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Microsoft Says PS3 Linux Not 'Competitive' To XNA

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the ignorance-is-bliss dept.

XBox (Games) 231

nz17 writes "Gamasutra has a preview of its upcoming interview with Dave Mitchell, Director of Marketing for Microsoft's Game Developer Group. In the interview Mitchell dismisses Linux on the PS3 as a game creators' solution and has said, 'What we [at XBox] are focused on doing is providing great tools at a free or low price point that are going to enable consumers to be absolutely successful at creating games for both the Windows and the Xbox 360 platforms.'"

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231 comments

He may be right (5, Insightful)

Blikkie (569039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253298)

Sad as it might sound, he could very well be right. Although linux may be very nice as a development tool, XNA is here and now, and already has hardware access, and is very affordable. No matter how much people may hate Microsoft, this is very possibly a good tool for indie game developers who want to create a console experience.

Re:He may be right (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17253322)

Even worse, if even professional ps3 developers are complaining about the dev-kits, how terrible must it be for HomeBrew?

Re:He may be right (0, Troll)

UglyTool (768385) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253440)

No matter how much people may hate Microsoft, this is very possibly a good tool for indie game developers who want to create a console experience.

Only if those indie game developers want their games to look the same as everyone else's. I'm not sure how much you know about XNA, but i have looked into it a bit. What it looks like to me is just a template for 2D, mostly side-scrolling games. Yes, yes, I know that some people [slashdot.org] prefer this type of gaming, but i don't really believe we'll be seeing too many innovative games developed with XNA.

There will be responses to my post saying how MS is fostering "innovation" by releasing XNA, but I think the opposite. From what I understand, people will be forced to use the art provided, meaning that we'll just be seeing the exact same games, with levels moved around, or looking the very least bit different.

I highly, highly doubt we'll be seeing another CONTRA coming out of XNA, and i don't think it's gonna do much good for any gaming innovations whatsoever.

Actually... (4, Informative)

shaneh0 (624603) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253580)

It's more robust than that.

From the FAQ:

"The XNA Framework Content Pipeline, a set of tools that allow developers to more easily incorporate 3D content into their games"

From an Ars Technica Article:

"3D models come in a dizzying variety of formats, depending on what tool has been used to create them. In order to make it easier for developers to create their own content, Microsoft has announced that SoftImage has added support for the XNA's native ".X" format to their Mod Tool 4.2 software, a free version of the company's popular 3D modelling program. In addition, the XNA software supports the Autodesk .FBX format, which can be exported by tools such as 3D Studio Max and its free cousin, GMax. The .X format is text-based and very straightforward, so it is easy for other modelling software companies to add support for the format, and some free file translators are already available."

From the same article:

"Microsoft hopes to help by providing subscribers to the XNA service access to the "XNA Creators Club," which includes a large database of free 2D and 3D art, models, and textures. Developers can use these assets as-is free of charge in developing their own games, or modify them to suit their purposes."

Again, from Ars Technica:

"XNA acts as a bridge between the .NET frameworks and the lower-level game interfaces such as DirectX. Programmers call routines in the XNA game library that activate 3D screen modes, create polygons, paint textures on 3D meshes, play sounds, and interface with control devices such as joysticks or the Xbox 360 game controller."

http://arstechnica.com/articles/xna.ars/1
http://msdn.microsoft.com/directx/xna/faq/

Let's all work together to bust the FUD.

Re:Actually... (4, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253836)

I've been thinking for a while that this really is the direction GNU/Linux needs to go into if it wants a reasonable selection of games, and it's perhaps something Sony should consider assuming they're serious about homebrew development and haven't just put GNU on the PS3 as a tax dodge.

What's needed is a cross platform framework into which modern games can be developed with relative ease. Preferably this should incorporate some basic engines covering a wide range of game types so the programmer can concentrate on the art and logic rather than the technical details of 3D accelleration. Libraries could exist containing free/adaptable art, and simplifications of certain types of logic (for example, for bots.) Over time, such a system would become increasingly useful as more and more people contribute to the libraries to scratch their own itches or improve games they've obtained and wanted to improve a little more.

