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Linux for the PlayStation2:It's Official

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the do-you-speak-japanese? dept.

Linux 214

Oliver writes "Sony officially announced their port of Linux to the PlayStaion2 game console. In the press release they mention that they were moved by demand the community petition (see this story) demonstrated with over 6000 signers. The PS2 Linux Kit page is currently only in Japanese and there's not much info thre yet other than some pictures. But according to it, a Beta version is going to be sold to 1000 members of the community in June for about $200. The Kit is going to consist of an external HDD/Ethernet unit connected to the PCMCIA slot, found on early Japanese PS2 models, a VGA adapterplus USB Mouse and Keyboard. Kits for oversee models are supposedly in planning. The kit will include a complete Linux/X11 environment with all sources, technical hardware manuals for the EE, GS and vectorunits plus a low-level API and Mesa drivers for graphics. " Won't work for us unfortunate american PS2 junkies. But its a sweet step.

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As console is a loss leader. Will this hurt Sony? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#264247)

Game companies always sell the console below cost and reap the loss back from game sales. Hoards of people buying PS2 consoles just to run Linux will destroy the PS2 just as the hack to run Linux on the I-Opener destroyed Netpliance. Someone's going to get screwed. Either gamers with raised console prices or Sony with lost $$$ on console sales.

Well, if you want to know... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#264248)

Two reasons, really.

First one is public image. There's a lot of stuff produced for the Japanese hentai market that is, well, video game porn; none of the Japanese companies want their US division to have to buck the negative publicity of Mommy finding Johnny playing Three Sisters Story. (This also nominally gives them approval over other objectionable content, and I had heard scuttlebutt a while back about a deer hunting game actually torpedoed by Sony on these grounds... might not be true, however.)

Second, and way more important... it's the money, man. If they release compatible systems, then their release of the US version at full price is competing with the bargain bin of Japanese product. Not much of a factor with role-playing games, but a game like Tekken plays the same in either language. It's the same reason why the MPAA puts region coding on Hollywood movie releases, only in reverse.

(Don't say "just release them at the same time." I work for an anime company, I know how long translation takes. ^_^)

Moderators, YOU SUCK! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#264249)

Why the hell was this -1 offtopic? WTF are the moderators smoking?

Exploiting the protectionist home market (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#264250)

The Japanese are very protectionist with their economy and do not really allow foreign companies access. They release products in Japan before they do in the international market so they can work out all the problems a particular product has in an environment with no foreign competition. In the international market the defects a product has can hurt it against foreign competition and cause the Japanese to loose market share. That is why alot of the Japanese consoles have more design flaws then what they put out on the international market and why products are released in Japan first.

Re:What about programs? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#264256)

You can't write games for the PS2 which use Sony's APIs without agreeing to their licensing terms.

It is my understanding, however, that you are free to write/port your own libraries and use them. Should Sony attempt to prohibit this, it would be absurd. A little like Ford claiming that no manufacturer could make tires for it's cars without signing an agreement. Of course, sillyness or fear of embarassment never stopped a corporate attorney.



Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#264257)

You're not making the distinction between the software region encoding and the console hardware.

As for the hardware: Well, the Japanese units were made first, were clunkier to produce and left less room in the case for the broadband adapter. As the system was cost-reduced and size-reduced, there was space to put in the bay for expansion device, and this is the system that launched in America. Not surprisingly, this is also the system that will be sold from now on in Japan as well... It would not make sense to keep producing the older, more costly model. The broadband adapter was created for the older models because that's all that was around while they were working on it, and hence that's probably why their Linux kit uses it. Presumably the changeover to the American/new Japanese version of the console won't take long.

Babelfish: In AD2101, boot was beginning (4)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#264259)

Someone set up us the penguin.

What you say!!

babelfished (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#264260)

* Press release

On April 26th of 2001 it is the press release which is issued in the reporting authorized personnel address from corporation SONY * computer entertainment.
April 26 of 2001 day
Corporation SONY * computer entertainment
" Place t Shaun 2 " business Linux kit (beta edition)
In the Japanese country destined for the Linux community, release start

Corporation SONY * computer entertainment (the SCEI), release we start from this year June " place t Shaun 2 " (the PS2) the business Linux kit (beta edition), destined for the Japanese domestic Linux community.

Demand is moved aside large number that since selling the PS2, from everyone of the domestic Linux community, we would like to enjoy programming the Linux on the PS2. The latest Linux kit (beta edition) release, as you answer to the demand from everyone of that kind of Linux community, being something which is done with the purpose which supports the activity of everyone of the Linux community it does.

As for the Linux since the being born, spread is advanced quickly in the entire world, activity of everyone of the developer and the user which relate to the Linux is spreading, the organization such as enterprise and the university as a non- profit-making activity, furthermore exceeding the border. The in that situation, the PS2 has observed, as the platform of the new Linux on Internet also the signature activity which requests the release of the Linux which operates with the PS2 is done. As one example, a certain Web sight (* 1) in, from this year March with the signature activity which is started, as of this day, with the Japanese sight approximately 4,500 names, approximately 1,500 name thing signatures have gotten together with the English sight.

