Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Interested In A US Linux For PS2?

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the register-register-sign-up dept.

Games 159

Sony Computer Entertainment America writes "What is the interest level for a US release of a GNU/Linux Kit that works with the PlayStation 2? Sony Computer Entertainment Inc (Japan) recently released a Beta test version of Linux for its PlayStation 2 Computer Entertainment System. Currently, the PS2 Linux Kit is only available in Japan and only runs on a Japanese model of PlayStation 2 However, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) is considering the possibility of a US release of the kit. At this time, no decisions have been made as to whether to release, how much a US kit would cost or when it would be released. SCEA wants to find out what the level of interest for a PS2 Linux Kit is in the US. You can visit their website to register your interest."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Re:Just not right... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#64121)

Who needs onboard storage if you've got ethernet...

Re:I guess the level of interest will be huge (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#64124)

instead of one of the Dell/Toshiba/IBM/whatsoever corporate whore notebooks)

Yeah, as opposed to Sony, the small Indie startup.

Re:Licensing Issues (3)

HeUnique (187) | more than 13 years ago | (#64125)

As much as I heard from a Japanese programmer who bought this kit - yes, it's inside the Linux DVD..

You do not, however, get all the sources. Some of the things are under closed source license (like the Emotion driver, etc..)

PS2 + Linux = Ultimate Party Box (2)

oGMo (379) | more than 13 years ago | (#64126)

If I could get Linux for this thing, I could finally have the Ultimate Party Box. Just think:

  • Movies - DVDs are obviously there already. With Linux we could probably add VCDs.
  • Music - CDs, add mp3s, oggs, etc. Hook it up to some funky FX hardware and write some visualizers....
  • Games - Most obviously PS2 and PS1 games. Throw into the mix emulators for n64, snes, NES, genesis, MAME, etc., and you've got a box that can play almost every console game ever.

Mmmm. Throw in broadband and start streaming music and doing massive multiplayer gaming... mmm.

For SCEA reps who may be reading this: Linux is how to ensure the PlayStation 2 becomes and stays the market leader, and those are the reasons why.

Divide and disappoint? (2)

YuppieScum (1096) | more than 13 years ago | (#64128)

What about UK-based users? I'd pay for this. How about France, Germany, etc...

How likely is it they'll use the "Not enough demand in region x" argument, when there would be enough global demand?

I would rant on and on about global corporations using spurious geographical distinctions to shaft the user, but we've all got DVD players, so that'd be redundant.

Re:Divide and disappoint? (2)

YuppieScum (1096) | more than 13 years ago | (#64129)

There are two types of PSX2 - Japanese and non-Japanese.

The hardware design for the two is different - for example, the JP version has software-based DVD playback, the non-JP is hardware - predominantly due to the differing nature of the JP market.

However, as far as I can tell (without the service manuals in front of me) the physical characteristics are identical on all non-JP PSX2s - the only differences are the PSU, video output and "region coding".

So, no reason not to do the right thing - except for "marketing" and, of course, greed.

DMCA bait (1)

XPulga (1242) | more than 13 years ago | (#64130)

I guess you (USAans) will need to build more prisons very quickly. If everyone who copies the ISO to the HD to tweak the system and burns back to CD-R gets accused of reverse engineering by Sony...

No, actually I DON'T want linux for my PS2 (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 13 years ago | (#64133)

Hey, not to spoil the fun for those who might actually want to pay for a fixed disk and network card in order to install linux on their PS2's. If that's what you want, by all means let Sony know. But not me.

I bought my PS2 to get away from Linux. I love the fact that I can stick a CD in and play a game, without fuss or trouble. Even my techology challenged sister can use the damn thing. Sure, linux on the PS2 has great hack value and could be plenty of fun... but so is 68K/Sparc/PPC/Alpha/x86 (etc etc etc) linux. It just doesn't seem worth the trouble from my perspective. And what are you going to play, Tux Racer? That is, if someone ports hardware accelerated Mesa to the PS2 (which would be a cool project for those who actually want this kit). Me, I'll stick with Gran Turismo, which happens to be an amazing game. :-)


Re:Divide and disappoint? (2)

stripes (3681) | more than 13 years ago | (#64134)

How likely is it they'll use the "Not enough demand in region x" argument, when there would be enough global demand?

As far as I know the "expansion bay" for the USA PSX2 is different from the Japan PSX2, and since the "Linux Kit" uses the expansion bay, it does have to be built differently.

I don't know of the UK PSX2 (or France, or Germany, or...) uses the same bay as the USA or JP PSX2, or yet another variant.

I also don't know if the bay is different for brain dead artificial marketing reasons, or because the JP one came out first, and they came up with good engenering changes, or if there is a FCC regulation the JP one violated, or...

A question: Why? (1)

Da VinMan (7669) | more than 13 years ago | (#64137)

Aside from the coolness factor, why would you run Linux on a PS2 anyway? The PS2 doesn't have enough dynamic storage or networking ability to make it into a nice PC-like or net appliance unit, does it?

Apologies in advance if this seems like a stupid question.

Re:Seriously though... Questions: (1)

Geek In Training (12075) | more than 13 years ago | (#64140)

I'm more thinking about storage and networking (such as the aforementioned Ethernet/HD module in Japan)... how much does that add-on cost, just to get you network and semi-permanent storage?

And how much can you thinker with the kit on the PS2, without the ability to burn new CDs for booting, etc? You'll need a PC devkit as well.

Re:Seriously though... Questions: (1)

Geek In Training (12075) | more than 13 years ago | (#64141)

In this case, your $300 for a display would be better spent for a 25" Sony (black) TV set with S-Video in. :)

I thought only the GPU pushed 6.2 gigaflops; what good will that do for your RC5 client? ;)

Seriously though... Questions: (5)

Geek In Training (12075) | more than 13 years ago | (#64142)

How many peripherals will PS/2 be able to use under Linux, so as to make it "usable for something other than a hobby."