I've been really impressed with the Unreal frameworks, and while they concentrate on a specific type of game, it's not difficult to see how the idea can be extended. Buying "Unreal Tournament" (any version) is not buying what's on the box, there's a wealth of homebrew stuff that's freely downloadable and frequently better than the games Epic, and its competitors like id, come up with.

With Java entering the GPL-domain, a significant part of the low level stuff would be implemented (and systems like Jake2 [bytonic.de] prove that Java is a practical, fast-enough, VM for real time 3D games.) There are enough stillborn projects on SourceForge et al to prove that people like writing game engines, robots, and other components for games - the problems tending to be that the people who write one component get bored when they realise they have to write the other bits. So the skills are out there. To some extent, the technology is out there. What's missing is the integration and the coordination.

Re:Actually... (1)

shaneh0 (624603) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253924)

I agree. If somebody could abstract the hardware it would be pure genius. Unfortunately, I think that most people with enough brains and bucks to do this would realize the value and sell it, instead of giving it away.

I could see a future YouTube-ish site for indie game developers. Or maybe Pure Volume is a better example, where resources are pooled and the best of the games get distribution deals.

It's a lot of work to create a successful video game, but I feel strongly that there's a niche for simple, creative games. I'm not much of a gamer, but I have a real impression that game producers are stuck in a creative rut even if they don't acknowledge it themselves. I think the industry relies too much on franchises and serials. We might be able to see some truly unique, creative games if we give the unique, creative masses the tools to express themselves in this medium.

I think no matter how you see Microsoft, this is a step in the right direction.

Re:Actually... (4, Interesting)

Zero Degrez (1039938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253934)

The Tao project is working on porting XNA for the The Mono project (which is a port of .Net). So theoretically, you could write it in XNA, and run mono on the PS3/Linux and bring any XNA game to the PS3/Linux. At some point in the future. Check it out.

http://www.taoframework.com/Mono.Xna [taoframework.com]

Re:Actually... (3, Insightful)

pudro (983817) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254064)

assuming they're serious about homebrew development and haven't just put GNU on the PS3 as a tax dodge.
I don't know where you heard anyone claim this as even a possibility, but it is completely bogus. The exceptions in the tax laws that would have saved Sony money if they could get the PS2 classified as a "computer" were done away with years ago. Tax dodging has nothing to do with Sony calling their console a "computer" (this time).

True, to a limited extent, but.. (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254180)

Linux and FOSS have one major trait that microsoft do not have, they quickly adapt to fit a new problem.

So yes, right now this is better then what linux/FOSS could offer, but ill that still be the case in a year?

Re:He may be right (5, Informative)

Zero Degrez (1039938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253688)

No. To everything.

XNA is an input and graphics interface wrapper, like Direct X but sits 1 tier higher. It also provides some objects to store typical things every game engine designer has to write for a new game engine so that you don't need to reinvent the wheel. It is NOT a template for 2D games. XNA is NOT a game engine. There is NO restriction on art content. You can include whatever models and textures you want. It's even a piece of cake to include vector and pixel shaders.

In fact, the demo game provided with XNA is a 3D game. Styled like the old spacewars games. 3D and 2D are both easily doable on XNA. Why you may be seeing more 2D than 3D is simple. Indie game developers are not often artists, and it is far simpler to create a 45x45 animated gif of a player, than it is a 2 million polygon, parallax and normal mapped, skeletal player model. Not that 3D art needs to be nearly that complex...but in a 2D world, people don't expect the things they have become accustomed to after all the triple-A game titles, with the budget of a small Hollywood movie.

If you indeed did "look into it" you saw a few screenshots and derived your judgment solely from that.

Re:He may be right (0, Flamebait)

carninja (792514) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253980)

You're a fool. Have you actually seen what XNA can do? 2D Side scrollers? Where the hell are you coming up with this bullshit? Pretty much every single sentence in your post was grossly inaccurate.