The Linux kit for the PS2 (beta edition), high-speed network * interface (the 100BASE-TX ethernet) outside it possesses attaching type HDD unit and the Linux beta edition installation disk (DVD-ROM), it consists of the VGA adapter, the USB keyboard and the USB mouse et cetera in order to indicate the image signal of the PS2 in computer display. Because of this, everyone of the user starts the Linux on the PS2 when it is connected to network, it is possible to enjoy Linux application. (* 2)

Furthermore, image output of the Linux for the PS2 the XGA (the 1024×768 dot) and the like has supposed the computer display of high resolution. (* 3) and, outside is included in this kit attaching type HDD unit corresponds to the PC card slot of the PS2 itself. The recent model PS2 which is sold on this year April 18th (SCPH-30000) correspondence to the model of the expansion bay type which is included presently is in the midst of examining.

In case of the release of this kit, in order to be able to assure the continuous communication of everyone of the Linux community, in order that the sale method of utilizing network is introduced preparation is being advanced. The commodity and sale method concerning details, the place t Shaun * dot the sight of the COM which is the group company of this corporation * Japan corporation (the http: Consecutively we guide the // in. Concerning the first shipment quantity the demand which has been moved already aside on the net we plan 1,000 units on the basis of after that shipping continuously in accordance with the demand of everyone of the Linux community, we are defeated.

As the SCEI continues and " place t Shaun " and " place t Shaun 2 " focusing on game * music * movie * publication * program and the like fused creates the world of new computer entertainment, you propose to the network society which was opened, global promote the construction of broadband * network powerfully and are defeated.
(* 1) http: //
(* 2) in regard to the source cord/code, following to that condition in regard to the part where disclosure is required the GPL (the GNU General Public License) or by other license conditions, it discloses, but the software component of the part where the SCE has had all rights is not included targetting disclosure.
(* 3) connecting to the television for general home, it is not possible to utilize.
From here the top

Trade name " Place t Shaun 2 " business Linux kit (beta edition) SCPH-10270 K
Standard price 25,000 Yen (classified by tax)
Sale day June of 2001 (schedule)
Kit contents Linux beta edition installation disk (DVD-ROM)
Outside attaching type HDD unit (40GB)
* 100BASE-TX broadband ethernet correspondence
* By way of the PC card slot connection
USB keyboard
USB mouse
VGA adapter
Guide window Place t Shaun * dot COM * Japan corporation

Copyright (C) 2001 Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and (Japan) the Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Re:Now what? (2)

CrusadeR (555) | more than 13 years ago | (#264262)

A) It's not meant for use with your TV, it has a VGA adapter. B) It's a dev kit. You use it to make PS2 games. That's about it.


jnik (1733) | more than 13 years ago | (#264264)

Different TV formats.
Japan uses NTSC, same as the US. Okay, so the black level is a little different--it works just fine.

Different Language.
Doesn't follow. If people want to play the games, they can either learn the language or muddle along. Region lockouts don't *help* with the language problem.

Because DVD's are already Regionally coded so Sony has to make them seperate
That's something of a point, but that doesn't requre the games to be coded as well. DVD region coding is completely separate from PSX/PS2 region lock-outs.

decipher_saint wants to know why Sony (and others) erected an artificial Japan/NA barrier. Just because real barriers A, B, and C exist doesn't mean there should be additional barriers D and E put in place.

Hmmm... (2)

lewiscr (3314) | more than 13 years ago | (#264266)

I was thinking that a Rack of PS2s would make an excellent batch pool, if only we could put 512 Meg of RAM in them. Has anybody hacked their PS2 for more RAM?

Re:SWEET (1)

xer.xes (4181) | more than 13 years ago | (#264267)

The Japanese PS2 has a PCMCIA slot to which it connects the harddisk, the European and US version have a special bay for the harddisk and before the end of the year even PS2's with the harddisk built into it.

Re:waat no bsd? (1)

xer.xes (4181) | more than 13 years ago | (#264268)

The power of open source.. Once there is one OS available, you can 'easily' roll your own :)

Re:GT3 (1)

cblack (4342) | more than 13 years ago | (#264269)

Nice sig, commodore?
It us understandable to be surly sometimes.

Re:Hey! (2)

Glytch (4881) | more than 13 years ago | (#264272)

I wonder if standard USB hard drives could be used under PS2 Linux. If so, all one would need is to ditch the mouse or get a hub, and wouldn't need to wait for the 3rd party gear at all. All this kind of reminds of the NetBSD-on-the-Dreamcast story from awhile back.

Hey! (5)

Glytch (4881) | more than 13 years ago | (#264273)

Yeah, this is nice, but does it run Li-


Re:babelfished (1)

cswiii (11061) | more than 13 years ago | (#264275)

yeah, I thought the same thing. And I wondered who the hell this "shaun" guy was for quite a while, until I read the whole string in succession.

/me gets some coffee.

Re:Now what? (1)

kevlar (13509) | more than 13 years ago | (#264276)

How about a customized App for the PS2 that runs on Linux.... The user of the app does not need to _know_ its running on Linux. For example, an MP3 jukebox.