How strong is interest for the "Linux for Dreamcast" tinkering going on?

Will people pay $300 for a gaming console, $(x*100) for peripherals, and then $Y for a Linux kit, when they can get all that and more for $200 from a NIC (see )?

I'm not bashing the idea; certainly some of us here like to do things "because it's there," but what practical uses for end users and sales opportunities for Sony can come from this?

Re:Third World Solution... (1)

magic (19621) | more than 13 years ago | (#64143)

PC's are pretty cheap... the monitor is the only expensive part these days. In the US, $200 will get you a monitor-less system good enough to surf the net and play Quake III on. $800 will get you a top of the line machine (1.4 GHz Athlon with all the trimmings), which has more power than a PS2.

Play stations are still about $150 here, so it isn't quite that level, but it is awfully close. You can even buy used PII PC's on EBay for $50.


While Sony's listening (5)

magic (19621) | more than 13 years ago | (#64145)

I greatly support a US Linux playstation, but as a graphics developer, I'm not sure it is interesting to me personally. With small modifications, it could be *really* interesting, however.

The playstation is currently really hard for small developers to support because the development stations are so expensive and it is difficult to port to from a Windows platform. Providing Linux for PS2 almost fixes this. Providing Linux with OpenGL drivers (and hopefully, a SDL port) completely rectifies the situation.

The X-Box is really attractive to small developers because it is a console where we can develop titles on regular PC workstations, then have a publisher (like Microsoft themselves) foot the minimal cost of the port if the game looks good. On PS2, the port is really expensive since the hardware is so different from a PC. With Linux and OpenGL support, I could develop on a Linux PC and Linux Playstation. I could also easily port PC Linux, Windows OpenGL, and Mac OpenGL/OSX apps to Playstation.

Blue Axion Studios []

Good place to watch slashdot effect! (1)

occam (20826) | more than 13 years ago | (#64147)

When I finished my questionnaire (vote), the meter read 472 votes. Brief refresh (just to see if number changed) read 485! A few minutes later, over 550. Site is fine, but the slashdot effect is readily visible.

Anyone know when the site first went live (just out of curiosity)?

= Joe =

When voting, suggest Java as well! (1)

occam (20826) | more than 13 years ago | (#64148)

There's a comment line. Use that to suggest supporting Java on PS2 as well (perhaps in future if not available immediately).

Just a suggestion, but I think Sony already has Java in works, so it could be a reasonable addition to their Linux offering. Java games on PS2, hehe. :-)

Re:A question: Why? (2)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | more than 13 years ago | (#64149)

"The PS2 doesn't have enough dynamic storage or networking ability to make it into a nice PC-like or net appliance unit, does it?"

Nope. The thing only has 32 megs of RAM in it. It's built from the ground up as a machine to play non-networked 3D games. It does that amazingly well (GT3 is stunning). They left ports to bolt on hard drives and networking, but they're hardly the focus of the design. If you want to run Linux cheap, go buy an old PC. If you want cutting edge stand alond 3D games, buy a PS2.


is there an emulator? (1)

Ledge (24267) | more than 13 years ago | (#64151)

Only if it can be umulated under palmOS under PocketPC under Windows 98 under Mac OSX ander Linux.

Firewire... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 13 years ago | (#64152)

Even better, you could hook up a FireWire hard drive (assuming support for PS2 FireWire was there).

PS2 Java support coming later this year... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 13 years ago | (#64153)

Slightly relevant to this topic is that Sony was also planning to have PS2 Java support [] later this year - I was assuming it was a port of the Blackdown project under Linux.

Perhaps that will help a few people sign up to ask for the dev kit! Myself, I'd almost be wiiling to buy the whole package just to get the VGA adaptor.

Why not DIY? (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 13 years ago | (#64155)

Okay, they released it for the Japan PS2. So get someone who got it to request the source, then port it.

(All non-trivial, but someone had to say it;)

LAN party/front end/expandable gaming system (1)

WyldOne (29955) | more than 13 years ago | (#64157)

Could be low end 'front' end for a server-client server architecture

Eg linux serving in background, w/ PS2 handling the 3D-X interface and mouse etc. Backend handling multi-game storage and net connections, stand-alone game servers, web, mp3, stack of game cd-'s(multibootable) etc. Then a LAN party would be 'Bring your PS/2, games ,controller/interface/nic cards we got the server'

A NIC with bootp would be wicked thou. Would not need HD then. Kit could be cheaper.

Re:Screenshot (1)

dead_penguin (31325) | more than 13 years ago | (#64158)

Pretty cool!

Too bad there's no way of actually telling that it was taken from a PS2, though. I mean, I probably could take a shot of my current desktop on my pc here and try and claim it's running on my microwave, using the fridge as a fileserver.

I suppose there's no real reason to suspect this'd be faked, though. If the PS2 can run X and Gnome, I'd be surprised if it *did* look different than on a desktop!

"Intelligence is the ability to avoid doing work, yet getting the work done".

Re:When voting, suggest Java as well! (1)

dead_penguin (31325) | more than 13 years ago | (#64159)

If it runs Linux properly, Kaffe support should be pretty much automatic. A simple recompile, and there ya go!

Getting a commercial (Sun, IBM, etc.) Java port running would probably be as easy from a technical point-of-view. The only issue would be that you'd have to convince the vendor to do it, a social engineering hack if I ever saw one!

"Intelligence is the ability to avoid doing work, yet getting the work done".

Re:Why not DIY? (2)

dead_penguin (31325) | more than 13 years ago | (#64160)

Because the kit that is being sold in Japan includes a hard-drive, network adapter, vga out, and other goodies, all in one handy (proprietary) package.

That said, it may be possible to use their source code to port Linux to the PS2 in different ways, or even using it to come up with ideas on how to interface conventional hardware to it. As slow as USB is, it might be possible to interface your network and hard-drive through there.

"Intelligence is the ability to avoid doing work, yet getting the work done".

