Sony Denies Copying Wii's Motion Sensing Controller

Last week, UK Nintendo UK boss David Yarnton, accused Sony of stealing the idea of a motion sensing controller from them. In some terse words for Sony, Yarnton stated, "I don,t know what their decision making process is but I think if you look back, any innovation that has come in gameplay has come from us.”

Sony has reared up and sprayed some skunk essence of its own by refuting Yarnton,s accusations. Sony,s head of European operations, Phil Harrison said: “In a way I understand why people say [we stole Nintendo’s idea], but it is a little stupid, if you forgive the remark."

When we brought the PlayStation to the market in 1994, we introduced real time 3-D graphics for the first time. When Nintendo launched its N64 in 1996 it also had 3D graphics, did we say, ‘Nintendo stole our idea!,? Obviously not. Such innovations become possible because of a combination of technology, cost and manufacture capacities. We’ve been working on [motion-sensing technology] for a long time and Nintendo has certainly likewise already been working on something similar. The difference between our strategy and that of our competition is that our controller is still similar to the Dual Shock, the industry standard controller. I estimate that nearly 400 million Dual Shock controllers have been sold worldwide.”

Ironically enough, Harrison,s “industry standard” controller is under a mountain of litigation at the moment. Sony was sued by the patent holders of the vibration technology used in the Dual Shock controllers. Sony has argued the case and claims that they did not infringe upon the patent because of the failure of Immersion Corp. to submit their patent documents properly. The courts have overruled Sony,s appeals and have ordered them to pay Immersion Corp. $90 million in license fees.

Regardless of whether Sony copied Nintendo,s controller scheme or not, there is definitely a wide range of cross-fertilization in the game industry. New innovations in gameplay, game control and storylines are often mimicked freely by developers without reprisal-it is the nature of the entertainment business beast. If there is doubt about this matter, a quick glance at the local video game store shelves will offer an abundance of WW2 copycat shooters.

There will always be development ideas that are similar to others. Perhaps what is needed in this war of the words among the game giants is a little maturity. After all, we,re all gamers at heart, are we not?


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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