Re:um what about the GPL? (1)

dirty (13560) | more than 13 years ago | (#264277)

Read the GPL:
"When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs; and that you know you can do these things."

Re:um what about the GPL? (1)

bonk (13623) | more than 13 years ago | (#264278)

What, you expect them to give away a hard drive and ethernet adapter, manuals, mouse and keyboard for free? And they can charge however damn much they please for linux, they just have to make the source available - which if you even bothered to read the post, it says:

The kit will include a complete Linux/X11 environment with all sources, technical hardware manuals for the EE, GS and vectorunits plus a low-level API and Mesa drivers for graphics.

Not a stupid idea (5)

bonk (13623) | more than 13 years ago | (#264279)

My guess is that sony is getting ready to fight XBOX. The main appeal of xbox is that you don't need to buy a $50,000-$100,000 devkit to program for it - you just need to find a liscensed game seller.

The cost of the devkit has been the main hurdle for people learning how to program consoles on their own. I wanted to learn dreamcast programming, but the devkit was more than my yearly salary. I wasn't interested in performing hacks and messy work around so i could program the DC to kinda work with linux/assembly.

With this linux kit, it includes support for the low level api. and the psx2 is notoriously different/difficult to work with, so letting interested people mess around with development in their spare time is a GOOD IDEA in my opinion. I would definately buy the kit if it becomes available for non-japanese consoles.

I wouldn't buy this for linux, i would buy it for the chance to program on the psx2.

Interesting, however, there is cause for concern.. (1)

His name cannot be s (16831) | more than 13 years ago | (#264283)

I thought sony was trying to make the PS2 be considered to be a "consumer device" (like a vcr) rather than a computer. If the PS2 is a computer, a large number of countries slap bigger tarrifs on it, because it is in a different class of product. I wonder how this will affect the pricing in europe?

On the other side, hey! Cool!

These might make decent little boxen for a virtual server project/cluster.
Or maybe even as embedded units in some places.

Really, the list of useful purposes this can be put to is almost endless, kinda like a ... uh.... computer! ;)


There is no such thing as can't, the impossible just costs more.

Re:Non-PCMCIA version? (2)

leperjuice (18261) | more than 13 years ago | (#264285)

All I can say is "blech"

USB is very useful for low bandwidth devices (mice, keyboards, PDAs etc), but it chugs for even moderate loads. The PCMCIA bus is much more suited for things like HDDs, burners, etc.

As an example, I present USB->Ethernet converters. Your 10/100Mbit converter actually runs at a max of around 12Mbit/sec. Add more devices onto the bus and you throttle it down even further.

Note that I cannot speak for USB 2.0, but I say to hell with USB; give us FireWire instead.

Re:Way cool development platform... (4)

leperjuice (18261) | more than 13 years ago | (#264287)

> Playstation 1 requires you to buy a $2k PCI
> card for a PC. (Last I heard. It may have come
> down quite a bit)

I'm a little confused about that...

You may or may not recall the Net Yaroze [] (the "black Playstation"). It was meant for hobbyist Playstation programmer and came with a stripped down set of libraries, special memory card and boot cd, and a serial cable to connect to a PC (and yes, you can use Linux [] ). That's all you needed.

I had seen the blue [] (developer) Playstation at a friend's company and I was under the impression that it was just like the Yaroze except it had the full libs and could read gold (burned) cds, but apparently the card you speak of is also required. I'm unclear as to what it's for, considering that you can do crippled programming on the Yaroze with just a serial cable.

envy (1)

Orion2o6 (19212) | more than 13 years ago | (#264288)

Makes you wish you were japanese.

GT3 (1)

Orion2o6 (19212) | more than 13 years ago | (#264289)

I noticed that Daily Radar [] has some nice videos and screen shots of GT3. I believe the official release date is June 15th in the U.S.. There's speculation of a lan/internet based GT3 being released before that time in Japan. There very well may be quite a few versions of GT3 out on the market before next spring. All I can say is.. be prepared for the biggest and best racing game ever. I know I am.

Re:um what about the GPL? (2)

Oliver (19269) | more than 13 years ago | (#264290)

No need for it. They will distribute the source together with the binaries on the same DVD. Now go and read GPL section 3.
By distributing source and binary together, they have fullfilled their duties, no need to provide it to "any third party".
Of course, they can't disallow you from redistribution the source, so certainly somebody will upload it somewhere, but that's another story.

More signatures required! (2)

dnxthx (22324) | more than 13 years ago | (#264291)

Since a large number of signatures prompted the Japanese release, then we have no reason to believe that the same thing can't happen here. So, I urge everyone to go and sign the USA list!

Re:Hmmmmm (1)

Darth Hubris (26923) | more than 13 years ago | (#264293)

Funny you should mention Beowolf. Didn't Sadam Hussein buy about 2,000 PS2's?