Licensing Issues (4)

dead_penguin (31325) | more than 13 years ago | (#64161)

I suppose I may as well start the inevitable thread...

With the Linux kernel and GNU utilities being released under the GPL, does anyone know if the source to the modifications Sony has made to them are available? Even if the US version of the PS2 "kit" never becomes a reality, having this source would probably help people independently port Linux to the machine.

"Intelligence is the ability to avoid doing work, yet getting the work done".

Re:Just not right... (5)

dead_penguin (31325) | more than 13 years ago | (#64162)

I disagree. There are many uses for this. One that comes to mind almost instantly is as an mp3 player. I can see this possibly being done in two ways.

First, if the PS2 is networked, all it needs to do is boot, and nfs mount the directory with the gigs and gigs of music on your desktop. From there, a simple gui would allow playing of music using the controller pad. Why Linux? It's got decent networking support, and it (hopefully) shouldn't be to difficult to port a player such as mpg123 over to the PS2.

Another alternative would be to burn a minimal kernel and interface software to a CD (or DVD), followed by as many mp3s as can fit on the disk. Essentially this should give you a bootable, playable mp3 disk for the PS2. I realize that this would probably require modification of the actual PS2 unit to recognize the burned disks, though. Again, Linux would be great for this since similar things have already been done for PCs, and development could be done on a regular PC using a cross compiler.

My point is, though, that just because it can run Linux doesn't mean that it should be turned into yet another desktop system or web server. Granted, the PS2 has enough horsepower that it probably *could* do these things, but I think there are many more uses for a powerful-yet-inexpensive kernel on these devices.

"Intelligence is the ability to avoid doing work, yet getting the work done".

How has the Japanese one fared? (2)

chill (34294) | more than 13 years ago | (#64164)

How has the Japanese one been received? What have people done with it? What can it do? (Were drivers for everything included?)

I know they sold out quick, but does it DO anything?
Charles E. Hill

Re:Just not right... (3)

yomahz (35486) | more than 13 years ago | (#64165)

This is just the sort of bastardization I hate. If you want to run Linux (I do (Run it that is.)), buy/build an f'ing computer. PS2's may be cheap, but by the time you've got a keyboard/mouse, etc, it just doesn't loook quite so attractive. Plus the onboad storage is so limited.

Actually, the Japanese version [] comes w/ a 40G Hard Drive, mouse, and keyboard (among other things).

Re:When voting, suggest Java as well! (1)

zoom (38906) | more than 13 years ago | (#64166)

Sony announced Java support for the PS2 at JavaOne. They never mentioned GNU/Linux but the demo screen showed WindowMaker and a java app running.

Re:Why? (1)

Srass (42349) | more than 13 years ago | (#64167)

Sony's not a video game company. They're a consumer electronics company that makes a lot of other stuff. Clocks, stereos of all sizes, televisions, and, of course, laptops. And that's just the stuff I can see from the front door of Circuit City. I can't help but think that any experience they gain with Linux in the PS2 arena would eventually turn out to be useful elsewhere in their product line. . . and if they happen to garner some enthusiasm in the developer community, so much the better.

Re:Seriously though... Questions: (2)

VFVTHUNTER (66253) | more than 13 years ago | (#64172)

The Japanese Linux Kit includes USB keyboard and mouse (in black of course - let's not forget that Linus's first PC was a black Sinclair QL), 40GB Hard Drive, and 10/100 ethernet combo. It sells for $200 in Japan.

So let's do the math: $300 for the PS2, $200 for the Kit, and $300 for a nice 17-19" monitor (its gotta be black tho ;).

Yes, you can get a PC for this price, but this will be a PC as well as a PS2. Plus, it runs linux (and its black;). And you can't get a PC for this cost that will turn 6.2 gigaflops.

My question is this: what in the hell is that port on the back? The early Jap versions had an actual PCMCIA Type III slot. I've no idea what the hell the thing on the back is now, but from what I've seen, the hard drive/ethernet combo "plugs" into it.

I'm mostly curious about the X server for it. I've seen screenshots of the PS2 running WindowMaker. It's not hard to port Linux to the MIPS, but I would love to know how they're driving video. Does it use Mesa or just plain OpenGL?

/me prays for a Sony PS2-Linux kit for the SCPH-30001.

Wher edo you store the stuff though? (1)

BMonger (68213) | more than 13 years ago | (#64173)

So you have linux running on your PS2. That 8 MB memory card ain't gonna last long. Isn't there a hard drive slated to come out? If so then you wouldn't even have to worry about networking it to play MP3's and such. You might be able to actually install linux to the PS2 Hard Drive and then be connected to the net (which I guess would require networking) and get your MP3's and such from there. Hopefully the Hard Drive will be out soon. Otherwise it seems a little worthless to me.

Re:Wher edo you store the stuff though? (1)

BMonger (68213) | more than 13 years ago | (#64174)

Guess I shoulda done my research first... the Japanese version comes with the following:

DVD-ROM containing Beta Release 1 of Linux for PS2
40 GByte Hard Disc Drive
10 BASE-T/100 BASE-TX Ethernet Interface
USB Keyboard
USB Mouse
PlayStation 2 VGA AV Connector (HD 15 plus Stereo Audio) - requires "sync on green" monitor

Included on the DVD Disc is :-

"PlayStation 2" System Manual Set
"PlayStation 2" Runtime Environment
PS2 Linux Beta Release 1 Install Kit
Linux Kernel 2.2.1
XFree86 3.3.6
gcc 2.95.2
glibc 2.2.2

40 GB surely isn't enough... :)

Re:While Sony's listening (2)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 13 years ago | (#64176)

Also, I'm sure all those art school graduated, maya using kids are not going to be very familiar with fsck or how to setup their xf86config when they have problems with their video card.

Well, it'll be pre-configured for the only video card the system will ever use.

I think it could bring a lot of the simplicity of console use (no driver issues to worry about, no need to worry if this card or that card is supported....

