instance GTA:SA filled almost a whole DVD on the PS2 while the PC and Xbox versions were almost small enough to fit on a CD.
                • by Dev59 (953144)
                  I've never heard such a thing. Links?
                  • Well I don't have any links, I speak from experience. Having looked at and worked with the files on both Xbox and PS2 discs I can tell you that for cross platform games the audio files on the Xbox are but a fraction of the size of their PS2 counterparts.

                    I don't know WHY exactly but I've been told by more then one person that the PS2 uses a hardware solution for audio compression which limits devleopers to codecs supported by the hardware, which means the tech is only as good as what was availble back whe
            • Furthermore to add to this.

              Many multi-platform games were not developed for the cube, but ported over. So it wasn't optimized for the Gamecube.

              Look at the games that were optimized for the Gamecube, like Resident Evil 4. It destroyed what the PS2 could produce and rivaled what the XBox was producing. Heck, it won IGN's best graphics award for the year it was released.
          • The graphical weaknesses on some multi-format Cube games weren't because of the disc, but because of the fact that the GameCube was a little different in hardware design, and many developers were too lazy to optimize it. It had less RAM for example, but the discs could be accessed faster because of their size, and it used the the very potent 1T-SRAM.
            • by Dev59 (953144)
              I can generally accept this when it comes to Game Cube games. I was never knocking the hardware, outside of their media format. It was still an issue when it came to features though. I don't know if you can name a multi-format sports game that didn't have to have significant features cut so it could fit on the Game Cube disc.

              But the fact that the passing generation already had multi-disc DVD games while Microsoft sticks with the same format still seems like an issue to me. There's a very real reason they we
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                IIRC the only multi disc PS2 titles were on two single layer DVD5 discs because early PS2 units had problems reading information on the 2nd layer of DVD9s. I can't think of any multi disc Xbox 1 games... and actually there were only 3 Xbox 1 games that required the 2nd layer after you got rid of game demos/videos and other unnecessary crap. Jade Empire, Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, and Rally Sport Challange 2 all spilled over onto the 2nd layer. Jade empire and RSC2 only spilled over by less then a gig, a
                • by ZakuSage (874456)
                  Actually, Substance on PS2 is on a dual-layered in all regions [wikipedia.org], and many of the copies in North America came with The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2 [wikipedia.org], an interactive documentary for the game.

                  Additionally there are more then just a handful of multiple disc GameCube games. A full half the GCN games I own have 2 discs to them, and yes it is a royal pain to switch them. Additionally, many GCN games get away with only having one disc by not having any (or minimal) voice acting, or by removing the voice acting
        • I haven't seen any kind of dissection of the Wiimote, but I doubt it contains that much. At least the gyroscopes would be kind of difficult to implement, and not all that necessary with the CCD-chip that it uses to detect is position relative to the screen.
          • by Wdomburg (141264)
            They do include a 3-axis accelerometer (ST Electronics MEMS), a high resolution image sensor (PixArt Multi-Object Tracking engine), rumble, speaker, wireless, and add-on interface. Eight out of nine ain't bad. Parent didn't mention that there will be embedded memory as well.
    • "Doesn't really need"? I don't know about you, but I rather enjoy having rumble in my controllers. If I can choose between rumble + motion sensitivity and just motion sensitivity, I'll take the first option.

      Next, the cost issue. Considering that Nintendo was able to include full motion sensing PLUS rumble PLUS a speaker in a 40-dollar controller, I don't really see an excuse for Sony's lack of rumble. The controller costs about 40~50 dollars (5000 yen -> 42$, so probably more than that in America), so

  • Wrong question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chosen Reject (842143) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @06:34PM (#16329081)
    I think you mean why can't Sony get along with Immersion? Apparently rumble and motion can get a long fine. Doesn't the Wii have both? Even if it doesn't, Immersion seems to have solved that problem.
  • by no reason to be here (218628) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @06:37PM (#16329115) Homepage
    Wii be friends? Why can't Wii be friends? Why can't Wii be friends? Why can't Wii be friends?

    (With apologies to War)
    • This verse of course comes after buying the PS3.

      "I bring my money to the welfare line,
      I see you standing in it every time."

