Sony rumble in Tokyo

It’s known that Sony left out the rumble from the PlayStation 3’s controller due to Immersion’s lawsuit over use of their patented rumble technology. Sony’s official line, however, was that the rumble feature affected the motion sensor SIXAXIS technology, and that it’s a last generation feature anyway. Which was obviously rubbish as a new rumbling pad – the DualShock 3 – was confirmed at the Tokyo Game Show this week. It’s due out in Japan in November, but the US and Europe will have to wait until next spring. There’s a list of games that’ll use it on Eurogamer, some of which will require a patch downloading before they start a-shaking.

They also confirmed a few other bits at the show: Gran Turismo 5 Prologue will be available both as a download and on Blu-Ray this December in Japan, online socialising software Home won’t make it out this year, a TV tuner is in development for PSP, and SCEI have purchased Evolution Studios (Motorstorm, WRC) and its subsidiary Bigbig (Pursuit Force).

They aren’t going to be phasing the PlayStation 2 out any time soon either, although there wasn’t much on show apart from some SNK 2D brawlers, Seaman 2, Phantasy Star Universe: Ambition of the Illuminus and Fire Pro Returns. Yakuza 2 is heading to the US though, which gives hope for a Euro release.

Over on PlayStation 3, the usual big hitters were doing the rounds: Metal Gear Solid 4, Devil May Cry 4, Little Big Planet and Final Fantasy Versus XIII. The first official trailer for Metal Gear Solid Online was released, along with a new one for Afrika. We’re still none the wiser what it’s actually about – the video shows no actual hunting. It does point out though that Afrika is only a working title. Hmm. Also be sure to take a look at the Echochrome trailer if you missed it at E3.

On PSP the biggest surprise had to be Secret Agent Clank, starring him out of the Ratchet & Clank games. It’s by the same developer as R&C: Size Matters and also uses the same engine. After donning a tux and learning ‘Clank Fu’, the little robot must save his furry friend. Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops + was another surprise – read the amusing playtest at IGN – but Silent Hill Origins was absent. There was also a new Star Ocean, in addition to Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, which is set before the previous games and features three new heroes.

It’s slightly worrying that the most interesting PlayStation 3 titles are those that will be available via the PlayStation Store, but with dozens of PSP RPGs and the success of Core Crisis: Final Fantasy VII, 2008 could be the year that the PSP finally catches up with the DS.