Non-PCMCIA version? (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 13 years ago | (#264294)

OK, so how long until someone makes a CD-ROM which boots up a Linux which can handle a USB HDD and Ethernet? Then the PCMICA slot will not be a requirement.


mihalis (28146) | more than 13 years ago | (#264296)

I dunno, I know I don't see the whole picture, if someone out there can rationalize regional hardware for me...

that's just it - without regional hardware you don't see the whole picture, in fact you can't see a picture at all - Japanese-TV format TVs don't work with US format VCRs etc (and vice versa), same with Playstations. Multi-format output capability would be lots of $$$$ or Yen (sorry, don't have a Yen symbol on my keyboard).

Cynical point of view (4)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 13 years ago | (#264299)

Hmmmm... I have to be cynical, but couldn't this be a case of Sony noticing that there is a definite lack of quality titles for the PS2 (no flames please, fanboys please abstain) and trying to put out an affortable SDK to create some buzz?

I might be wrong, obviously, but given the extremely low price of this SDK, and that it runs a very buzz-friendly OS, I have to wonder...

after all, given that the XBox is a MS product, I assume that it would be very easy for MS to give out some sort of SDK that runs on a standard PC, since the hardware is pretty much the same.

What do you all think?

Interesting, but... (3)

WyldOne (29955) | more than 13 years ago | (#264300)

Will the programs you develop in Linux be able to be played/packaged without the kit being attached to it? It would be cool to have a 'blank' game card that could be programed with the kit, then used without the kit. I would not care if the OS part was copyrighted if I could GPL my game, or in the worst case distribute my game in binary form.

Considering the cost ($300ps2 +$200kit) it would make a extremely cheap development platform for new games.

If this happened the X-box would be toast. EOL.

You know the porting of games would come fast and furious after that. eg: UT, UT2, Half-life, Q4, Tomb Raider, Turok, Drakken, Doom, Leisure Suit Larry and the Land of the Lounge Lizards. (yeah, I know some are already ported)


Ngeran (31568) | more than 13 years ago | (#264302)

Actually the American and Japanese TV formats are quite the same. It's completely understandable to have different versions of consoles for areas with different TV types, but I'd imagine that it would be a simple step in the software itself to read the console type and run the correct video output code in the game (If that's even needed at all. It's most likely all in the hardware itself.)

As for the language, again, most DVDs, most hardware, etc already do multiple languages. Wouldn't be incredibly hard to put more than one language in the hardware and on the software.

As for DVD regional coding? Well... Guess I can't suggest anything there except for possibly... neglecting... to put the region checking code in the console. Sorta like some DVD players did. Like that'll really happen, though.

This is old news. (1)

phaktor (39283) | more than 13 years ago | (#264306)

I remember reading this on "SlashDot" [] weeks ago :)

Re:um what about the GPL? (1)

antiher0 (41258) | more than 13 years ago | (#264307)

if you read the post a little closer, you'll notice that you get a harddrive, a mouse, a keyboard, as well as some adapters 'n stuff... I have a feeling that this is what makes up the majority of the $200. However, it would be nice we could get a hold of their source... :)

Re:Now what? (2)

antiher0 (41258) | more than 13 years ago | (#264308)

from previous /. articles, it became known that Sony was using Linux as their development platform of choice. Maybe their dev tools will also become available... if that were to come about, you could develop your own PS2 games... that would rock :)

More Human than Human (3)

xtal (49134) | more than 13 years ago | (#264310)

Anyone else see the signifigance of this? A killer OS, combined with state of the art engineering for multimedia hardware. Complete right down to the low level information to program the fancy-pants features. Last time I saw that was in the near-mythical box of yore, the Amiga.. *dreamy sighs* I hope this makes it to North America. I can't believe sony did it either.. aye karumba!

Just think, a standardized, high-power linux graphics computing platform targeted solely at games, but with the capability to do other stuff, too. Maybe I'll spend my GF3 fund on something like that and keep my PC for coding. Heh.

Hope it's not a hoax..

Ports (1)

rossz (67331) | more than 13 years ago | (#264316)

I guess it's time to start on porting sendmail. That's the excuse I'm using and I'm going to stick with it.

Rendering Farm? (2)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 13 years ago | (#264317)

Yes, in a way, this is the old "Beowulf cluster" joke, but with a new twist.

If Sony releases this out in the open, with a version of Linux that can really drive the PS2 harware (especially the kick-ass PS-2 graphical chips) and connect to a LAN, you can actually build a rendering farm on the cheap!

Think about it: Sony PS-2 + Linux kit = cheapo cheapo super-duper rendering workstation, with well-supported and well-known OS.

Even better : link a cluster of Athlon PC (for number-crunching, monitoring and data transfer) and a cluster of Sony PS-2 and you probably have something that will blast away 90% of the super-computer competition, for a fraction of the price... Makes you wonder what Saddam Hussein is going to do with all the PS-2 Iraq bought a while ago.

On a lighter note, think about SFX houses -- Hollywood-grade hardware with a twist.

Of course, Sony will have to play ball, and release everything so that crazy coders can optimize, tweak and debug it. But they'll win a dedicated and loyal group of programmers in the bargain. Smart move!

I suppose this means Open Sourced games...? (1)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 13 years ago | (#264318)

...Sony must think this will either sell a lot of units (and plan to make a profit off of those sales) or they don't think it'll generate a lot of interest.

