More Rumble Rumblings

It seems like Sony’s pre-TGS conference/showcase last night served to do little more than reinforce their already strong late 2007/2008 software line-up (though we did get that peek at Secret Agent Clank and a fl0w add-on pack). So that means the really big, mindblowing megaton stuff is likely being saved for Kaz Hirai’s keynote tonight. It’s hard not to cream your pants in anticipation!

With that creeping up on us, old rumors are popping their heads up again. One of the most persistent has to be the inclusion of rumble/force feedback features in a new Playstation 3 controller. Dubbed “Shockaxis” by fan, this phantom peripheral may be just about ready to make its debut tonight. Some enterprising individuals have started to pick up on the clues:

1) IGN reports that the kiosks Electronic Arts has setup for Burnout Paradise at TGS have rumbling controllers.

2) TTP over at NeoGAF claims that when he asked Devil May Cry 4 producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi about rumble all the way back at E3, he answered the question shyly. He also indicated that it would not need to be patched in. Why? Because it’s probably already there.

3) 1UP claims the following: “Sources have also indicated that one of the big reveals may be that the playable Metal Gear Solid 4 demo will include rumble functionality.

IGN noticed a weight difference in the controller, though they cited the rumble itself felt a lot like it did in the old DualShock. The question here is, will the Shockaxis (or whatever Sony ends up calling it) incorporate the oft-cited Immersion TouchSense technology? Ever since the old rivals kissed and made up, many rumors have floated that it very well could.

The technology claims to create an immersive next-gen experience (doesn’t everything these days?) that creates more nuanced force feedback that what we’re used to. Just check out Immersion’s own page on the subject. The ability for the rumble to actually change how you play a game or being able to feel a more accurate shock from several different sources at once is quite a huge step forward.

Old rumble is kind of passe at this point, excluding a few cases. I can’t say that I’ve particularly missed it in any of the PS3 games that I’ve played so far. But if Sony is offering something far beyond what we’ve experience before, I think it would do a lot in terms of pushing the console forward. I know I’d want it!

Burnout may not have it fully implemented yet, or is using a more primitive form of rumble. TouchSense levels of sensitivity need to be coded into games and according to the link I posted above, any controller that implements the technology will also be able to emulate less nuanced force feedback like in the days of yore. That just might be the case. Either way, it’s there, and IGN said that the controller they held in their hands was a Sixaxis facsimile, not some random USB knock-off, so I don’t want to hear those excuses.

You’d be hard pressed not to expect more news on this from Kaz tonight. It’s coming guys.


~ by Cavin Smith on September 19, 2007.

One Response to “More Rumble Rumblings”

  1. Can’t wait for MGS 4! Looks awesome!

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