  • Bad sportsmanship (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jimmy_B (129296) <slashdotNO@SPAMjimrandomh.org> on Thursday October 05, 2006 @06:38PM (#16329129) Homepage
    Sony decides that including both a motion sensor and a motor would add too much to the cost of an already-too-expensive console, and rumble is out of style anyways. (You don't want rumble in a wireless controller because it's bad for battery life, and the current trend is towards wireless). So rumble is cut from the feature list.

    So Immersion Corporation, bitter that they didn't get the contract to design the PS3 controller and sensing an opportunity to gain press, responds by badmouthing Sony. Real professional.
    • More importantly maybe the cost that sony is cutting is the cost to pay immersion to use the patented technology.
    • (You don't want rumble in a wireless controller because it's bad for battery life, and the current trend is towards wireless). So rumble is cut from the feature list.

      I don't know, the Metroid rumble pack doesn't seem to do much to the life of my DS. And the battery is driving a display, backlight, wifi, and processors to boot. I'd have to say power is pretty much a non-issue for a missing rumble feature in the Sony controller.

      Not that I'll miss it.
    • by Trogre (513942)
      So Immersion Corporation, bitter that they didn't get the contract to design the PS3 controller and sensing an opportunity to gain press, responds by badmouthing Sony.

      Well they should fit right in here on /.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      "So Immersion Corporation, bitter that they didn't get the contract to design the PS3 controller and sensing an opportunity to gain press, responds by badmouthing Sony. Real professional."

      Bitter that they didn't get the contract, or bitter because Sony blamed their technology over reasons that were correctable?

      Sony should just have said "we wanted to keep costs down."
      • by _xeno_ (155264)

        Except that's blatantly false. Rumble costs what, a good $5-$10 in a controller? Maybe? Probably far less, the DualShock controller is $25.

        Blu-ray is pushing the cost of the console up a good $300. If they wanted to cut costs by removing something the consumer doesn't want, they could have cut Blu-ray. They didn't. They cut the rumble feature.

        Try saying with a straight face that the rumble feature was removed to benefit the customer. I don't buy it. It was removed to spite Immersion, and that's

    • Re:Bad sportsmanship (Score:4, Informative)

      by furiousgeorge (30912) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @08:25PM (#16330499)
      Lets be clear here:

      -Immersion owns some broad patents around rumble
      -Immersion sued Microsoft + Sony
      -****MICROSOFT SETTLED WITH IMMERSION, AND BOUGHT AN INTEREST IN THE COMPANY
      -Sony won't settle over the PS2 (still before the courts), and pulled it from the PS3

      This isn't news - it's propaganda from Immersion/MS to try to make Sony look bad. Even if Sony wanted to use it, Immersion/MS would probably make it prohibitively expensive. Sony can't win here, and MS is playing the press game perfectly. Zonk eats it up every time.
      • The government is reading your mind.
        Milk is a weapon designed to keep the population stupid.
        Flouride is really a mind control substance.
        Bigfoot lives.
        Area 51 exists and has UFOs and aliens inside.

        put away that tinfoil hat because this isn't a conspiracy, this is good business. Basically, Sony slammed Immersion by saying that their product isn't worth using, Immersion responds by calling Sony tight. Wouldn't you defend your product in a case like this? Last I heard Microsoft had ~15% share in Immersion whic
        • by tbannist (230135)
          Immersion is being used as a cat's paw by Microsoft to attack a competitor. I think Sony doesn't trust a company that's already in bed with Microsoft to the point where they settled a court case with the provision that Microsoft would pay them exactly the same amount as they got from Sony in a court case.

          I think Sony's executives are pissed and that the only reason they removed rumble.

          Of course, theoretically, couldn't a third party developer release a controller with a rumble feature? Or does the console
          • Unfortunately the third party controller would have to convince the developers of PS3 games to write the non-standard rumble feature into their games :( So I could see a game that requires it's own controller like a fishing game, steel battalion, or a racing game w/wheel, could possibly implement it but I wouldn't count on it being mainstream.

            I just think Sony's executives are batshit crazy.
        • Actually I am not pro Sony but many of you who probably have stayed in the console world, do not know how good Microsoft at smearcampaigns is. They even managed to pull one off before they had the fincancial backbone they currently have. Can anyone remember the OS/2 is half an operating system campaign they were running indirectly in 1990. Half the so called techn journalists tried to find reasons why the non existing preemptive multitasking an constantly crashing Windows 3.0 was better than Os/2. I can rem
    • You don't want rumble in a wireless controller because it's bad for battery life, and the current trend is towards wireless.