Their profits rely too much on fees they earn from published games, and free softwear has potential to cut into those fees.

As I've said before though, this very thing cropping up is the very thing that will keep things like TuxBox from taking off. I wonder if that's not the point?

"Everything you know is wrong. (And stupid.)"


decipher_saint (72686) | more than 13 years ago | (#264319)

It never-EVER made sense to me that there is a difference between Japanese and American console units. I could never see a point to it, who cares if I wan't to buy Japanese software or a Japanese person wants to buy North American software? Are they worried about not being able to satisfy demand? To that I call B.S. If a system does well in Japan and crappy in North America and you have region specific hardware doesen't that mean the company now has North American only units it can't get rid of? Wouldn't it make more sense to standardize the hardware so you could move it to where demand is?

I dunno, I know I don't see the whole picture, if someone out there can rationalize regional hardware for me...

Ah well...


Re:Can anyone explain... (2)

bko (73379) | more than 13 years ago | (#264320)

the boxes offer a vga/tv switch. I think you can actually get a plain cable that you just swap in/out, too.

The hardware itself is all on your dreamcast.

get me a bootable cdrom... (4)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 13 years ago | (#264324)

...with X and XMMS and I'm golden. I don't even want the hard drive, I just want to burn bootable CDs/DVDs that I can load with MP3s and play them through the stereo in the living room...

would be *really* nice to have a bootable MAME CD as well.

PS/2? (3)

passion (84900) | more than 13 years ago | (#264327)

Yeah, I got Linux running on my PS/2 years ago... I don't see what the big deal here is. It's actually a pretty crappy server, and is only any good as a terminal.


_egg (86248) | more than 13 years ago | (#264328)

Uh, wrong. Both Japan and the US use NTSC for their television standard. It's Europe that uses PAL and requires different output format. The difference between the Japanese and American PS2 is whether the broadband adapter is an external or internal device. The American version (with internal expansion bay) is now being sold in Japan as well because it costs less to produce.

Yes, but . . . (2)

Kreeblah (95092) | more than 13 years ago | (#264335)

Not to dampen anyone's spirits (because this is really cool), but does anyone remember the stories about Saddam Houssein buying up a bunch of PS2 units? This could be dangerous, if someone sends him a copy of Linux for the PS2 . . .


Kreeblah (95092) | more than 13 years ago | (#264336)

As far as the TV formats are concerned, Japan and the U.S. both use NTSC (60 fps, 512x384 resolution). It's Europe that uses a different format (PAL; 50 fps, 768x576 resolution).

They can fit it all on one disc. Some games have it already (an option for Japanese or English text/speech). Besides, the Japanese PS2s already have an option to display the interface in English (play DVDs, change settings, etc.) Besides, some people don't care if they can't understand the games. They'll buy them anyway.

You know, the DVD spec only calls for lockouts for movie DVDs. Not games. DVD-ROM is a different specification. (The PS2 probably uses a different disc format, but AFAIK, no region codes are defined for DVD-ROM.) The lockouts on the PSX didn't have anything to do with any CD-ROM spec, now did they? It was all internal within the Playstation fileformat spec (some kind of weird interleaved knockoff of the ISO9660 spec).

Re:DeCSS (1)

Animgif (96529) | more than 13 years ago | (#264337)

But, as far as I can tell you would have to disable the Linux part for play your DVDs...thus eliminating that option. If that's not true, +2 cool points!

DeCSS (5)

Animgif (96529) | more than 13 years ago | (#264338) all we need to do is compile DeCSS for it so we can use the DVD functionality!


Sc00ter (99550) | more than 13 years ago | (#264339)

NTSC is 30fps, 2 fields per frame.

Re:Way cool development platform... (3)

Christianfreak (100697) | more than 13 years ago | (#264341)

I'm hoping this will make it easy to for developers to port PS2 games to linux!

"One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

Re:babelfished (1)

diggum007 (111070) | more than 13 years ago | (#264345)

Oh, PLEASE can I say "All your base are belong to us" ???? It just seems like the most appropriate thing to say after reading that.

Speaking of convergence fantasies (3)

gavinmead (112093) | more than 13 years ago | (#264346)

This sounds like an excellent starting point for Taco's convergence mania. It'll have the DVD player, the quality outputs, and a good development platform. Sure, it still needs a few things added for complete functionality, but as people were discussing, this could be a good "hub" unit, or at least a starting point for creating a comprehensive UI.

Re:envy (1)

biohazard99 (114288) | more than 13 years ago | (#264347)

I don't know, as we now have "large american penis", why would we want to be japanese.
BTW Moderators, if you don't find this funny, you should watch South Park, they'll make fun of anybody, even "Alabama Man"

Re:Now what? (2)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 13 years ago | (#264353)

Maybe their dev tools will also become available
These ARE the dev tools; everything else is written for individual game (engines). Hope you're up on your assm programming.

Re:um what about the GPL? (5)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 13 years ago | (#264356)

Gods damn you , would you please get it through your heads that the GPL does NOT mean 'free software' in any way? It means 'software comes with source; source can be done with as you please.' Say it with me, folks; GPL SOFTWARE CAN BE CHARGED FOR.

