It hasn't been all good news for Sony this past week. A District Court in California has handed down a ruling that Sony is guilty of patent infringement in regards to its DualShock controllers and must pay more than $90 million to the rightful patent holder, Immersion Corp.
What makes this story more than just another corporate misstep resulting in a fine is that both the American and Japanese arms of Sony must also stop selling PSOne and PS2 units as well as forty different games. The judge involved with the case immediately stayed the injunction, thereby allowing the consoles to stay on the market. All of this because of a patent over controller technology. It's unknown if Sony is actually at fault or if Immersion is taking advantage of the situation.
With PlayStation units supposedly pulled from shelves, how will this effect Sony? American gaming consumers seem focused on PlayStation Portable units right now (which are uneffected by the ruling) and most people who have a PS2 have one already, so it's not as if Sony is losing money hand over fist in lost sales. Of course, this is surely an issue for them and chances are they will take a hit the most from the games that must also be removed from shelves. My prediction is that Sony will settle with Immersion and either buy the patent or the company itself.