Why Does Sony have any control over Army use of a PS2 controller for a robot weapon?

Per this story below. If I buy a PS2 controller at retail, why does Sony have any legal say at all about what the hell I use it for?

Sony Playstations Used In Military Combat

This article sounds like BS.

uhh, generally people don’t get KILLED in military EXCERCISES, and if fifteen US soldiers are killed in a single friendly fire incident, you can bet we would have heard about it in mainstream news by now.

On a completely unrelated note, thanks for the welcome, Tentacle Monster , although I would like to point out that my registration date (Apr 2002) predates yours by over 20 months, and thus it should be me who determines the allocation of school/ninja girls here on the SDMB. In any case it shall become a moot point when my guest membership expires.

If you want to plant the device in your back garden, go ahead. Nobody can stop you.

If you want to take it apart to see how it works and then build a better one that costs less to make, that can be illegal.

A couple of WAGs:
[li]SONY just wants to say they do not approve of this type of use, for publicity.[/li][li]Japan bans export of weapons*, so SONY is concerned about violating it.[/li][/ul]

(*Though it doesn’t seem to stop companies from exporting electronic components, vehicles and other products that have military applications.)

Has this been confirmed, cause it sounds like BS to me too.

I mean seriously, a PS 2 controller is more accurate than what military hardware scientists and engineers can come up with? Yeah, sure.

I remain unconvinced. Atleast until someone confirms at which point I will be extremely surprised.

It’s not a Wired article. If you’ll note, it’s on liquidgeneration.com - they don’t actually use the Wired logo. They flip the W. http://www.liquidgeneration.com/rumormill/WIRED/images/mirednews.gif

Just a prank.

Just a thought here (somewhat out on a limb) - some financial institutions offer ‘ethical’ packages where your money is supposedly invested in companies that are not involved with the military, or industries that pollute excessively etc - could it be that the concern is related to withdrawal of investment capital placed on an understanding that there would be no involvement with the military?

Plus, where exactly are they going to plug it in?

Some posters say that it’s actualy a prank, but assuming it wouldn’t be one, I could imagine a third reason:
-Indirectly stating “Look! Our products are so good that even the militaries use them in an actual war” (while denying at the same time that’s they’re using a war for advertisment purposes)

Could a mod close this thread. In reviewing what others have said it’s likely the article my OP is predicated on is a fake or a prank of some kind.

I design electrical stuff, and having seen a playstation controller I can assure you that there is nothing in it that would make it more “accurate” than anything the military presently has. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. You could easily design something with more accurate control. Additionally, the connector that attaches it to the playstation is not of any sort of locking type, and would never be used on military equipment simply for the reason that the wire would fall out too easy. Additionally, the entire unit isn’t rugged enough for military use and abuse.

I’m sure that this whole thing came out of the rather common observations that a lot of modern warfare is a lot like playing a video game. Someone obviously made the connection that if it looks like a video game they must be using video game controllers, which isn’t true. A lot of the controllers are going to be similar, but they are going to have much better mechanisms inside and will be much more rugged, sealed from dust, etc. You aren’t going to want to control a $2 million missile with a $2 game controller when you could make something much more reliable for about $50.

Could you though? Sony has spent gobs of money designing and refining the design and manufacturing process and quality standards for the PS2 system and controller. Are you really going to be able to build a significantly “better” controller for only $ 50.00 each when the design and tool up costs etc. for a (relatively) very limited production run are taken into account.

I’m thinking the mil spec controllers might cost (in overall dollars) thousands each if you did this. Getting them off the retail shelf for 15.00 each and using them like Kleenex might be a better strategy than using ruggedized units costing 1,500 or $ 15,000 each. Also, how much more accurate do you really need to make a controller than the PS 2 controller if you’re handling video input stuff. I’m not a PS-2 gamer but I’ve seen my kids do amazingly accurate things (on screen) using them.

Game controllers come in two varieties. There’s the simple switch kind, in which case you have simply a switch for left, a switch for right, a switch for up, and a switch for down (plus whatever buttons are on the controller), and there are proportional controllers, in which case you have a potentiometer in the up-down direction and another one in the left-right direction. Both types of controllers are used in various game and computer systems.

Both types of controllers are also common for industrial and military use. The military obviously has lots fo weapons that use these sorts of controls, and industrial things like a crane that you want someone to be able to move will use the same type of control. You wouldn’t be re-inventing the wheel here (which would cost a lot more than $50 per unit). You would just use a more rugged switch or potentiometer unit which is already in production.

Here are some examples: http://www.etisystems.com/joystickselect.asp

With these types of things available, why would you use an el-cheapo piece of plastic from wal-mart?

Because you can’t unlock the secret moves if you don’t have a PlayStation controller.

“If you press UUDDLLRRABABDD, Lara Croft comes up on the viewscope and takes her top off!”