Third party peripheral maker eDimensional has unveiled a new PlayStation 2 joypad
which features both gyroscopic motion sensors and a rumble feature, apparently in defiance of Sony's suggestion that combining the two technologies would be too expensive for consumers.
The G-Pad Pro features four axis of movement, rather than the PlayStation 3 joypad's six, but also features a rumble feature that can apparently be used in conjunction with the motion sensors. The technology is licensed from Immersion, with whom Sony has enjoyed a strained relationship since the beginning of a court case
alleging patent infringements of force feedback technology.
Immersion's latest (though not complete) victory in the courts coincided with Sony's decision to drop the rumble feature from the PlayStation 3 controller, recently named the Sixaxis. Since E3, Sony has claimed that it was technically impossible to have both motion sensors and force feedback in a single device, despite the Wii Remote exhibiting similar functionality.
In fact, a Gamasutra interview with Immersion's Vic Viegas
back in May had the company's CEO commenting: "If what they're saying is in fact the reason why [the controller will not have vibration], I've offered them numerous solutions to the problem... I don't believe it's a very difficult problem to solve, and Immersion has experts that would be happy to solve that problem for them." The company has now proved this by solving the issue for a third party.
As widely reported, Sony Computer Entertainment America boss Kaz Hirai recently stated
in an interview with game site Kikizo that, although the combination of technologies was possible, it would be prohibitively expensive for consumers attempting to buy more than one controller. The G-Pad Pro is currently advertised for just $29.95 on eDimensional's website, which will likely cause more embarrassing headlines for Sony.