      The newly dubbed SIXAXIS can sense tilt functions, and can be plugged in for wired or wireless play. Sony is claiming up to 30 hours of battery life for wireless functionality, which is handled by the Bluetooth wireless standard. Source [gamepro.com]

      So, even if rumble HALVED the battery life, that'd still be 15 hours, which I think would be plenty. Plus, I believe the controllers can be plugged i
    • by Guppy06 (410832)
      "would add too much to the cost of an already-too-expensive console,"

      They should have thought of that when they put in the BluRay drive. I'd wager that it's a little more expensive than rumble motors.

      "and rumble is out of style anyways."

      It's in both of Sony's competitors.

      "You don't want rumble in a wireless controller because it's bad for battery life, and the current trend is towards wireless"

      Both of Sony's competitors have rumble and wireless in the same controller. Nintendo even has (more robust) motio
  • by nowayout99 (884320) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @06:42PM (#16329179)
    Immersion beat Sony in a rumble patent lawsuit. Sony then removed the rumble from the PS3 controller. Ever since, Immersion has been literally trolling the internet and anybody that'd listen to try to petition Sony to now LICENSE their rumble technology. This merely being the latest example. You got your money, Immersion. You could have settled but you didn't. Now please STFU.
    • IIRC, it was Microsoft who settled, not $ony. I'm fairly sure that the $ony case is still pending.
  • But I cannot stand rumble. Every controller I've ever owned I've turned it off. It's a feature that aggrivates me to no end. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that the lack of this feature will dissappoint, as I know a lot of gamers who prefer having the rumble feature. Though, I'm not sure just how many gamers are turned on by the thought of "tilting" to enhance a game, aside from my 55 year old father who seems to sway this way and that, hold the controller waaaaaaaaay out in front of him and s
    • Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that the lack of this feature will dissappoint, as I know a lot of gamers who prefer having the rumble feature.

      Gravis Eliminator Shock.

      Project64.

      Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.

      Epona.

      Numb hands.

      I don't know if the original N64 rumble pack was that powerful, but the one Gravis packed into that little beast was truly ferocious.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I don't move the controller around involuntarily, but I do dodge in my chair.

      Rumble is unfortunately a necessity for some games, which use it as an important feature. Luckily you'll be able to plug in a GC controller.

      • by Osty (16825)

        Rumble is unfortunately a necessity for some games, which use it as an important feature. Luckily you'll be able to plug in a GC controller.

        You'll be able to plug in a GC controller on your PS3? Wow! I didn't know Sony was that progressive!

        The WiiMote has rumble. The PS3 SIXAXIS controller does not. The Wii can plug in a GC controller that has rumble. No idea if the PS3 can plug in an old PS2 dual shock controller, though I doubt it will matter if games aren't written with rumble in mind.

        • by Kemanorel (127835)
          Damn... I was so about to say that. Many funny mod points should go your way.

          As far as mattering if the PS3 would be able to use PS2 controllers, I'm sure there are games for the PS2 where rumble is very much needed to notice something in the game. It would very much matter then.

          Not that I can think of any... I have yet to own a Sony system. After the rootkit issue, I was rather happy I hadn't given their games division much (if any) money. I don't think I've owned a Sony item since the Mavica.
          • by Dev59 (953144)
            There are games (such as The Warriors) which require rumble for some of their functions... but there will be an accessory for the PS3 that allows you to plug in PSX/PS2 contollers and memory cards so it won't be that much of an issue. In Japan it's going to retail for an ammount of yen that came out to $13 American so I imagine it'll retail for $20-25 here in the states. I'll be a sucker and buy one just so I can move the saves on my memory cards over to the PS3 hard drive. I'm running out of space on my me
        • by EvilFrog (559066)
          The funny part is that the GC Wireless controller (the Wavebird- the best controller I've ever owned, and the first Wireless controller that actually got it right) doesn't have Force Feedback either. And I've never cared. It's still a fantastic controller, and it not vibrating has never negatively affected my game-playing experience.
          • by Osty (16825)

            The funny part is that the GC Wireless controller (the Wavebird- the best controller I've ever owned, and the first Wireless controller that actually got it right) doesn't have Force Feedback either. And I've never cared. It's still a fantastic controller, and it not vibrating has never negatively affected my game-playing experience.