I agree. (1)

SaDan (81097) | more than 13 years ago | (#64177)

I suppose if you only had the money to buy either a PS2 or a cheap home computer, and wanted to run Linux, the PS2 might not be a bad option if you play a lot of games.

However, if you can afford a PS2 and lots of games, you could afford a used PC to run Linux on. A used PII-400 system would run Linux just great, and only cost a fraction of what a new system costs, maybe even the same as a PS2!

The storage options and expansion capabilities (or lack thereof) on the PS2 are a real turn off for me. It's a neat idea, and I'm glad people are playing with odd hardware and Linux, but I just don't see how this will be of any use to people, other than for entertainment.

Oh, well. It's their money.

Interested in weather forecasting?

Re:While Sony's listening (1)

neowintermute (81982) | more than 13 years ago | (#64178)

This is a terrifying thought. So, most small developers are going to be limited to creating PC quality games? Hopefully not. And if they do, they're not going to be able to compete in the PS2 market anyway.

Linux for PS2 just sems ridiculous though. The cost of creating PS2 games is SO high to just create the amount of content in a PS2 game that anyone who can even consider it can afford really expensive boxen and lots of 3d artists.

Another good question is, are there really a lot of usable high quality 3d modeling tools for use under linxu to make this viable? I never get to use Linux anymore because there's no Flash 5 for linux, and that's what I author all day.

Also, I'm sure all those art school graduated, maya using kids are not going to be very familiar with fsck or how to setup their xf86config when they have problems with their video card.

Not to be negative, but I just think we need to be realistic about the market for linux. This is business we're talking about, from sony's perspective. []

Maybe. (2)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 13 years ago | (#64179)

This could be cool, but with the following considerations:

1- It needs to come with a supported keyboard and mouse, modem/broadband support, and have a desktop environment, so that I can actually DO something with it.

2- It damned well better support apt-get or something similar, because I am NOT going to try to compile a program and fill all of its dependencies just to screw with Linux on the PS2.

It would also help if it could do cool stuff out the box to begin with, such as Tivo like abilities, especially now that the PS2 hard drive is getting ready to ship. Of course, if this thing has net access people will be able to just code all that goodness for me to download.

Would it work on a US PS2 with modchip? (2)

Ryu2 (89645) | more than 13 years ago | (#64180)

Could you use the Japanese Linux kit on a US PS 2 if you had the right modchip? Or is it more substantial hardware differences than that?

Sounds like an opportunity (2)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 13 years ago | (#64181)

Everyone knows that Sony sells their console at a loss, so any investment in PS2's for commercial use would have Sony subsidizing part of it.

I'm thinking linux-based personal TV recorder ala TiVo with DVD built-in. Could be hot... ;-)

Re:Neato! (1)

CSG_SurferDude (96615) | more than 13 years ago | (#64182)

Actually, the interesting thing is that this is also effectively a survey of /. readers, minus all the garbage survey options, and the joke answers people put in (Why yes, I think Cmdr Taco should run for president. ;-)


Saddam and Beowulf (2)

Life Blood (100124) | more than 13 years ago | (#64184)

Wow great, that means Saddam actually might be able to make a supercomputer out of all those PS2s he allegedly purchased/purloined when they first came out in the States. Talk about making a beowulf cluster of those...

Re:Neato! (2)

soulsteal (104635) | more than 13 years ago | (#64185)

Forget the slashdot effect, how about a clean and clear demographic picture of the slashdot crowd...

If I were an advertiser, I'd know where to pump ads...

Re:Seriously though... Questions: (1)

jgerman (106518) | more than 13 years ago | (#64188)

"I bet you think now, don't you?" -Anonymous Cleveland FreeNet User, 1991

Or you could really quote the source: Ned's Atomic Dustbin, "You". <grin>

Screnshot (2)

shpoffo (114124) | more than 13 years ago | (#64191)

Good idea (2)

Kagato (116051) | more than 13 years ago | (#64192)

I think the idea of having a AV centric computer is a plus. Having actual vendor support for getting to the GFX chipset is a big plus. I like the idea of having a single machine on my coffee table I can use for Gaming and Surfing. Of course I have a 110 inch HDTV projector, so that helps. But I think as more and more people get DTVs the more useful something like this will be.

But that's just my $.02

Q: Have they released any source? (2)

jvmatthe (116058) | more than 13 years ago | (#64193)

Anyone have links to information on what source, if any, Sony has released? I'd be interested to see the PS2 kernel modifications (again, if any) added to the regular kernel, as well as having all the other bits added to standard core pieces (glibc, gcc, XFree86) so that the PS2 Linux distro could evolve with community support.

After all, once a PS2 gets obsoleted by the PS3, it becomes an abandoned platform and supporting those kinds of platforms has been one of the strengths of the open source and free software movements.

How hackable *is* the PS2? (1)

bgat (123664) | more than 13 years ago | (#64194)

I don't know much about the Japanese port, so I may be asking questions with obvious answers here. But if I am, please provide URLs!

Is this Linux port worth anything?

* Will I be able to burn my own Linux CD according to Sony's specifications, and boot whatever kernel I want on the PS2?
* Will I be able to get the GNU compiler set up at home, according to Sony's specifications, so I can recompile the kernel and other applications to run on the PS2?

Both statements are true *today* with the Sega Dreamcast console (except that the instructions came from the community, not from Sega), which means I can run Linux (, or anything else I want to on it by simply burning a CDR.

If Sony's hardware remains sufficiently closed such that it won't let me do on the PS2 what I can already do on the Dreamcast, then I'm not interested.


damnit (1)

ahknight (128958) | more than 13 years ago | (#64197)

Here they've been working on a version of Linux for this PS2 thing and I've been waiting for YEARS to blow away the OEM OS on my CD player with something with half the functionality (not that everything isn't supported, just that of everything that is supported, only half the device works). Can we perhaps get a web page with an expected port date for my TV, VCR, 'fridge, dishwasher, and doorbell? I really want that USB port on my doorbell working...

