After their devastating court win against Sony, that saw the electronics giant ordered to cease sales of the PlayStation and pay $90.7 million, Immersion CEO Victor Viegas agreed to speak with Spong.com
Spong asked an obvious question first: why weren’t Nintendo targeted in a lawsuit from Immersion? After all, their rumble pak controller does much the same thing as Sony’s Dual-Shock.
They got a pretty surprising answer:
We never analysed Nintendo products. There is, I believe, a difference in the technologies used but we never investigated those of Nintendo.
Spong then pointed out an interesting conspiracy theory – this is part of a well-executed plan by Microsoft to strike right at the heart of the XBox’s main competition. Back in 2003, Microsoft settled in the same lawsuit filed against Sony, and part of the settlement was a 10% stake in Immersion:
Immersion, backed by Microsoft will have the right to demand royalties from Sony on every single PlayStation product that makes use of DualShock, an astoundingly astute move resulting in a case that Sony simply must win.
The idea of paying Microsoft’s Xbox division a royalty on all PlayStation sales if perhaps only second in the list of Thing That Officially Must Never Happen to having all SCE products suspended from sale altogether, a catastrophe narrowly avoided earlier this week.
When it was put to him that Microsoft must have had this strategy against Sony mapped-out well in advance, Viegas replied:
I cannot argue with the logic in what you say. Microsoft took full advantage of the opportunity offered to it and was fair in its dealings with us throughout.