            The Wavebird was a good controller, but I did find myself longing for rumble while playing Metroid Prime (probably because I first played it with the wired controller before

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Well, I wasn't buying a PS3, and for some reason I thought the wiimote also lacked rumble. Personally I plan to disable it in any game that doesn't need it, blah blah blah. Anyway, you probably WILL be able to plug a GC controller into your PS3, with an adapter. There might be one already. I have one that lets you do the reverse in the current generation; it takes a PS2 controller and lets you plug it into Xbox, Gamecube, or PC (USB, but not standard HID-class unfortunately.) And ultimately, I wasn't payin

      • by Hes Nikke (237581)
        Rumble is unfortunately a necessity for some games, which use it as an important feature. Luckily you'll be able to plug in a GC controller.

        Wait, you can plug a Game Cube controller into the PS3?! or are you talking about the wii? in that case, the Wii controller DOES rumble (and has sound to boot!) - though the nuncuck atachment doesn't rumble.
      • by wolfing (1007041)
        I love rumble in my controller. When I saw in the settings menu of some games the option to turn it off I always thought "who would want to turn it off, it's awesome!" Now I see here a few people that don't like it, still beats me why, it gives you feedback, it incorporates an extra sensory dimension to the experience (audio-visual-tactile). Even if they somehow manage to include rumble in other 3rd party controllers, let's face it, most games will not be programmed to use it. Which is a shame. I could ca
  • Umm... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Isn't the guy saying there wouldn't be any extra cost the same one who wants to get paid royalties if they include it? How stupid does he think people are?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Do Immersion's patent royalties count as incremental cost? And how much would they happen to be, anyway?
    • by Dev59 (953144)
      I love how a pair of insightful comments get modded down because they point out flaws in the arguments of Sony's opposition.
  • Too bad Sony does do the same with the PS3 console itself and BluRay. I'm sure that'd save a lot more money than taking a $1 rumble motor out of their controllers. But I guess out of the love in their hearts for us, Sony has made BluRay a required piece of the PS3 and increased the price $200 while reducing the cost of the controllers $5. Thank you Sony, for having my best interests at heart.
    • by Nalanthi (599605)
      Just out of curiousity... when did we drop the idea that a next gen system could really benefit by the increased game storage space granted by a next gen drive? If memory serves me there were articles coming out around the time of the XBox360 launch that said that publishers were having touble fitting everything on a DVD. The 360 has made the mistake of including neither the player nor the hard drive as standard features so the majority of game developers will not be develop games to take advantage of eit
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Just out of curiousity... when did we drop the idea that a next gen system could really benefit by the increased game storage space granted by a next gen drive?

        Who is this "we"? Most DVD games don't take up a full DVD. Only a small handful of games could get significant benefit from being larger than a double-layer DVD, which is already a bunch of storage. It's not like you ever want to include uncompressed data - it takes longer to stream from the media, and the next-gen consoles have craploads of proc

      • by Osty (16825)

        If memory serves me there were articles coming out around the time of the XBox360 launch that said that publishers were having touble fitting everything on a DVD.

        The only developer that ever really said anything about that was Bethesda, and they ended up being able to fit all of Oblivion on a single DVD anyway.

        I'm not yet fully convinced that "next generation" games really need more than what a DVD can provide. Texture compression is well-known (and even free in some cases, depending on GPU and such),

    • by magicchex (898936)
      Then don't buy one! I, for one, am excited to buy a PS3 and have the BluRay drive. If you don't want it, nobody is holding a gun to your head to make you buy it. That's what I don't understand about everyones' bitching. You don't buy it, I do. We're both happy!
      • I was merely pointing out Sony's seemingly opposite views of a situation: in one case they put something BluRay into the console which inflates its cost and say "You will want to work harder to buy our console" and then they remove rumble from the controllers and say "We're doing this to save you money!" They can't have it both ways: either they want it to be a premium console that people are willing to dip into savings for or they want it to be cheap enough for the common man. So I was calling them out on
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by NemosomeN (670035)
      Quit being so short sighted. These are wireless controllers. You're going to lose them. Think four controllers, what are the odds you're not going to lose them at least ten times each? At $5 a pop, this could break you. $200 for a blueray drive you WON'T lose isn't so bad now, is it?

