In April of 2005 (I'm still catching up on my reading), Sony patented a technique for using ultrasonic waves to stimulate various centers of the human brain in order to produce extremely high-fidelity sensory impressions. The idea is apparently to build really, really immersive environments for games.
The problem here is one someone once raised regarding Star Trek TNG's "holodeck." To wit: If I had a fantasy machine that powerful, I wouldn't spend my time matching wits with a simulated Sherlock Holmes--I'd spend it playing chess with Aishwarya Rai.
Even that understates the case, though. Hackers have put their mark on most of the game machines ever created, and there's no reason to suppose they wouldn't lay the Sony Brain Console out on the operating table for a bit of well-targeted surgery. What would they do? Easy: They'd turn it into a piece of hardware that would simultaneously and continuously stimulate every pleasure center in the human brain.
Bang: instant transcendental happiness such as yogis can only dream of. If this happens, the anti-depressant industry is in for a rude surprise. But that's the least of it: With happiness just a 9V battery away, how many of us would bother working hard? Meeting the neighbors? Making friends? Dating? Finding a spouse? Reproducing? Why bother doing any of those things when they won't increase your happiness beyond what the Console can provide? It'll be (I always love this conclusion) the End of Humanity as we know it...or, more likely, the end period. The mere thought is pretty depressing. I think I need some Prozac.