The Last Generation Starts When Sony Says it Should Have

In their continuing trek to make a mess of the Playstation 3, Sony has announced that they have settled with Immersion. SCE president Kaz Hirai is excited about the potential for new and innovative products incorporating their technologies. This is good news for gamers, right?

It would be good news if it was standard from the start and, more so, if Sony hadn’t been so blatant about making dubious excuses to the fact that it wasn’t there. Everyone knew that the reason that the PS3’s Sixaxis controller didn’t have any rumble was because of the litigation issues with Immersion. Publicly, though, Sony went on record calling rumble irrelevant, unwanted and outdated.

Just a month ago, Sony’s Phil Harrison went on record saying:

I believe that the Sixaxis controller offers game designers and developers far more opportunity for future innovation than rumble ever did. Now, rumble I think was the last generation feature; it’s not the next-generation feature. I think motion sensitivity is. And we don’t see the need to do that.

Here is one exec at Sony citing a deal to add technology that is “new” and “innovative” that, a month ago, another exec called “last generation” and “unneeded.” The doublespeak is mind-numbing.

It hasn’t been said if this means that future Sixaxis controllers (and not some other device) will have rumble, but if they will then they will be splitting their library between the past have-nots and the future haves of tactile feedback. It’s not that great of an issue, but if rumble adds to the whole “entertainment experience” then what they’re doing is essentially what (to a slightly lesser degree) they criticized Microsoft of doing:

PlayStation 3’s content is designed for everyone to enjoy right out of the box, no matter which configuration you purchase. We would never segregate or shut out any of our consumers from our entertainment experience because they didn’t buy the top of the line system.

And some people still wonder why Sony is getting such a negative PR backlash.

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