      </retard>
  • Good Grief (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BruceTheBruce (671080)
    I don't really care to hear about it every time the president of Immersion makes some pithy comment about how stupid Sony is for leaving the rumble out of the Playstation controller because he's missing the dumptruck loads of money it would have fetched him. Frankly, I've never been 'immersed' any further in a game because the controller shook in my hands, I've always disabled it, and on the slim chance I purchase a PS3 anytime soon I definitely won't miss it. That said, Sony has made some fantastically r
    • by tbannist (230135)
      I've seen this argument enough now, to decide that the people who make it are either stupid or deliberately stupid. We all know the blu-ray drive is an essential part of their greater strategy. It's a "core feature" so to speak, you can't cut core features from a product. Rumble is not a core feature. It's being cut for 2 reasons, one it would cost more to create and test the controller with rumble and they'd have to pay Immersion a royalty for each controller. Combine with the fact that Immersion is f
  • Sixaxis (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MeanderingMind (884641) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @06:53PM (#16329339) Homepage Journal
    There have been arguments concerning the "Sony just threw this together" controller stating that Sony had a patent for the tilting technology in the controller many, many years ago. The argument is that Sony couldn't have just copied Nintendo because they had the technology for the controller so long in advance and the functions of the two companies' controllers are vastly different.

    For a while, I was willing to accept that argument. I didn't agree with it, my own feeling from watching the Sony E3 conference being that Sony was trying to take some wind out of Nintendo's sails, but I didn't consider it worthwhile to argue against.

    However, the shenanigans involving the rumble feature suit and its sudden removal shortly thereafter, while circumstancial, only reinforce the perception that Sony's version of events isn't what they say it is.

    I'm not compelled to believe that Sony actually had planned the Sixaxis controller well in advance when it unnecessarily removed a previous key feature, and seemingly mimicked Nintendo's controller. It doesn't help that Sony waffled about what online service they'd have, giving the perception they were only doing it to be able to say, "We have internet gaming too" at Microsoft. It really doesn't help that after ridiculing Microsoft's two separate packages Sony did the same thing. They say they "Don't care" about Microsoft and Nintendo, but all of the circumstances and coincidences tell a different story.

    I'm not against the Sixaxis controller and I know a lot of people who dislike rumble anyway. What I am against is being treated like an idiot (regardless of whether I am or not), as most self-respecting people are. The whole deal feels like Sony is trying to pull a fast one, and that's a bad feeling. Were it just a couple of things that felt this way I wouldn't care so much. However, when everything that comes straight from the horse's mouth breathes of contempt for me and my intelligence, and only smells of greed for my dollars...

    I wish Sony well, I just wish they could do something to restore my faith that they're honest.
    • by Phil246 (803464)
      they could sell you a laptop battery and then tell everyone around you to run before it explodes i suppose?
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        oh man, t-shirt idea:

        "I'm a Sony employee. If you see me running try to keep up"
  • Cost/Benefit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by The Dalex (996138)
    Let's say it costs Sony $1 more per controller with rumble... that could be $100 million or more over the life of the console. How many sales will Sony lose by ignoring rumble altogether? I'd be very surprised if it was more than a dozen, or even one. Sony made the right move, even though it is probably for the wrong reasons.
    • by Grave (8234)
      Actually a lot of surveys have said that people are very upset by the lack of rumble. While the lack of rumble alone may not be a deal breaker for a lot of people, it is for many the straw that broke the camel's back.

      To be honest, I severely dislike the PS3 controller -- it's so lightweight without the rumble motors now that it feels awkward. The only positive is that the lower two L and R buttons are now triggers, just like the 360 controller.
    • by justchris (802302)
      And what about the PS4, Xbox 720 & Wii Too? We've got motion sensing, a speaker in the controller, and rumble. You don't think Nintendo, the masters of remodeling controllers, are just going to stop at that, do you? The next addition to controllers is most likely to be true haptic feedback, which is about 100x better than simple force feedback. And Immersion owns 90% of the patents to that technology. Perhaps Sony should be worrying about what it's going to cost them to get back into Immersion's go
    • Wii Too

      Wii Too? You mean Super Wii. But I digress.

      The "one dollar turns into a million or more" argument assumes that Sony will be footing the bill for rumble, which would mean that Sony is making a loss on each controller, which, in addition to the losses on the PS3, is financially asinine. If rumble was included,it would've been the consumer who paid for the feature. Just because Sony execs seem to have forgotten their business diplomas lately doesn't mean that they forgot how to make money.