Re:He may be right (0, Troll)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253480)

I suppose it depends on want you intend to do with Linux when you get it. Yes you can write games (+ play an enormous number already written), but you could also use Linux for MythTV, VLC, web browsing, email, or any other use imaginable. Where the PS3 Linux sucks is the video driver is a frame buffer, however I believe that if you dedicated a handful of SPUs on the backside of Mesa that the performance would be pretty good.

Besides XNA has drawbacks even for writing games. a) It uses .NET, thereby hobbling its performance, b) you have to PAY to publish your games c) You have to PAY to see and play them d) You don't get paid for either. To me it looks more like vanity publishing than a legitimate means of encouraging games development.

Re:He may be right (4, Insightful)

kjart (941720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254386)

I suppose it depends on want you intend to do with Linux when you get it. Yes you can write games (+ play an enormous number already written), but you could also use Linux for MythTV, VLC, web browsing, email, or any other use imaginable. Where the PS3 Linux sucks is the video driver is a frame buffer, however I believe that if you dedicated a handful of SPUs on the backside of Mesa that the performance would be pretty good.

That's his point - XNA is all about game development and the PS3 thing isn't that focused and isn't really "in the same vein" (to quote the article).

Besides XNA has drawbacks even for writing games. a) It uses .NET, thereby hobbling its performance, b) you have to PAY to publish your games c) You have to PAY to see and play them d) You don't get paid for either. To me it looks more like vanity publishing than a legitimate means of encouraging games development.

Well:
a) There is a fairly impressive demo on what you can do visible in this video from channel9. Performance seems pretty nice to be. Would it be faster if this was all in C/C++? Probably - but this is meant to be widely accessible.
b)Yes, it's a $99 USD a year fee to publish your content to the Xbox right now and only people with a similar subscription will be able to access it. However, according to the article, the sharing of these homebrew creations is one of the things they will be working on. I for one can't wait for the day when I can login to a special section of Xbox live to browse through all the user created games (pretty much suggested at one point in the video I linked to above).
c)See above.
d)I'm sure this isn't far away either. As a developer I would love to be able to create the next killer Xbox arcade game or whatever and be able to sell it for a few bucks on Xbox live. As Microsoft I'd love to be able to have developers doing this so I could take a cut (i.e. as a the publisher, etc) and to drive interest in the console. I can't recall reading about this, but I imagine it must be on the horizon at some point.

Re:He may be right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17253522)

The major difference between the two is that "PS3 linux" is just whatever distro you decide to install... I think it's really a matter of time before we see OpenGL for RSX or at least some form of driver layer out of Sony or NVidia for PS3. The real difference is: will we see a PS3 game development package on the shelves?

Right about what? (0, Troll)

antek9 (305362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253598)

Frankly, the whole argument sounds like a strawman to me. I don't recall Linux on PS3 being referenced to or advertised as a gaming platform anywhere. I think it's more about offering convenience: why put another PC in your living room when you can have internet access and office applications (maybe not full-blown, considering lack of memory on the PS3, but definitely usable for a quick letter of complaint) all on your PS3? Especially considering that the PS3 seems to be a lot less noisy than the 360, that might actually work out well.

Another Microsoft spokesperson that doesn't 'get' Linux, what else is new? You might read it the other way around as well: facing fading support by major publishers, MS wants to get 'everyone' on the 360 bandwagon now, before it's too late. I can smell desperation there.

And yes, it's a trap.

Re:Right about what? (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253884)

Antek9 wrote, "Another Microsoft spokesperson that doesn't 'get' Linux, what else is new?"

Give M$ a little more credit than that. I would imagine they know just as much about Linux as the community itself. They probably have a secret department who's job is to do nothing but monitor Linux and to know it better than the enemy (that would be some of you folks). You cannot fight an enemy you do not know, and you should strive to know them better than they know themselves.

M$ reps are instructed by M$ on how to respond to Linux. There is nothing new here to see, please move along.

