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Print 33 comment(s) - last by Alexstarfire.. on Aug 8 at 12:30 PM

New PlayStation 3 controller prototype is in developers' hands

One feature that is sorely missing from the PlayStation 3 SIXAXIS controller is rumble force feedback – something that is available on both the Xbox 360 and Wii controllers.

The missing feature is largely due to Sony’s legal battle with Immersion over the patent rights to force feedback controllers. Immersion eventually won over the courts, forcing Sony to ditch vibration from its SIXAXIS PS3 controllers.

#verything changed when Sony and Immersion settled their legal differences and entered into a licensing agreement that would allow the use of force feedback technology in Sony controller products. Following the announcement between the two companies, SCEA’s Jack Tretton said in an interview that the company was open to changing the SIXAXIS controller.

Reports during June from Sony sources said that the company has been working on new controller prototypes for several months. A recent update from Inner Bits now indicates that prototypes of the new controller have made their way to various game developers. Furthermore, the report also states that a new hardware revision of the controller – with improved motion sensing – has quietly hit the market, replacing the first generation model.

A Sony representative refused to confirm the status of rumbling controllers, but did say that new controller prototypes were sent out to the development community. "We have not added rumble [to PS3], and have no announcements regarding this feature," said SCEA’s Dave Karraker to GamePro.

"From time to time, we make minor enhancements to the controllers for our platforms," he said. "We recently sent out to the development community some new prototypes that have a slightly enhanced sensitivity for the analog sticks and the motion sensing within the Sixaxis controller. This is not a new controller, but is part of the normal development and evolution of controllers."



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Have to wonder
By FITCamaro on 8/7/2007 10:15:45 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure Sony would love to add rumble to its controllers but considering they themselves have called rumble "last gen", they probably won't. We all know the reason they didn't add it. They still won't admit it though.

But now that they can its either admit they were wrong or continue to leave it out.

If they do ever add it, it'll be interesting to see how they swing it. And probably extremely funny.




RE: Have to wonder
By Vanilla Thunder on 8/7/2007 10:27:38 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
I'm sure Sony would love to add rumble to its controllers but considering they themselves have called rumble "last gen", they probably won't.


It will happen. And they will credit it to something like "overwhelming consumer demand" and try to play it off
like they're doing us a favor.

Vanilla


RE: Have to wonder
By HVAC on 8/7/2007 12:36:02 PM , Rating: 2
It's last gen to them because if you are a certain type of company and lose in court, you just take the war to the street.

You play nice-nice with the people who just humped you in front of the judge, string them along with promises, use their engineering resources, and then leave them at the altar by designing their stuff into your product, but not installing it on the production line. You pay no royalties to them and when their patent runs out, the next day your product has that feature.

If that doesn't work then it's time for the corporate ninjas...

disclaimer: this is a work of satire ... really it is ... really ....


RE: Have to wonder
By anonymo on 8/7/2007 10:44:11 AM , Rating: 2
maybe I am missing something but wouldn't rumble completely throw off the gyros?


RE: Have to wonder
By therealnickdanger on 8/7/2007 10:47:37 AM , Rating: 2
That would certainly be a convenient excuse for Sony's PR dept.


RE: Have to wonder
By EarthsDM on 8/7/2007 11:15:04 AM , Rating: 4
1) There are no gyros in the SIXAXIS
2) Nintendo's Wii controllers have rumble and motion sensing.

I don't understand why people can't figure this out. Microsoft paid Immersion $25 million just to not let Sony use their rumble patents. DailyTech had a story recently on how, now that Sony has licensed Immersion's tech, Microsoft wants its money back. It's not a conspiracy theory, IT'S IN THEIR CONTRACT. I can't fathom how that's legal, or why Sony didn't bring it to the courts.

I know that people are confused that Sony said 'rumble is last gen' but that's just part of Sonys long and rich tradition of saying random, untrue crap, even when the truth would help them more.


RE: Have to wonder
By Goty on 8/7/2007 11:47:20 AM , Rating: 2
1) *Not mechanical gyros, anyways
2) The Wii has rumble and motion sensing because the motion sensing uses IR, unlike Sony's controller.