  • You know it is just because they're bitter. It won't cost them much, it will work, and there are far more features that cost far more that they could cut out of the controller (like the Blu-ray drive I mentioned early that costs god knows how much to put in the console). Oh and to address people that are worried about battery life, you can always turn it off, that's a half assed excuse for a half assed controller.
    • by Kuroji (990107)
      Bitter? Consider how many controllers they're expecting to produce. Millions, if not tens of millions, because over the lifetime of the console you very well might end up selling any number of controllers to a console owner. If this were to add twenty-five cents to the cost of a controller, it would add up to millions of dollars in the total cost. It's easier to cut out a non-critical feature than to explain why the console the consumer won't buy for five hundred ninety nine US dollars is costing even more
  • Everyone's talking about the cost of reconciling the functions (which I assume mostly goes into labor). How do they actually propose to reconcile the functions, however? If I'm not mistaken, the rumbling caused by most mechanisms is designed to be difficult to predict precisely. So the only way to block it is to take down functionality completely for a second, or at least desensitize it. That's got to be annoying. Alternatively, the rumbling can be simplified, but that's not much better. Even beside t
    • by hibiki_r (649814)
      I don't know the details, but it's pretty obvious that it's doable. Nintendo, for one, has motion sensing and rumble working just fine in the Wii remote.
      • by KDR_11k (778916)
        Of course Nintendo hasn't said anything about automatically compensating for the rumble. Perhaps they want rumble to interfere with the controls and devs start using rumble to add aiming difficulties for the player when the character should have difficulties aiming (e.g. running or full-auto shooting) instead of simply adding a random spray to each bullet fired? Or maybe games simply don't expect you to move the controller that accurately? After all most people will shake enough when holding the controller
      • by apoc06 (853263)
        nintendo's remote can do both because they also have a sensor bar to gather directional information from. also, given that the remote is apt to losing focus every so often, perhaps that is a by product of the rumble tech? who knows?

        personally, i would rather not have rumble than deal with the sensor bar and calibration issues for each game. that said, in a perfect world i would want both.

        if immersion has such superb motion/ rumble technology, i am most certain that they will release their own version of the
    • IMO, you don't need to reconcile the 2 functions. If the controller is rumbling, its for a reason, right? Your character has been hit by a gunshot, your car has gone offroad (think Gran Turismo 4), etc. So, your actions will supposedly be affected by the in-game action. Plus, when the controller is vibrating, you're holding it. Thus it dampens the vibration, reducing the sensed jitter.

      Time for my Crappy Example(tm):
      You're driving in GT4, and put one wheel off the track. The controller rumbles a bit, and thi
  • Since when? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tpemble (941481)
    Since when has Sony cared about their products being too expensive? They've always seemed to have the attitude that they can put whatever price they want on something and it will still sell. Not that it's a bad thing, but this seems to go against previous decisions.

    Is it just a marketing ploy?
  • ... but it didn't 'make' the experience either. From the beginning of rumble with StarFox 64, to the more recent games, the best (IMHO) implementation of the rumble feature is in driving games, where riding over the bumps feels right (or maybe the earth-shaking commonly present in Final Fantasy games :P.) Otherwise you get a tactile sensation that coorelates to some action on the screen that is not proportional. You get shot, you feel a buzz. You die, the damn thing vibrates hard for 3 seconds. Most games a
  • Nintendo have put motion sensing and rumble into the Wii controller. They didn't seem to have any of the same issues as Sony did combining the two. Considering the cost of a Wii and a PS3, I hardly think cost was an issue. Sony took it out because they were sued by Immersion Corporation and didn't want to license it from them.
  • to license technology from a company that sued them over a patent as idiotic as a vibrating controller. Any dildo manufacturer could think of that. I'd be upset if they did license the technology, just as I am upset that Apple has licensed the use of Amazon.com's 1-click patent.

    I don't want Sony to feed the patent trolls.

    And by the way, filtering out vibrations at _known_ frequencies from motion data is also trivial and not deserving of a patent.
  • Software filtering seems like it might work, but it would have to screw with the precision. The cost of rumble doesn't just include the cost of fixing the problem but also the actual mechanisms that rumble, like a higher capacity battery, motors, and weights. I wouldn't doubt that a rumbling controller with similar battery life would cost twice as much to make. The SIXAXIS seems like the best controller for the next-gen consoles. The 360' controller is just boring and the rechargeable batteries cost extra.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by masklinn (823351)

      The WiiMote looks really neat, but it doesn't come with rechargeable batteries either and it will require line-of-site to get it's X,Y,Z positional info.