Yes, it could be worse than Linux on a PS2. You might use it for [gasp] gaming, or something equally entertaining that works out of the box. Now we get to figure out why XFree refuses to start on yet another system. Oh WOW! That Emotion Engine works wonders for console text.. Mmm hmm.

This is almost as bad as the guy who years ago put a Mr. Coffee on the web.

Re:While Sony's listening (3)

Agthorr (135998) | more than 13 years ago | (#64198)

At last! We'll be able to cheaply port nethack [] (the only game that really [] matters) to the Playstation!

All those console players who thus far do not know the beauty of the One True Game will finally be enlightened!

-- Agthorr

nethack? (2)

The_Rook (136658) | more than 13 years ago | (#64199)

and with the playstation's superior graphics, nethack could be fully rendered in 3d and i can live my dream of being chased through a dungeon by a huge 3d rendered ampersand.

This would be a good "bedroom machine" (2)

null_session (137073) | more than 13 years ago | (#64200)

No, not in the pr0n sense (although if you had it hooked up to a 31" tv that streaming amsterdam feed would look pretty good) but think for the kids. The may very well already have a TV. If they have a TV they probably have some sort of game system. Now they want their own computer (kids these days, when I was their age we didn't have these PCs at home... blah blah blah) you can spend an extra $200 or whatever and give them a hard drive, keyboard, and mouse to hook to their TV. Load up StarOffice (or whatever flavor you like) and they are set to go. This sounds like a good idea for computer savvy families who's kids already have tv in their rooms.

Besides all that, it would give the rest of us (possibly) a chance to do some programming for the motion engine. That would be fun.

Joke? (1)

PHanT0 (148738) | more than 13 years ago | (#64202)

Are you joking??? I'd love to get my hands on such a kit...
The possibilites would be endless... anyone could try their hand @ game programming... HOOK ME UP!!!

Re:Just not right... (1)

kableh (155146) | more than 13 years ago | (#64206)

I can think of plenty of reasons this would be useful.

With my Dreamcast I can burn an (WinCE) OS and a bunch of MP3s on a CD and listen to them. I can burn a VCD and watch that. I can boot Linux from a CD. I can also (get this) play Dreamcast games.

Running Linux on the PS2 may not be useful for someone with 3 or 4 computers in their home already, but you cant play Gran Turismo 3 on your home computer either =)

A new WebTV (3)

dthable (163749) | more than 13 years ago | (#64208)

If they could sell a version of Linux with web, email, IM, etc. capabilities then we could abandon the bulky desktop machines. For the average user who just uses the web and email, the PS2 could be the true replacement for the PC. Of course, I would never get rid of my PC...but I don't think I'm the average user. ;o)

Turn Playstation into an internet appliance? (1)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 13 years ago | (#64210)

Could be used to turn the Playstation into a low cost home PC/internet appliance. All it would need would be a CDROM, hard drive.

Re:Sounds like an opportunity (1)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 13 years ago | (#64211)

Would we have to reverse engineer their memory card? Does Sony want people to expand the storage options?

DOS on my refridgerator (2)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 13 years ago | (#64212)

I just got a DOS prompt on my fridge!
Not that its useful, but its something to do!
Next, I'm gonna give it an IP!!

Moderators, this is very metaphoric cynism, and it is on topic. If you don't understand, just skip it.


Re:Saddam and Beowulf (1)

packetgeek (192142) | more than 13 years ago | (#64222)

So far I've gotten all my Karma from telling people they are wrong... :)

Damnit!!! There goes your record...

Slashdot effect... (2)

egerlach (193811) | more than 13 years ago | (#64223)

If you go the page now, view the results of the survey, then repeatedly hit reload on your browser, you can see a real live slashdot effect.... one submission per second (approx). Very neat!!

I am for a linux ps/2 game development kit (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 13 years ago | (#64225)

I am in favor of running linux in cheaper and faster platforms then a monolithic pc. I would love to trash my pc and get a cheap console with a real monitor outlet and USB keyboard/mouse support. The monitor port issue is the only problem. A firewire one or a standard pc monitor output plug would suffice. I believe if Microsoft would port ms encharta and ms office to the xbox it would finally solve the problem of getting a computer into every home. Its the cost factor and the fact that pc's are designed to run boring bussiness apps like office. If you have no use of taking work home then you don't need a pc.

A ps/2 with linux would change this.

But in order for Sony to be successfull it needs to make their ps/2's easier to program with a standard software platform. If they wrote some mesa drivers and include some custom gcc compilers then it would benefit Sony greatly. Developers are more fimiliar with Opengl and linux/unix libraries and could help write games for the ps/2. Sony would only need to write a good video driver and a version of gcc. The reason why the xbox is getting popular is not because its agood machine infact its cpu is alot slower then the ps/2, but it will take the lead because of devlopers. You can download wince emulation for free for w2k. Also many game developers are more familiar with directx then Opengl or some proprietary library the ps/2 uses. Apple learned to accept opengl to survive and Sony needs to do this and support it in ps/2-Linux.

Sony needs to do this not to help consumers run linux apps but to accelerate ps/2 development before Microsoft accelerates its xbox platform by its windows and vstudio monopoly.

Perhaps Sony can create a special version of linux that loads itself automatically and can be scripted to run the linux game or app on the same cd. This way we can develop it in linux and have linux run automatically when the game loads up and not need worry about how to load linux first then the game second. My only concern is the lousy 8 megs of ram! This is the 21 century! The version of linux would need to be a small micro version of striped with everything but libraries for the game to use. Remember that the games need to share the 8 megs of ram as well. We would need to have it under 1 meg since even 8 for a game is way too small. Sony probably had to do this due to the cost of rambus ram. Smart move sony. The xbox would be much easier to port linux to sadly enough. If we only port linux to the xbox then the arguement on why to do game development on linux is dead.

Re:Just not right... (1)

tssm0n0 (200200) | more than 13 years ago | (#64226)

buy/build an f'ing computer

Isn't the PS2 a computer? It might look a little different than a typical "Personal Computer", but inside its very similar.