RE: Have to wonder
By GreenEnvt on 8/7/2007 1:16:01 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong,
The Wii's remote only used infrared for pointing at things on screen. Motion sensing is all done via hardware in the remote itself.
Nintendo got around having both rumble and motion sensing in the same package.


RE: Have to wonder
By NuroMancer on 8/7/2007 12:25:40 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe I'm wrong, but the last time I checked, paying for an exclusive isn't illegal or actionable.


RE: Have to wonder
By FITCamaro on 8/7/2007 1:05:33 PM , Rating: 1
Microsoft did not pay Immersion to not let Sony use their patents.

They settled with Immersion for a certain amount. In the contract for the settlement though, they stated that if Immersion settled with Sony, Immersion would have to pay Microsoft an amount to be determined by the settlement amount.

The only thing that did was give Immersion reason not to settle with Sony. But they did. So now Microsoft wants the contract upheld. They are not wanting their money back. They're wanting Immersion to uphold their end of the bargain.

They didn't pay for an exclusive. If that were the case, Nintendo wouldn't have it either.


RE: Have to wonder
By FITCamaro on 8/7/2007 1:07:16 PM , Rating: 1
And if you think for a second Sony wouldn't have made the same agreement, you need to get a clue.


RE: Have to wonder
By Chiisuchianu on 8/7/2007 1:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
Rumble is last gen and Sony will stick by this statement because Sony's new controller will have next gen "rumble" technology and not just 'vibration' like current gen rumble technology.


Same old sony
By GhandiInstinct on 8/7/2007 10:15:29 AM , Rating: 1
Denying everything a week before they know they'll admit to it.




RE: Same old sony
By Alexstarfire on 8/7/2007 12:01:08 PM , Rating: 1
It's Sony, what more can you say?

It's only a matter of time before they exit the console business, if they keep following their current path. If they mess up the next console like this one idk what'll happen.


RE: Same old sony
By crazyblackman on 8/7/07, Rating: -1
RE: Same old sony
By drebo on 8/7/2007 2:56:18 PM , Rating: 2
I very much hope this is sarcasm.

Being out-sold more than 3-to-1 is some way to own the console business...yessiree!


RE: Same old sony
By Kamasutra on 8/7/2007 3:27:28 PM , Rating: 2
He said Sony, so wouldn't you add sales of PS2 and PS3? I'm quite sure that ratio is incorrect.


RE: Same old sony
By Timeless on 8/7/2007 4:12:28 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget the PSX as well.


RE: Same old sony
By Alexstarfire on 8/7/2007 9:15:59 PM , Rating: 2
Well hell, if you are considering all the consoles of each company then lets list them all.

Sony has:
PS3 (4 million sold according to nexgenwars.com)
PS2 (120 million sold)
PSX (100.49 million sold)
PSP (14.9 million sold)
total of 239.39 units sold

Nintendo has:
NES (60 million sold)
SNES (49 million sold)
N64 (32.93 million sold)
GameCube (21.63 million sold)
Wii (9.47 million sold according to nexgenwars.com)
Gameboy (70 million sold)
Gameboy Color (50 million sold)
Gameboy Advanced (80.02 million sold)
Nintendo DS (40 million sold)
total of 413.05 million units sold

I think that says it all, nearly a 2:1 lead. PS and PS2 have the most by far, but that's it. 1-2 big sellers doesn't mean you own a market. Nintendo has been around longer, but even taking out the NES and SNES and original Gameboy leaves Nintendo in the lead. I was only considering the new ones since that's all that really matters, but hey, you wanted to add the PS2 to the PS3 sales.


RE: Same old sony
By Kamasutra on 8/7/2007 10:47:34 PM , Rating: 3
Way to completely misinterpret the matter. The discussion was about current sales, not overall sales. Also, it didn't appear to include handhelds. The PS2 is still selling strong while Xbox and GameCube sales are pretty much nonexistent. Do you seriously think a division is judged how well it's doing by how many of a product was sold several years ago?


RE: Same old sony
By Alexstarfire on 8/8/2007 12:30:44 PM , Rating: 2
Well, that takes out a lot of the home console sales for Nintendo, but still leaves the Wii, DS, Gameboy Advanced, and I believe Gameboy Color as well that are still selling. The PS2 may still be a strong seller, but the PS3 and PSP sure as hell aren't. The current monthly Wii and DS sales combined are more than all of Sony's monthly console sales for all it's consoles.

