Valve is being sued over Steam Deck rumble tech

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The Steam Deck’s meteoric rise to the top of the handheld food chain has taken a potential knock, as Valve has been hit with a lawsuit from Immersion Corporation. Immersion accuses the portable PC maker of infringing its haptic feedback patents through the development and sale of products, including the portable powerhouse.

Until now, Valve’s foray into the handheld world has been met with praise and adulation. Despite the burgeoning handheld gaming PC scene enjoying creditable contributions like the Asus ROG Ally, the Steam Deck is still very much seen as a key player in the industry. That’s not to say it’s a perfect piece of kit. In fact, our Steam Deck review is lukewarm on Valve’s rumble tech, describing it as, “so weak in-game that the moments it tries to punctuate fall flat.”

Well, even that weak haptic feedback seemed strong enough ground for Immersion to launch a wide-ranging lawsuit against Valve. If you haven’t heard of Immersion, you might be familiar with some of the companies they’ve sued in the past. Sony, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Motorola, Fitbit, and Meta fill out an illustrious list of tech and software companies to be hit by legal challenges from Immersion. Several among that list, including Sony and Microsoft, now license Immersion’s patents for use in their hardware.

According to a report by The Verge, Immersion’s complaint cites a number of patents on which Valve has allegedly infringed, and requests an injunction against Valve, “from deploying, operating, maintaining, testing, and using the Accused Handheld Instrumentalities and Accused VR Instrumentalities”, alongside damages and royalties.

PCGamesN has reached out for comment, but Valve is yet to respond. In spite of these allegations, The Steam Deck continues to be a hit, bringing in significant revenue for Valve over a year after its launch. Depending on how this lawsuit pans out, any potential agreements or out-of-court settlements that follow could see the future of the Steam Deck 2 altered substantially.

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