Oh yeah? (3)

fluxrad (125130) | more than 13 years ago | (#264359)

I suppose i'm still waiting for Sony's port of Gran Tourismo 3 A-spec. Where do i sign?

After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network

Re:um what about the GPL? (1)

pallex (126468) | more than 13 years ago | (#264365)

Wasnt it Bill Gates who, upon being asked if he thought all software should be free, replied `yes, and all hardware too` ?

Re:Why not? Linux+Gameboy+Cellphone = mobile serve (1)

pallex (126468) | more than 13 years ago | (#264366)

Yes. I believe the problem was with the word `Microsoft`, and not `everywhere`.

Re:Way cool development platform... (3)

not_cub (133206) | more than 13 years ago | (#264367)

Okay, this rocks. Assuming Sony will get this out in multilingual formats, this will *really* help speed acceptance and build an incredible amature developer base for new games and apps.

Quite frankly, I don't think this is going to happen like this. Linux is already available for PCs. Linux running PC-owners have a far higher proportion of programmers with the ability to write games than the ps2. If we were going to see a plethora of games for linux, developed by amateurs, they would already be here. As it is, we have a handful of Loki ports, and a few relatively simplistic games (cannon smash, tux racer etc).

Where it may help is if it is competitive with the native development of ps2 games. A conventional games company looking at developing a game for ps2 would weigh up the points of doing it under linux on ps2 or not, and one point that may swing it is that, "if we do it under linux, we can pick up all those geeks on slashdot too".

For myself, I would rather see something like the dreamcast linux that is currently available. I don't need a hard disk on a console, just a network card. Because I know all I'll use it for is as a sitting room front-end for my real computer to play mp3s, occasionally look at the web etc.. which isn't exciting, but I'd put money it's what a lot of people want.


to do list: (4)

Ron Harwood (136613) | more than 13 years ago | (#264369)

1. Learn Japanese.

2. Buy a PS2.

3. Get kit.

4. Convince wife that it is all "educational" and is not because of any "cool factor".

This shows it works (1)

michaelsimms (141209) | more than 13 years ago | (#264371)

6,000 petitions and it worked!

This shows that public opinion can work through petitions. Go sign the petitions at the Tux Games Petitions Page [] .

Remember ADAM? (1)

jsin (141879) | more than 13 years ago | (#264372)

Remember in the 80's when every game console was trying to cash in on the home computer movement? Remember ADAM, the Colecovision box with a bad keyboard and printer, is that what this is all about or what?

Re:Rendering Farm? (5)

John_Booty (149925) | more than 13 years ago | (#264375)

you can actually build a rendering farm on the cheap!

Ah, no. Not even close. Sorry. You're confusing real-time graphics with pre-rendered graphics, here. When you render graphics with a 3d modeling/rendering app like Lightwave or 3DSMax (for example) the CPU is doing all of the rendering computations when you render your final image.

Your 3d-accelerated hardware (the PS2's obvious strength) is used by LW or 3DS for real-time previews while you're creating and animating your scene. But when you're rendering your image, your shiny GeForce5 with 256MB memory and a 600MHZ GPU is nothing but a fancy slot-warmer. It does nothing. Your GeForce5-equipped machine is not going to render any faster than an identical PC with a S3 Virge chip.

Also, rendering is a true memory hog. Anyone doing serious rendering has at least 128MB of memory, if not 256 or 512MB. The PS2 has 32MB on board making it less than useless.

I'm sure the PS2's CPU is pretty powerful, especially for the floating-point operations needed for 3D rendering, but... it's only 300MHZ. I seriously doubt it's going to render faster than a 800mhz Athlon that you can buy for like $100 these days.
So, in summary, "no." []

Funny thing is... (5)

-=OmegaMan=- (151970) | more than 13 years ago | (#264378)

The Dreamcast has had this for a while, albeit in a less professional (and much cheaper) version.

Dreamcast Linux []

NetBSD, too, if you swing that way. ;)

Dreamcast NetBSD []

Raw links for the Goatse paranoid:


purd (152986) | more than 13 years ago | (#264380)

(Like it or not, the world DOES run on money)

What about programs? (5)

L Fitzgerald Sjoberg (171091) | more than 13 years ago | (#264387)

As far as I know, right now you can't write games for the PS2 without the permission and strict supervision of Sony. Will the existence of PS2 Linux change this, or will any attempt to distribute games for it meet with a heavy kibosh from a swarm of Sony lawyers? I'm not too excited about an Open Source OS for the PS2 if I can't run Open Source software on it.

Re:um what about the GPL? (1)

swv3752 (187722) | more than 13 years ago | (#264391)

If they give you sources, they dont need to provide downloads. Not to say you couldn't provide downloads after you bought it though.

Re:Now what? (1)

swv3752 (187722) | more than 13 years ago | (#264392)

It should make porting Games to the PS2 easier. And better yet, it might make some PS2 title available on Linux. I see the biggest fear being that a bunch of games might get released with out official sanction of Sony.


swv3752 (187722) | more than 13 years ago | (#264393)

Different TV formats. Different Language. Because DVD's are already Regionally coded so Sony has to make them seperate, besides being a part of the MPAA and RIAA. Forgot about that didn't ya?

