SONY has admitted that it faces a $90m fine and the halting of PlayStation sales in the US due to an alleged patent infringement but the crisis is unlikely to reach Europe.
The federal district court in Oakland, California found in favour of Immersion Corporation, which claims Sony infringed technology that makes a game controller vibrate in sync with gameplay.
Due to interest accruing since the original judgement, Sony itself puts the damages claim at $90.7m.
A suspension order now hangs over US sales of PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles, two ‘Dual Shock’ game controllers and 47 software titles. But Sony is in the process of appealing to the US High Court and insists that sales cannot be stopped until after that appeal is heard.
Differences in patent rights, however, mean that European and other PAL-based territories are not expected to be hit.
"It does not affect Europe. We’ve known about the US court case for some time and if the patent infringement claims were the same over here, then Immersion would have done something about it by now," a senior source told MCV.