      Holy astroturfing batman!

      • The Wiimote requires LoS for absolute positioning, which the PS3 controller cannot do
      • The Wiimote also packs "six axis" accelerometers and gyroscopes, which means that it's fully as able as the PS3 controller when it doesn't use the Sensor Bar, and works over bluetooth only.
      • Fun thing is, the Nunchuck also packs "six axis" acc
      • by gabebear (251933)
        I'm guessing by "LoS" you mean "Location of Service", which is just another way of saying the Wii-Mote triangulates its X,Y,Z position in space via infra-red. While it's not confirmed I doubt the Wii-mote also has accelerometers for XYZ because they would get interference by the rumble feature (one of them would have to be anyway). Triangulating the position of the remote via an infra-red bar is one way to counter putting rumble in the remote, but it does have the drawback of needing to have line-of-site to
        • by masklinn (823351)

          I'm guessing by "LoS" you mean "Location of Service

          No, I mean "Line of Sight", as in "the wiimote has to "see" the console

          While it's not confirmed I doubt the Wii-mote also has accelerometers for XYZ

          It's been comfirmed since like the dawn of times that the wiimote packs accelerometers AND gyrometers AND an infrared pointing device. And had you used your brain for a second, you'd have realized that the Wii Tennis demos aren't even possible without accelerometers.

          And it's also been comfirmed that usin

  • Come on guys, are you seriously trying to bring up all these arguments about rumble working with motion sensitivity? Just because Sony said that is the reason does not mean it is. I can say with 99.9% accuracy that if Nintendo can do it than Sony can do it. Hell, why not do what they always do and just copy Nintendo? They ALREADY copied the motion sensitivity. :p
  • by nebbian (564148) on Friday October 06, 2006 @01:36AM (#16332993) Homepage Journal
    ...and our engineers in less than a day had come up with three solutions; one is filtering and the other is processing and neither one is incrementally an increase in the cost.
    (emphasis mine)

    Errr... 1 + 1 = 3 now?
  • "[...]our engineers in less than a day had come up with three solutions; one is filtering and the other is processing and neither one is incrementally an increase in the cost."

    There are three kinds of people in the world; those who can count and those who can't.
    • by smbarbour (893880)
      They just aren't telling you the third, and likely patented under the stupid patent scheme, solution...

      Not including rumble in the controller.

      Just wait 'til Immersion hits them with a patent on that!
  • Nobody ever talked about the price of controllers until the Nintendo announced the prices for the Wiimote and nunchuck. I think the interview was just an attempt to capitalize on this issue to justify the cost of the SIXAXIS. It really seems like Kaz Hirai is just trying to imply that Sony cares about cost to the consumer unlike the competition. It's a veiled backhand at the competition, distracts consumers from the cost of the PS3, and tries to build a sense of "we care about our customers".
    • Since I don't follow the PS3 or 360 news, I didn't realize how much their controllers cost. I was fairly irritated with Nintendo when the announced the $60 nun-chuck/wiimote, but that's nothing compared to the competition.
  • I might be wrong on this (and I probably am so feel free to call me out on it) but doesnt the Wii use some kind of sensors attached to the top of your TV screen to triangulate the position of the controller while the PS3 controller actually uses tilt sensors built into the controller itself. Perhaps this is why the Wii can get away with using rumble without interfearance.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by masklinn (823351)

      I might be wrong on this (and I probably am so feel free to call me out on it) but doesnt the Wii use some kind of sensors attached to the top of your TV screen to triangulate the position of the controller while the PS3 controller actually uses tilt sensors built into the controller itself.

      Not exactly.

      Nintendo's approach uses two flavours of movement detection: the first is accelerometers & gyroscopes, just what Sony uses on the PS3. The Wiimote has them, and the nunchuck also has them, which means

    • by KDR_11k (778916)
      The Wii controller uses both an IR sensor to spot the bar placed under the TV and accelerometers to spot its own movement (and of course rotation). The nunchuk attachment uses only the accellerometers.
  • Three solutions.. one is filtering and the other is processing.. .. that's TWO solutions.

    Also while the rumble filter would not cost anything, surely LICENSING IMMERSON CORP'S PATENT is pretty expensive in the first place. Easier not to have the technology at all than have to pay for it, and then pay for engineering time on all thr^H^Hwo solutions..

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