Re:um what about the GPL? (2)

swv3752 (187722) | more than 13 years ago | (#264394)

The kit will include a complete Linux/X11 environment with all sources, technical hardware manuals for the EE, GS and vectorunits plus a low-level API and Mesa drivers for graphics.
Ever consider reading the article? The GPL lets you charge for copies, besides it says that Sony is providing a lot more than just linux on a DVD/CD.

Re:Interesting, however, there is cause for concer (2)

swv3752 (187722) | more than 13 years ago | (#264395)

If you have been paying attention, a basic programming language (BASIC I think) was added to the Euro model just to get it considered a computer, thereby dropping into lower tarifs.

Re:Yes, but . . . (1)

dstone (191334) | more than 13 years ago | (#264396)

does anyone remember the stories about Saddam Houssein buying up a bunch of PS2 units? This could be dangerous

Oh, come on. Tell us now...

Do you think he's gonna build a Beowolf cluster of them?

And then all your PS2s are belong to Iraq?

Sheesh! Someone set you up the bomb.

Re:Way cool development platform... (2)

Jon Erikson (198204) | more than 13 years ago | (#264401)

Okay, this rocks. Assuming Sony will get this out in multilingual formats, this will *really* help speed acceptance and build an incredible amature developer base for new games and apps.

What crack are you smoking? Do you honestly think Sony really needs the "kudos" generated by a few long-haired open source zealots to ensure acceptance of the PS2? Nonsense. And the thought that any of them will actually fork out money for this is rediculous, after all if it's not free it's not worth having.

Re:Non-PCMCIA version? (2)

guinsu (198732) | more than 13 years ago | (#264403)

Well, the PS2 has Firewire, so I am sure someone will write drivers for Firewire HD's. The only thing is it seems that the Linux community has more experience writing USB drivers (just my impresison, could be wrong) so I would assume that they would come first. And for gaming I would think 12Mbit/sec would be sufficient.

The real question is... (1)

esconsult1 (203878) | more than 13 years ago | (#264404)

Can I run apache, PHP, mod_perl in a cluster of these suckers?

Re:Hey! (1)

Gehenna_Gehenna (207096) | more than 13 years ago | (#264405)

I could really user a beowolf...oh hell

Sounds cool, but would it lose the ability to play the PS2 games? I'd be interested in it only if I could dual boot between linux & the PS2 os. May be more feasable once the hard drive & connectivity issues for the PS2 are solved with that addons due out in a year or so.

Still a great step in bringing Linux to the common everyday AOL user, if they can make it in a nice, sexy easy to install (&cheaper than $200) package.

Re:babelfished (2)

Hieronymus Howard (215725) | more than 13 years ago | (#264412)

place t Shaun 2

I think that should become the official /. nickname for the PS/2.



ageitgey (216346) | more than 13 years ago | (#264413)

As far as games, Japan the US use the same television standard and many Japanese ports I've seen recently still contain japanese text/audio as a special option in addition to the US text/audio. They could just make it one disc. Now if they want to release the Japanese one first and then use extra time to translate, fine. But why lock people in North America out of playing the Japanese versions?

Now what? (3)

update() (217397) | more than 13 years ago | (#264415)

Yes, I understand the cool factor. Yes, it would be great to have a Beowulf cluster of these?

But is there any practical value for this? It seems to me that when you're buying a keyboard and external hard drive to run Linux on a system displaying on your TV, you would be better off using the PC you already have. (I'm skeptical that there is a large base of PlayStation Linux customers who don't already have a PC.)

I'm not knocking this - I'm trying to understand if there's anything behind statements like conservative fractions in the company are hindering the Public Release of the port, fearing revelation of their trade secrets and not seeing the advantage for SCEI releasing the software.

Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

Great news... (3)

humantraffic (220145) | more than 13 years ago | (#264417)

Now I'll be able to get Tux Racer and 36 different versions of solitaire for PS2. Plus all the games people were developing for the Idrema...

I'll never be off my PS2 ever...

So the big question now is (1)

Daath (225404) | more than 13 years ago | (#264419)

So the big question now is ... who will develop a PlayStation 2 emulator for this thing?

;-) "Because we can"

Indrema Factor (4)

Fatal0E (230910) | more than 13 years ago | (#264423)

6000 sigs aside, maybe the Indrema (or the principles behind it) where the motivating factor.

Think about it, whats the best way to insure the longevity of a game these days? Ask Sierra studios and they'll tell you the answer is a community of home grown developers. This practice can easily translate to a console. Sony is protecting themselves against the Xbox and Gamecube by 'opening' their console to people who could develop apps and games at home.

Re:DeCSS (1)

DarkDust (239124) | more than 13 years ago | (#264426)

Naah, why criple such a nice DVD-Player ? I've recently bought a laptop with a DVD-Player and was _so_ disappointed by it, because I was used to the good quality of the PS2 DVD-Player... what's more interesting to me is playing my own Tuxracer levels on the PS2 :-)=) And maybe CivCTP, HoMM3 and SimCity3000 :-)=)

Way cool development platform... (5)

Bonker (243350) | more than 13 years ago | (#264428)

Okay, this rocks. Assuming Sony will get this out in multilingual formats, this will *really* help speed acceptance and build an incredible amature developer base for new games and apps.