Also, by several years ago do you mean 2000 when the PS2 was first released or what? Cause if it's farther back then that then you are getting the N64 and all the gameboys.


Rumble is useless feature anyway
By aos007 on 8/7/2007 1:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
I played very few games where rumble added any value other than the annoyance factor. I usually turn it off anyway.

What they REALLY need to fix is incredibly stupid "trigger" buttons - R2 and L2. They are so insanely sensitive that barely resting your finger at them causes the press to be detected. I have two controllers and one is worse than the other but neither can be considered acceptable. At first I thought only Resistance Fall of Man had them used improperly (I cannot count how many times I switched weapons inadvertently) - but after playing more games it looks like it's a more widespread problem. I am even considering buying a third-party controller just to get things back to normal, but the pickings are slim so far.




RE: Rumble is useless feature anyway
By SirLucius on 8/7/2007 2:00:52 PM , Rating: 2
That's strange? How long have you had your controllers? I've had my PS3 about 2 weeks now and have been playing quite a bit, but I haven't noticed the controllers being overly sensitive. Maybe there are some inconsistencies in manufacturing the controllers?

I agree with what you said about the rumble feature though. 90% of games that have it don't really need it. It's just kinda there. I personally prefer the lighter controllers without the rumble.


By wallijonn on 8/7/2007 2:16:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
90% of games that have it don't really need it


That just means that it should be better programmed. I would like to feel the click-clack of the shot gun shell going into the breach, feeling the tyres hitting the warning bumps, feeling the "snick" when you change gears in the car, feeling the airplane wheels being let down for landing, the report of firing a firearm, feeling the ground shake as a monster gets closer and closer (like a dinosaur), feeling a "thump" when I jump a building and landing on the next roof top, etc.

But most rumble is either on or off, instead of being infinitely variable.


By aos007 on 8/7/2007 4:54:07 PM , Rating: 2
It's just the new trigger buttons (L2/R2) that are overly sensitive. The way I hold controllers, my fingers rest on all four shoulder buttons. Unfortunately, even the slightest (inadvertent) pressure detects as keypress on those. I thought I had a bad controller, but the new one I got is just marginally better. Perhaps these new revisions have fixed that? Or the devs need to learn how to use them and set the sensitivity threshold for applications where you only care if it's pressed or not (and not how hard is it being pressed). It's like a joystick not having a dead zone set up properly, if you know what I mean.


New Shape?
By Flunk on 8/7/2007 11:01:15 AM , Rating: 2
Rumble is nice but I'm more interested to see if they update the shape. The Sixaxis is too small and pointy for my big hands. The Xbox 360 on the other hand has perfect controllers




RE: New Shape?
By thatguy39 on 8/7/2007 11:51:35 AM , Rating: 2
360 D-pad is too stiff, makes playing street fighter a b***h


RE: New Shape?
By Legionosh on 8/7/2007 2:56:44 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree with you on this one. As much as I like my 360 I do think the D-Pad was almost an afterthought (I know it wasn't but still..)

It seems to be the one feature on the controller that received less attention that any other one. It does work, but it definitely could've been reworked into a much better design. I mean it's not the worst D-pad ever, but geez it's definitely a FAR cry from one of the best..

Overall though, I have to say I really like the controller. It's very comfortable, the weight/balance is good, the analog sticks work great, the buttons are responsive, the triggers are actual triggers (Sixaxis R2, L2..*cough*), the battery pack is EASILY user changeable/replaceable (sure the Sixaxis battery can be user replaced, but how many people want to open up their controller to replace their battery?)

I've opened up several PS2 controllers in the past..and if the Sixaxis controller are anything like that then most people will NOT want to deal with it. It's a hassle, the screws are tiny, and trying to get the trigger buttons lined back up over the corresponding touch pads can be a serious pain in the rear..

Maybe they'll fix the D-pad one day...

..when the NEXT gen XBOX comes out..

My two cents..

Kevin

legionosh@msn.com


SIXAXIS R2 and L2 buttons...
By Legionosh on 8/7/2007 2:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
..I am glad I am not the only one having issues with the R2 and L2 buttons on the Sixaxis.