Re:Just not right... Nope (2)

tssm0n0 (200200) | more than 13 years ago | (#64227)

I see your point... I guess its all about how you think about it. PCs and PS2s both have the components that (at least as far as I'm concerned) make up a computer. CPU, memory, I/O. While there is the argument that a PS2 was designed for only one task (games) and isn't very good at things that a 'computer' is good it, one could also argue that the PC wasn't designed for games (more for office work) and has evolved into a game machine (over many many years).

I should also remind you that a computer is also defined by the presence or absence of an operating system

Another good point... but I tend to think of a computer more in terms of the hardware than the software. In this case, if you load the same software (Linux) on a PS2 and a PC, is the PC still a computer and the PS2 still a game machine?

And then again, On the other hand PS2+Linux, well, I don't see the interest of the thing ... I don't know if I see the point of it either >:D

I guess the level of interest will be huge (1)

friday2k (205692) | more than 13 years ago | (#64228)

Not owning a PS2, a Linux distro sounds like an incentive to buy one. It could put the whole thing to a different level of usability, away from toy towards a system that I will mainly play with, but, if needed, can use it for other matters, too. I could even use it as a notebook for presentations ... (I just want to see those faces if you put a PS2 on the desk and connect it to the projector/TV instead of one of the Dell/Toshiba/IBM/whatsoever corporate whore notebooks)

Overheard in SONY headquarters... (5)

Gehenna_Gehenna (207096) | more than 13 years ago | (#64229)

Geek: SAH!
SONY Overlord:Yes?
Geek: I have or new websevers up and running!
SONY Overlord:Excellent. Now, how can we test to se if the new configuration can handel the heavy traffic....Hmmm....
Geek: Porn site! Nothing attracts web hits like p0rn!
SONY Overlord:No, HR would have a fit. Perhaps we can lure those open source people to slashdot us wih empty promises and manipulative target marketing... Geek:SAH yes SAH!

Re:Obligatory comment (1)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 13 years ago | (#64230)

Had you followed the links in the story, you would have received answers to atleast 1-2 of your questions--

On the SCEA website they linked to, there's pictures of the whole kit that was released in Japan, and it included a 40GB HDD, as well as a 10/100 ethernet adapter (as well as USB keyboard and mouse, and a VGA cord). They also showed pictures of the OS running Gimp, and I assume with the 10/100 you could probably run Netscape and browse the web or check e-mail. Thus solidifying itself as a VERY useful alternative to WebTV or other set-top Internet boxes.

Personally I want this thing released in the US, I'd buy a PS2 if they did.

Re:Obligatory comment (1)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 13 years ago | (#64231)

True. =) Well, the first and last links (the ones that hit SCEA's domain) both have the info I detailed in my message (and the pictures, worth a look-see). They're both in English and use regular fonts, so I'm pretty sure you'll be safe. I haven't checked the other links (one is to another Slashdot Article) though, but then I haven't really had time, plus the SCEA site had all the info I was curious about.

Stuff it comes with (2)

FiSHNuTZ (213853) | more than 13 years ago | (#64232)

Many people seem to have no knowledge of what the PS2 Linux kit comes with. When you buy it it's not just the distro. The Japanese version had a USB Keyboard & Mouse, a 40GB external HDD(the original Japanese unit didn't have an internal hard drive bay like the US PS2) the software on a DVD and a VGA output cable. Hopefully that clears up some folks objections/questions.

Well... (1)

Deltan (217782) | more than 13 years ago | (#64233)

... Assuming the Linux that ships for the PS2 has some form of USB support, the possibilities are limitless. Native support with games for keyboards, mice, PC steering wheels & certainly other peripherals is already quite strong.

Then there's the whole firewire IEEE 1394 which the console supports, the possibilities are limitless.

Some pictures of the Japanese PS2 Hard Disk Drive & Ethernet Unit. hdd.htm [] Use the Fish! []

Well, it'll certainly have a significant market. (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#64234)

After all, the PS2 is the official gaming console of Rob Malda, isn't it?

IMHO (2)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 13 years ago | (#64235)

The main advantage of consoles for users it the fact that they are really easy to use and reliable. They should not be marketed as hobbiest toys or computers, that makes them LESS appealing. Does that mean Linux for PSX2 is a bad idea? Well no. It does mean, be careful, you don't want to give consumers the impression that their little "black box" is a computer, they might become scared of it. In the end, all it does is hurt sales and not enhance them.

If Linux for PSX is to be sold, sell it on the web and don't avertise it.

Strange.... (1)

Abnornymous Howard (227643) | more than 13 years ago | (#64237)

If you look at the numbers you see 93% would buy the stuff while 6% are not sure and 1% will not buy it. The shares among these answeres doesn't reflect at all the proportions of anti linux trolls on /. - this would imply that many of the Linuz SUX/is dying trolls are indeed Linux users with nothing better to do... :-)

Re:Seriously though... Questions: (1)

Usquebaugh (230216) | more than 13 years ago | (#64238)

The NIC dosen't do TV Out or fancy graphics.

I just want my web terminal (1)

BroadbandBradley (237267) | more than 13 years ago | (#64239)

give me Linux,Mozilla,Xmms, and a nice TV out and a ethernet adapter for my home LAN, that's all I want, if I want to play games, I'll play games, but at $300+keyboard and mouse, I think it makes a nice webterminal.
One real nice strength of putting Linux on anything is the real nice networking support, perhaps add a usb based tvtuner device and use Xawtv to watch a show while on the website in the Chatroom. (screensavers on ZDTV anyone?)I think PS2 supports HDTV and VGA on top of regular TV out, might be a reason to go get an HDTV set.

Linux Gaming (1)

kriemar (247929) | more than 13 years ago | (#64244)

You know, I know nothing about how this would work.

I don't know if I would use a Linux port to PS/2 per se. I already have a nice machine I run Linux on.

