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Sony loses lawsuit...

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From Arstechnica.com

Sony PlayStations still available, but the company loses patent suit

3/27/2005 7:22:36 PM, by Ken "Caesar" Fisher

A number of media outlets are erroneously reporting that Sony can no longer sell its PSone and PS2 gaming consoles after losing a decision in their case against Immersion Corporation. Sony has been battling Immersion for some time now, as the two companies are disputing the technology behind Sony's DualShock vibration feedback system for controllers. Back in September of 2004, Sony lost to Immersion, and was ordered to pay $82 million in damages. Immersion would have also prevailed against Microsoft, but Microsoft wisely settled with them for about one-third that amount, and the other big players such as Nintendo have licensed the technology.

Immersion is the holder of US patents 6,275,213 and 6,424,333, covering "haptic feedback,"  i.e., the use of computer-controlled vibrating motors to provide tactile feedback to a user in a game or other application. According to Japan Today, Sony has lost their appeal, and is now ordered to pay $90.7 million in damages. Furthermore, Japan Today reports that Sony has been ordered "to stop selling the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 game consoles using Dualshock controllers as well as more than 40 game software products." This is not entirely true, however.

Courts records obtained by Ars Technica say that the injunction was immediately stayed by Judge Claudia Wilken. Wilken stayed the injunction so that Sony could prepare an appeal, and also forced Sony into a compulsory licensing scheme in the meantime. Sony would have been wise to settle as Microsoft did, as Immersion seems hell-bent on a permanent injunction.

Considering that they lost the first appeal, this isn't good news for Sony at all. So if you want a PS2, get it now. They might not be around in a few months.

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The PS2 and PSTwo aren't going anywhere. First, should Sony lose another appeal, they'll simply sell the units with different controllers, possibly without the DualShock technology. Second, the PS3 is about a year away, so this is coming at the end of the PS2's lifecycle. Hardly worth Sony's concern.

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The PS2 and PSTwo aren't going anywhere.  First, should Sony lose another appeal, they'll simply sell the units with different controllers, possibly without the DualShock technology.  Second, the PS3 is about a year away, so this is coming at the end of the PS2's lifecycle.  Hardly worth Sony's concern.

I agree that the PS2's coming off of the market isn't a huge a deal as one may think (though I still think the PS3 isn't going to be here until at least Q4 '06), but paying over $170 million in damages is, and even if they did decide to sell PS2's without the dual shock, they'd have to change production on the systems. Quite an expensive proposition.

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The PS2 and PSTwo aren't going anywhere.  First, should Sony lose another appeal, they'll simply sell the units with different controllers, possibly without the DualShock technology.  Second, the PS3 is about a year away, so this is coming at the end of the PS2's lifecycle.  Hardly worth Sony's concern.

I agree that the PS2's coming off of the market isn't a huge a deal as one may think (though I still think the PS3 isn't going to be here until at least Q4 '06), but paying over $170 million in damages is, and even if they did decide to sell PS2's without the dual shock, they'd have to change production on the systems. Quite an expensive proposition.

Trust me, this won't come to fruition.

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