It’s not exactly an insider’s secret that the PlayStation 3’s lack of rumble has something to do with past licensing issues between Sony and Immersion Corp. After a settlement was reached back in February, it was a no-brainer to imagine Sony hard at work on putting rumble back to work for them. In short, a rumble filled Sixaxis is all but a given.
With that out of the way, the focus now is on when we can actually expect to see rumble technology added to future PS3 controllers. According to the guys at Innerbits.com, the time may be soon — if Sony can work through some battery life issues that have cropped up as a result of trying to add more features to the Sixaxis:
Many have suspected that since the agreement, Sony will have been working on a new controller with rumble support. We can now confirm that this is the case. We’ve heard from two independent sources at Sony that they have been working on prototypes for several months. Officially, the corporate line is still “no comment”. Unofficially, Sony is facing some difficulties with battery life; i.e. between the rumble and the wireless support, the batteries are draining too fast to be acceptable for consumers.
This is certainly refreshing news for gamers who are less concerned with motion-sensing controllers, but are still reeling about the loss of a feature we have come to expect as standard fare on a PlayStation console. With technical comments aside, it will be interesting to see how Sony will handle the PR side of introducing a feature they were quoted as labeling last-generation technology.
Of equal interest will be how well this is received by consumers who already have a PS3. Will they buy the new controllers with glee, or criticize Sony for not settling with Immersion sooner — like Microsoft did. Having done so would have allowed them to include rumble in the Sixaxis from the start. Sony just might show us that it’s never too late to arrive at the party, as long as you come in an expensive suit, and manage to swoon the ladies by the end of the night.