I can, however, tell you one thing I would have a hard time resisting: a gaming port of Linux to the PS/2. If there's one thing Linux is missing, it's gaming. And let me tell you, being able to run a PS/2 as a game server running PS/2 games would turn me on to PS/2 like nothing else has in a long time.

Like I said, I don't know how feasible this is. But having the PS/2 gaming resources available to Linux would be one of the best things for Linux in a long time. It's not the same as being able to run Linux games on my Dell directly, but close enough.

Re:Sounds great to me. (1)

spookyfluke (254600) | more than 13 years ago | (#64246)

Hmm, either you don't have a clue or you're from some dimension where the command prompt has a future. I have a feeling it's gonna get a litte hot around here ... ;)

Re:Just not right... Nope (1)

AdamInParadise (257888) | more than 13 years ago | (#64247)

Actually... Not at all.

Well if you consider that everything with a CPU and some memory is a computer, so be it, but so is my washing machine and the remote control of my TV.

The architecture of the PS2 (or any other console) is different from the architecture of a PC. You might compare it to a very special and 'I do only one task but I do it well' embedded system, while PC are generic devices.

I should also remind you that a computer is also defined by the presence or absence of an operating system. The stock PS2 doesn't have one. Developers get development kits, not an OS. On the other hand PS2+Linux, well, I don't see the interest of the thing but I guess that it qualify as a computer.

Re:I guess the level of interest will be huge (1)

AdamInParadise (257888) | more than 13 years ago | (#64248)

You remind me this guy thinking about using XBoxes to create a server farm. Here is what a suit will think about it:

"Dammit, this guy is a stupid weirdo, let's take my business out of here".

Here is what a geek like me will think about it:

"Neat, this guy is a smart weirdo, let's take my business out of here".

Re:Just not right... Nope (1)

pdiaz (262591) | more than 13 years ago | (#64249)

Well if you consider that everything with a CPU and some memory is a computer, so be it, but so is my washing machine and the remote control of my TV.

Well, I do. But I do not agree. More probably, your washing machine has a microcontroler not a CPU. And your remote control probably is just an integrated circuit. Not a computer. A console is more an specialized computer than a microcontroler or just an integrated circuit. And for the operating system thing, it really depends of the use of the computer

A computer is a machine capable of fetching (simple) instructions from an storage media and execute them, updating its internal state (conceptually is like a finite automata)

You are mixing the concept of Computer with the concept of Personal computer

Obligatory comment (1)

Cutriss (262920) | more than 13 years ago | (#64251)

Can you imagine a Beowulf--Oh, never mind.

We need more details. Of course there will be marked support for this in the community, but what official support will Sony provide for the PS2 port of Linux?

Will it support DVD playback (DVD playback in Linux? Say it ain't so, Joe!)?
Will it officially support the PS2 HD and broadband adapter?
What sorts of special apps/tools will be concluded to make this not only a worthwhile project, but something actually USEFUL? We're not talking using GIMP on a Dreamcast, here. What actual functionality will the end users see here?
Any chance of end users participating/overseeing development of the Linux package Sony will be supplying? Can anyone say, GNU Net Yaroze?
What sorts of restrictive licenses will we be facing in using/abusing this product?

Re:Obligatory comment (1)

Cutriss (262920) | more than 13 years ago | (#64252)

Being on dialup at home, I've developed an inherent fear of knowingly clicking on links hosted on a foreign server, since I don't want to be greeted with fifteen thousand "The webpage you are trying to view requires the following components to be installed:" messages. I don't have the Japanese fontpack installed at home, and thus don't want to go visit a page that I'm not going to be able to read. That doesn't excuse me from doing this at work, of course. :)

Re:A new WebTV (2)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 13 years ago | (#64253)

If they could sell a version of Linux with web, email, IM, etc. ...

Personally, I get all of the options you list on my Mandrake8 machine at home. What I really need is video game console that *could* be flexible with current console AND PC games. The only reason my Windows box is still around is because of games like CounterStrike, Alpha Centauri, Need For Speed, Black&White, etc. I am already planning on getting a PS2, it's just a matter of when, but if I could get a Linux compatible version of it, and one that could run Linux ported PC games (such as FPS games), I would be a complete convert to no longer being a Windows user.

Sounds great to me. (2)

pgpckt (312866) | more than 13 years ago | (#64256)

Think about this for a moment. Who are the primary targets of Video Game consoles? I would think young kids. There was this article on slashdot [] the other day that talked about how video games can be beneficial to young kids as it teaches them coordination, problem solving, and allows them to imagine and fantasize. What if at the same time we were also teaching them how to use the Linux OS?

How great a day would that be? From a young age, kids will use the Linux OS and teach themselves, without knowing it. Most kids would want to play with the system and see how it works. Instead of teaching them how to use GUI only, we can show them the command prompt. Kids can, and will, teach themselves how to use the system. If we get into networking, the kids can learn about root and how to set up an effective network. Yes, these kids *can* imagine a cluster of these machines, and they just might try it.

For us slightly older folks, I think we would enjoy this system. It would be cool if I get my choice of distributions too :). I think Sony should go for it, and perhaps include as a manual a small primer on Linux to get people started. Though I never read a manual when I was young and figured out DOS just fine, so I imagine kids will do the same. Then when the kids figure out the system, they can teach there parents, not only how to play games, but how the OS works. Could be a good way to expand the community.

Re:When voting, suggest Java as well! (2)

tb3 (313150) | more than 13 years ago | (#64257)

Sony and Sun signed a big deal a while ago to put Java on the PS2. Here's the press release [] .

Re:Sounds great to me. (1)

JubJubb (318098) | more than 13 years ago | (#64258)

Actually, I believe the primary demographic is 18 to 30 year old males. Pick up any Maxim, FHM or similar magazine and you will see a lot of console game ads.

