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PS2s to be pulled off of store shelves?

 
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Arcana

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:08 am    Post subject: PS2s to be pulled off of store shelves? Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Sony is on the verge of losing a patent case with Immersion. The implication of this can be rather large -- it may mean that PS2 consoles and Dual Shock controllers will be pulled from stores.


The news is a few weeks old, but relevant.

Brief overview.

More details.

For those who don't know, Sony has been accused of patent infringement with regards to the rumble function in its Dual Shock controllers about a year ago, and it appealed. Nintendo and Microsoft, as well as Logitech, license the technology from a company named Immersion, which holds the patent to the rumble feature in a controller implemented by putting a weight on a rotating shaft (look at a clear controller and you'll know what I'm talking about).

Had the case originally gone through, Sony would have had to pull all of its Dual Shock controllers, including ones bundled inside PS2 console boxes, until it could either repackage the consoles with a different controller, or unless it worked out a deal with Immersion. However, Sony appealed the ruling and was permitted to continue selling PS2s until the appeal was completed.

Right now, the indication is not good for Sony at all. With the company in rather dire financial straits, and currently investing its money into the PS3 and Blu-Ray, there's not a lot of money in the bank to pay off $90 million worth of settlements. Alternately, it also cannot afford to pull and repackage every PS2 on store shelves right now.

Also, they would have to redesign the controller for the PS3, if the following article is accurate.

http://www.betanews.com/article/Patent_Ruling_Could_Affect_Sony_PS3/114 2283249
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eXistence of Fly

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Sony claimed that Immersion had concealed its conversations with an inventor, Craig Thorner, who had patented similar technology prior to Immersion. Lawyers for Sony argued that Immersion had tried to prevent Sony from learning that Thorner had developed prototypes based on his patents by hiring Thorner as a consultant. Immersion, however, argued that Sony could have discovered the information during the trial but chose not to, and the judge agreed.


Am i the only one wondering wtf with this statement?

Thorner patented similar tech prior to Immersions patent, Sonys argument during the appeal was that Immersion concealed their link to Thorner, however a simple 'you coulda learned that after we took you to court' was upheld. Now forgive me for being a cokplete twat when it comes to laws outside of my own nation, but if Immersion could effectivly 'sue' over the unlicensed use of the feature then couldnt in turn Thorner do the same since according to that his tech outdates Immersions?

Now personally ive taken apart one of my own dualchocks to fix some loose solders and whatnot, so those magnets and wiring are worth $90.7million? If so i wonder how much my gum on a stick is worth, $47.5mil anyone?

Is there any backing evidence about Ninetndo being part owners of Immersion as it was stated in the first article?
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Arcana

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm not sure about the Nintendo thing. They're suspiciously absent from the "Partners" list on the Immersion website.

However, the story with Thorner might have been as follows. Thorner patents technology. Immersion might have bought the rights for the technology to Thorner (maybe by paying him a lump sum), and then improved upon it, and patented the improvements. Or, alternately, Immersion might have simply licensed the technology from him.

And yes, your gum on a stick might have been worth 90 million if you had the idea of sticking it on the end of an electric motor, put it inside a controller, and wrote software that made it feel like you were being hit by a sword. :)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Arcana wrote:
I'm not sure about the Nintendo thing. They're suspiciously absent from the "Partners" list on the Immersion website.

However, the story with Thorner might have been as follows. Thorner patents technology. Immersion might have bought the rights for the technology to Thorner (maybe by paying him a lump sum), and then improved upon it, and patented the improvements. Or, alternately, Immersion might have simply licensed the technology from him.

And yes, your gum on a stick might have been worth 90 million if you had the idea of sticking it on the end of an electric motor, put it inside a controller, and wrote software that made it feel like you were being hit by a sword. :)


Well at least itd explain why monetary values are dropped when most monsters are defeated...everyone sticks gum to their weapons to pickpocket!

But still the article only listed Thorner as a consultant which would imply hes not a direct member of Immersion. If the case was solwly that Sony ripped off Immersion then i doubt theyd have disputed anything if it was gonna be as open and shut as it seems.

If Thorner indeed patents tech and Immersion buys the rights for it, does that mean that Thorner cant then go around and sell his tech because its, by law, no longer his tech? If Immersion simply licensed the tech and Sony used the tech in the same manner then wouldnt the case not be with Sony owing Immersion money but owing Thorner, unless of course Sony has the tech by Immersion without an agreement with Thorner?

....I prolly should have taken some form of legal studies...it might make me look smarter in times like this ^_^
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Arcana wrote:
I'm not sure about the Nintendo thing. They're suspiciously absent from the "Partners" list on the Immersion website.

Actually, they have the Nintendo Gamecube listed on http://www.immersion.com/gaming/video_pc/platforms/console.php
They don't mention the N64 either because it's old or Nintendo just developed around the patent, i.e. the Rumble Pack, so Immersion would be wasting their time trying to sue them.
I think it would be stupid to pull the PS2's off the shelves. They'll just be cutting off a source of easy revenue for the company. I mean, if a product can't be sold, then you can't get royalties from it.
From what I get from the articles, only PS2's with the DualShock controllers, i.e. all of them, would have to stop shipping. I wonder if that could stop them from including something like a Logitech controller in the bundle and then just selling that instead.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Nintendo has their own device apparently.

Also, they warned that ps2's and psx/ps2 games that use dual shock would be pulled from shelves. Thing is, this was like a year and a half ago. I'm not really worried.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

They could just pay the bloody royalties. I suppose that profiteering corporations aren't much interested in anything that involves them doling out money instead of collecting it, but I can't imagine wanting to fight a massive legal battle with a company that Microsoft is already paying for the use of their 'rumble' technology...it doesn't seem like a safe enough bet to me to risk it. Anyway, I doubt that Immersion really wants Sony to pull the PlayStation 2 off the shelves. Much more likely, they want royalty payments from Sony. As Spell Breaker pointed out, they can't collect royalty fees if Sony has to stop selling their PS2s.