Personally I CANNOT stand the shape of them. Your fingers want to SLIDE off the triggers if you apply pressure of any sort, so I am constantly having to push UPWARDS on the trigger as well as down to be sure my finger doesn't slide off.

..playing Motorstorm or F1 this way does NOT constitute as a fun time in my book. I have to concentrate so much on how I hold the controller so my fingers don't slide off that it affect my playing...not to mention it causes cramps after a short while...

...and no I a not a girly gamer..lol, I play games for hours at a time given the chance. Take Forza 2 for example. I have no issues with the triggers in that game, I don't have to concentrate on how I hold the controller, there fore I drive better in the game, not to mention no cramps (except for the usual hand cramps we all get after long game sessions)..

It just gets EXTREMELY uncomfortable after a short time. I think they REALLY should have made them more in the shape of the 360 triggers. That way you can REST your fingers on them and push down as needed. I guess they thought the "360" trigger shape would've contrasted with the Sixaxis design too much so they opted for "Form over Function"...go figure.

That is something I am surprised more people don't complain about, but my friend who just recently got a PS3 agress with me. He is getting "used to it" but you shouldn't have to get used to it.

I'd really like to know if anyone has had the same issues as I have..

Kevin

legionosh@msn.com




RE: SIXAXIS R2 and L2 buttons...
By SirLucius on 8/7/2007 2:22:56 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe because I have big hands I've never noticed this. I generally rest the my index fingers over the R1 and L1 triggers, and let my middle fingers either hover over the R2 and L2, or rest just under the niche created, depressing them as needed. I've never had a problem with my fingers sliding either.

I've found that my hands tend to cramp a bit more easily, but I don't know if that's the controller or the fact that prior to getting the PS3 I hadn't really been playing console games.


By Legionosh on 8/7/2007 2:37:11 PM , Rating: 2
Well I am only 5' 7 1/2", so my hands are a best average in size (but they're probably slightly smaller than average).

Personally if I rest my index fingers on the R1 and L1 it throws my whole grip off. I usually use my remaining three fingers to hold the controller, the index fingers on the triggers and my thumbs on the face buttons/analog sticks, as I am sure 95%-99% of the people do.

Unless you are a person with really big hands (only one of my friends has hands that large that he has to hold it how you described), then the way I described it almost the de-facto standard.

I'd like you to try playing on a 360 type controller for a little while and see if you still get cramps. I know I get some after long play sessions regardless of console (360/PS3/Wii..more less on the Wii, unless we are talking waving my arm in front on me for long periods of time..), so it isn't necessarily tied to one controller..

..but on the Sixaxis it takes NO time for the old hand cramps to set it, mainly because (as I described above) I have to push my index finger UP towards the ceiling while at the same time pushing down/into the controller. Where as on the 360 type triggers I can actually rest my finger on the trigger, and because it curves into the controller my finger never wants to slide off. I push down and it's impossible for finger to slide off the trigger (unless I've bee eating greasy food, but I don't touch my systems with dirty hands so that is a non issue..lol)

Maybe I am in the minority in this, but I still think the triggers were designed with Form over Function in mind. I can't see any designer (who actually plays games) thinking this was a superior design to the one I've been describing.

Anyway, I didn't mean to rant..just wanted to voice my thoughts on this matter.

Kevin

legionosh@msn.com


Rumble = Overrated
By elmikethemike on 8/7/2007 12:09:21 PM , Rating: 2
I for one don't particularly care about rumble in my controllers. After so long you don't even notice the rumbling anymore when it is there. Plus I like how light the PS3 controller is. Just my two cents.




RE: Rumble = Overrated
By pekingu on 8/7/2007 1:08:53 PM , Rating: 2
Best survival horror titles released for the playstation do not need to show a single hud meter thanks to rumble technology, and the rumble itself even contributes to inmerse more in the atmosphere. So maybe a guy who plays most of the other genres wont miss it, an action player will in fact miss it, but if you r behind survival horror ones like me u simply wont change your console platform if you r not offered at least the same level of inmersion. So for now i will continue with my playstation 2 until they eat their crap and release wht they told they were not going to include in playstation 3 with an stupid smile on their face.

All said.


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