I also doubt that Sony will ever ship the PS2 with Linux pre-installed. That would mean shipping them with hard drives too, but it would be great to see a PS2 distro that the average user could install, turning their PS2 into an internet ready set top box. Not only does it play games, it does email, web, and mp3s!

Smart. Very smart. (1)

Chuck Messenger (320443) | more than 13 years ago | (#64261)

A perfect use for free software. Done right, it will let game developers leverage the huge stable Linux code base. It's hard to imagine the wonders which might emerge from that. Ultimately, cheaper and better software. Why do it? Well, first, let's look at it fron Sony's point of view. With a relatively small effort on their part, they open up their platform to a whole new class of developer. The kinds of people who like tinkering and pushing the envelope for the fun of it. For example: I can see a TiVo-like open-source app being developed for such a platform. Imagine how cool _that_ would be! Not to mention an Ogg-Vorbis based home-stereo system. All with integrated Mozilla-based web access. It could be _fantastic_! The PS2 could become, in effect, an open-source settop box. From my perspective, as a potential PS2 buyer, of course I'd rather leverage my money by buying into an extendable system, rather than a closed system. Duh. And why would anyone develop apps for it? Well, firstly, because it could become a huge market (depending on how Sony handled it). And secondly, enthusiasts would create open/free software, just for the fun of it -- because they could.

Re:A question: Why? (2)

Chakat (320875) | more than 13 years ago | (#64262)

The PS2 has USB and firewire ports, thus you can install a hard drive, broadband adapter, modem, keyboard, or whatever else suits your fancy. Add the fact that it's TV ready, it would make a pretty cool net appliance.

D - M - C - A

The reason why anyone would want this.. (3)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 13 years ago | (#64263)

is obviously to run MAME, snes9x, etc. with PS2 controllers. You would have some real bragging rights to have all the old arcade games ever made, all the nes games, all the snes games, etc. etc. etc. all on your ps2.


Why? (1)

Uttles (324447) | more than 13 years ago | (#64264)

I don't see why a video game company would waste effort on something like this. People buy the PS2 so they can pop in a CD and start pressing buttons. If they wanted to make the PS2 better, they should start with decreasing the load times.

Just not right... (1)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 13 years ago | (#64265)

This is just the sort of bastardization I hate. If you want to run Linux (I do (Run it that is.)), buy/build an f'ing computer. PS2's may be cheap, but by the time you've got a keyboard/mouse, etc, it just doesn't loook quite so attractive. Plus the onboad storage is so limited.

Re:Sounds great to me. (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 13 years ago | (#64266)

hell, they should publish the certain HW spec that they use so that distros can support the hardware. or at a minimum allow a distro to include the binary drivers so that we can have mandrake PS2 and RH PS2 and distro X PS2. yes distros like debian and slack may not support the system because of the prop drivers but many will.

Third World Solution... (2)

andres32a (448314) | more than 13 years ago | (#64268)

A linux for Playstation would actually be a perfect solution for third world countries as my own. If anything, it would actually prove that cheaper PCs are possible to make...

possibilities? (2)

davey23sol (462701) | more than 13 years ago | (#64269)

I see two interesting possibilities for home use. I want to know what you think:

1. Cheap rendering machines. I'll admit that I don't know much about hardware, but do you think there is possibily a way to make these machines cheap rendering farms? Maybe not only software rendering to frames, but ways for users to create their own rendered-on-the-fly creations, like maybe a very-poor-man's VR system?

2. Home server uses. Possibily ports of Apache and other Linux staples that allows more self-hosting of web sites and streaming media. (Real democracy of video and audio content... home broadcasting beyond webcams.)

3. Hardcore Internet Telephony. Home use of telepresence tech. House to house video conferencing.

4. Home holography. Holographic phones like in Wild Palms. I'm really just kidding... but with enough graphical power this could be an eventual possibility.

I would love to see high end graphical hardware enter the home and actually be controlled by interested users/hackers instead of a small number of game publishers. I think it would be an excellent development.

..and the rest of the world? (1)

Gallo Nero (466182) | more than 13 years ago | (#64271)

What about the rest of the world, Europe for example? Why can't these things happen globally? Are we really that different? It's bad enough having to wait an extra 6 months for your PS2 and now this. shoot some worms! []

Re:While Sony's listening (1)

Smedrick (466973) | more than 13 years ago | (#64272)

That could be a blessing or a curse. With the smaller developers finding it easy to develop for the PS2, you'll have a larger, more varied library. Yet Sony's quantity over quality creed has hurt them in the past. When I think of quality games, the Playstation (1 or 2) rarely comes to mind. But I guess Sony must be doing something right if they're still in the game.


Re:While Sony's listening (1)

Smedrick (466973) | more than 13 years ago | (#64273)

So, most small developers are going to be limited to creating PC quality games?

The reason they're not as good as console games is because of open architecture of the PC. You have to sacrifice a lot to make sure your game runs on most machines. Developing for a console allows you to do more because every PS has the same architecture. (And I've rarely seen a PS1,PS2 game that was better than your standard PC game, anyway.)

Also, I'm sure all those art school graduated, maya using kids are not going to be very familiar with fsck or how to setup their xf86config when they have problems with their video card.

Anyone working in that industry has to have some brains. Your average schlub doesn't make have to be pretty "1337" to get a job in the game industry. And even if those art school kids didn't know much about Linux, I'm sure the guy in the next cubicle could teach 'em.


This could be a good thing (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 13 years ago | (#64277)

I'd like to see what gets developed when these kits get out there. Putting the technology available in Linux in a small box, especially if it includes a network port, is going to generate some interesting applications. You will see dedicated slashdot viewers shortly after the release. You will be able to watch DVD's on your PC while scanning the internet on your TV.

the requisite, and a thought (1)

TechnoVooDooDaddy (470187) | more than 13 years ago | (#64278)

now can you imagine a beowulf... but... what are the reverse engineering possibilities here?? I'm thinking i get Linux on my PS2, it's not too long before PS2 games are available for Linux.. How big of a market and boon for Linux would THAT be?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?