Of course, since I already own a new 'slim' PS2, and the PS3 launch is ages away, I'm not terribly concerned about it either way. I imagine that Immersion lost their chance to actually gain something meaningful from this law suit a year ago, when Sony appealed the decision and managed to draw it out for such a long time. On the eve of NextGen consoles, if they finally win their lawsuit, it probably won't make all that much of a difference. Sony still has time to make enough changes to their PS3 controller (which they're already redesigning from the Boomerang, I hear...) so as not to be sued again. I suppose they'd probably prefer not to yank all the PS2s off the shelf just because the PS3 is being released, but I'm sure they'd also rather everyone buy their expensive new machine than the older one.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Parallax wrote:
Anyway, I doubt that Immersion really wants Sony to pull the PlayStation 2 off the shelves. Much more likely, they want royalty payments from Sony. As Spell Breaker pointed out, they can't collect royalty fees if Sony has to stop selling their PS2s.


i think the 2nd article tackles that in that it staes Sony pays something like 1.37% of all the sales to Immersion and Immersion wants 5% since thats its standard rate. So if anything Immersion would want more royalities then they are currently getting because obviously theyre a buncha greedy sobs.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
i think the 2nd article tackles that in that it staes Sony pays something like 1.37% of all the sales to Immersion and Immersion wants 5% since thats its standard rate. So if anything Immersion would want more royalities then they are currently getting because obviously theyre a buncha greedy sobs.


This is incorrect. Sony is currently paying NOTHING.

What the article really says is that Immersion initially asked for 5% of royalties on PS2 controllers and games with the rumble feature, and that would have been 300 million dollars. The judge instead asked Sony to pay out 1.37% royalties to Immersion which is 90 million (after interest), and Immersion agreed to this.

eXistence of Fly wrote:
Arcana wrote:
I'm not sure about the Nintendo thing. They're suspiciously absent from the "Partners" list on the Immersion website.

However, the story with Thorner might have been as follows. Thorner patents technology. Immersion might have bought the rights for the technology to Thorner (maybe by paying him a lump sum), and then improved upon it, and patented the improvements. Or, alternately, Immersion might have simply licensed the technology from him.

And yes, your gum on a stick might have been worth 90 million if you had the idea of sticking it on the end of an electric motor, put it inside a controller, and wrote software that made it feel like you were being hit by a sword. :)


Well at least itd explain why monetary values are dropped when most monsters are defeated...everyone sticks gum to their weapons to pickpocket!

But still the article only listed Thorner as a consultant which would imply hes not a direct member of Immersion. If the case was solwly that Sony ripped off Immersion then i doubt theyd have disputed anything if it was gonna be as open and shut as it seems.

If Thorner indeed patents tech and Immersion buys the rights for it, does that mean that Thorner cant then go around and sell his tech because its, by law, no longer his tech? If Immersion simply licensed the tech and Sony used the tech in the same manner then wouldnt the case not be with Sony owing Immersion money but owing Thorner, unless of course Sony has the tech by Immersion without an agreement with Thorner?

....I prolly should have taken some form of legal studies...it might make me look smarter in times like this ^_^


If Immersion licensed the technology from Thorner, Thorner could still sell his own technology unless Immersion made him sign a contract that said he couldn't.

So, if Thorner invented the bucket, and Immersion invented the bucket with a handle, and paid Thorner five cents for every bucket with a handle it sold, Thorner could still sell his bucket, but not the bucket with a handle. In this case, let's presume that Thorner never sold his bucket.

If Sony went around and said, "Hey, we're selling a toolshed that includes a bucket with a handle" and doesn't pay Immersion for permission to sell the bucket with a handle, then Immersion is going to get upset. Sony's defense was, "Well, Thorner, who invented the bucket, was hired by Immersion and Immersion tried to hide him away from us. As a result, we never even knew that someone invented the bucket, so we thought that, by selling the bucket with a handle with our toolshed, that we weren't breaking any laws."

Ignorance, unfortunately, tends not to be a very good defense.

One commonly-asked question is why Immersion waited so long to sue Sony. Sony first came out with dual-shock technology in 1999. Immersion sat around collecting evidence for two years to ensure that Sony was actually breaking its patents before actually launching the lawsuit, and then it had to go through the legal system. When it was determined that Sony should actually pay Immersion compensatation in 2005, Sony appealed, and now we're sitting here.

Remember, they were supposed to pull the consoles last year, but Sony appealed to delay the process as long as possible.

The point is not that the pulling of PS2s from store shelves will hurt Immersion. Immersion is not getting any money whatsoever from Sony. Immersion could probably talk to Sony and say, "Look, if you pay us 5% for each controller sold for the duration of the PS2's and PS3's life, as well as that 90 million you owe us, we'll be glad to let PS2s on store shelves stay".

Finally, this is relevant because the Dual Shock technology is in the Sony PS3. If Sony loses, and fails to pay royalties, then they're going to have to remove or redesign the rumble feature in their controller.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

how mush is the ps3 going to cost?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Nintendo is a bunch of little $#!^$...

I'll never buy a product from them again and I'm throwing out anything I do own that was made by them.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

yeah, they just wanna make PS company look bad and they also wanna sell their products though... :roll:
but that's very slack... i'd rather buy PS2s than a kind of junk such as Nintendo... :no:
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Wait, I'm sorry, but what did Nintendo do? Did you two even read what the hell is going on, or did you just see the title and make shit up as you went?

Old thread and also useless bumps from posters. Closed.
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