Nintendo currently requires you to buy or lease an expensive (bigger than my yearly salary) SGI-based development kit. Playstation 1 requires you to buy a $2k PCI card for a PC. (Last I heard. It may have come down quite a bit) Microsoft's going to let you develop on a PC, but let's be honest here. How many developers have the best 3D gaming platform money can buy?

Letting users run linux and a HDD *on* a PS2, however, means that entriprising hackers can start building games and/or other apps. What's *really* great about this is the fact that quite a few of these new apps are going to be written for the X environment on the Linux kit. It seems to me like that would make it an easy port to GTK, etc...

Ohayou gozaimasu, our Nihonjin friends. How about some prelim reports on the functionality once you get your hands on these guys?

um what about the GPL? (1)

SanLouBlues (245548) | more than 13 years ago | (#264429)

Isn't Linux GPLed? In addition to selling it for 200 bucks, don't they have to make it freely available?

Re:um what about the GPL? (1)

SanLouBlues (245548) | more than 13 years ago | (#264430)

Let me clarify: Where the heck is the download link?

Re:um what about the GPL? (3)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 13 years ago | (#264431)

The software is free, but the hardware required to run it (HDD, etc.) isn't. Fully legal under the GPL.

Acceptance (2)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 13 years ago | (#264434)

I think you read it backwards... it can help acceptance of linux and increase the number of game developers for linux. If you have to fork out $2000 for a decent new computer, why not instead upgrade your PS2 for $200 to have a gaming computer you can develop on?


Re:Interesting, however, there is cause for concer (1)

WebMasterJoe (253077) | more than 13 years ago | (#264436)

It can't require a programming language to be considered a computer - what about buying a complete system with an empty HD and no included software? It's still a computer, but no language. Maybe including a language is one of many possible requirements. I probably don't know what I'm talking about.

Re:um what about the GPL? (2)

WebMasterJoe (253077) | more than 13 years ago | (#264437)

My (possibly wrong) understanding was that you can charge for the product when it's delivered on some sort of media (like a boxed version of RedHat) but it has be available free somehow (like an ftp site). So Sony charging $200 for their kit, including HD and ethernet and the media and a colorful box and shrinkwrap is fine, but they should somehow offer the software aspect free somehow, like ISO's on an anonymous ftp site.

Given that, I'll still buy the kit, because it'll be easier to get the hard drive and ethernet that way and I'll pay Sony for their work in porting the OS to a new platform. But when the next release of PSLinux (or whatever the distro will be called, I can't read Japanese) comes out, I'll probably just download and burn the ISO files.

And their are a lot of "Offtopic" moderations going on here for what I would consider "Ontopic" posts. Has the power fallen into the wrong hands?

Re:Hey! (2)

cheesebot (265313) | more than 13 years ago | (#264439)

yeah but will they sell it to Saddam Hussein?

Wow! (3)

matt-larose (308335) | more than 13 years ago | (#264442)

I cant wait to get my hands on one of these puppies.. but why the difference between american/japanese launch date ? im sick of it!

watch out for sadaam (1)

capoccia (312092) | more than 13 years ago | (#264443)

now sadaam doesn't even have to port linux or anything. a 2000 node cluster of ps2's running linux sounds like a supercomputer to me.

Bored with your projects?
Try Einsteinium []

Re:Rendering Farm? (3)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 13 years ago | (#264446)

you can actually build a rendering farm on the cheap!

But remember the game console pricing model! Lose money on the hardware, make money on the software. If people start snapping these up as cheap graphics workstations, something has to give, since those people aren't likely to buy anywhere near enough games to match the number of consoles. Sony either needs to charge for the linux software dvd or charge more for the hardware. I bet it's the former. Or pehaps charging a high price for the disk/ethernet add-on hardware.

Re:Interesting, however, there is cause for concer (1)

Chakat (320875) | more than 13 years ago | (#264447)

Actually, it's just the opposite - if it's a computer it's taxed less than a game system in most countries. In fact, the some of the euro models of the PS2 came with a CD with BASIC on it, because most tarriff laws state that something is a computer if it includes a programming language.

I personally think that this box would kick some serious ass as a nice portable system to take with you on vacation.

Re:great, now in 6 years I should be able to get (2)

gamgee5273 (410326) | more than 13 years ago | (#264453)

Come to Michigan - we have plenty. I was just in Best Buy yesterday and they had about ten PS2s on the floor. And, if we don't have them here, you can always go to Canada - I understand they're not moving all that fast over there...

All I we now need is (1)

Black And Decker (413435) | more than 13 years ago | (#264454)

a rackmountable version of the PS2 and we can rock.

Re:babelfished (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 13 years ago | (#264455)

I can just see it now... when I feel like playing a few games with my Japanese freinds I'll just ask them to "Set up us the 'place t Shaun 2'"!
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