I say XNA 'Competitive' to PS3 linux. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254920)

Crap. I meant to rate this as overrated. Nice commerical... Let's just say this was MS trying to bash PS3 Linux by comparing apples to oranges. I don't really think that sony is positioning this as a game development environment, especially since they aren't giving access (yet) to the graphics subsystem. I think this article would be more realistic if MS was actually releasing XNA for anything other than MS platforms. Like... "PS3 Linux not competitive with PS3 XNA". That would be an interesting headline. My guess is that XNA has gone "thunkity thunk thunk" and MS is trying to generate buzz and news around it all they can. If they really wanted to be useful, they would create a framework that was usable (read uz-ible) on multiple platforms (ie PS3, wii, etc).

He would says that, wouldn't he ... (-1, Offtopic)

quiberon2 (986274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253310)

But if he tries to leverage a dominant position in the Office market into a dominant position in this market, he'll get his company broken apart.

Far better to sell Microsoft Office off to a lower-overhead producer, and concentrate wholeheartedly on the new business.

Re:He would says that, wouldn't he ... (2, Funny)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253458)

Can you please clarify how XNA is leveraging a dominant position in Office to provide game-creation tools for the Xbox 360?

Windows Game Edition (-1, Flamebait)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253314)

And I'd like to see Windows GE running on the PS3. Just the boot up withput BSODs would be great!

Re:Windows Game Edition (3, Funny)

shaneh0 (624603) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253654)

HAHA! BSOD! HAHA!

Seriously. 1999 called and they want their joke back.

Re:Windows Game Edition (1)

GNious (953874) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254516)

XP SP2 here (Dell Laptop), and I've seen a BSOD this year ... so cannot be joke, and aren't passé

He's right... (4, Informative)

Erwos (553607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253316)

I've been using XNA for a while, and it's really a good effort by Microsoft. Easy to develop with, and exposes a pretty nice amount of the graphics and audio hardware. Compare this to PS3 Linux, which apparently doesn't even have accelerated 3D, and it's hard to argue with him - what Net Yaroze was a couple generations ago is now XNA - and much cheaper to boot.

Well... (1)

mungtor (306258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253392)

I'm not a developer, but would it be too much of a stretch to think that PS3 Linux will eventually expose all of the graphics and audio hardware? XNA seems to be limited to what Microsoft wants you to see, as far as I understand it (and I'm not a developer).

I would also think that PS3 Linux will be a lot better for general purpose computing, maybe clusters for parallel computations (fluid flow, CAD/CAE analysis). Can you build a $700 computer now that out-performs a PS3 computationally? (I'm really asking, I don't know what the Cell processors can do)

At least Sony isn't stopping you from trying things with the PS3 that you bought. I don't like them so much as a company, but they definitely seem to be the lesser of the two evils in this case (which is why the story wasn't posted by Zonk).

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17253530)

I'm not a developer, but would it be too much of a stretch to think that PS3 Linux will eventually expose all of the graphics and audio hardware? XNA seems to be limited to what Microsoft wants you to see, as far as I understand it (and I'm not a developer).

Well, if this is possible, it will be done in spite of Sony's efforts. All consoles are built with an inherent fear of piracy and third-party games, both of which undercut per-game license fees. Therefore, any programming environment must be sufficiently crippled that it can't be used for either of these. On the PS3, that means restricted access to graphics. TCPA-like mechanisms are probably in use: without an officially approved binary, you can't even write to the graphics controller.

On the 360, it means your third-party games have to run in a special sandbox and you can't trade binaries with other 360 users. Which approach is better? Well, for an indie developer, the 360 approach is clearly better - you can write nice 3D games, and once you have a finished product, you call up Microsoft and do a deal to get it on Arcade. Whereas on the PS3 you're stuck in 2D land: of course, that doesn't stop you writing a great game, but it strongly restricts the look and feel of your game.

Re:Well... (3, Informative)

k_187 (61692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253566)

Well, the reason linux can't access the video chip in the PS3 is because Sony locked it out. I don't know that there is a way around it. If there is, I'm sure somebody will find it. But that's a limitation that Sony put in, not one of drivers or linux itself.

Re:Well... (5, Informative)

J-F Mammet (769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253626)

Yep, it's been confirmed by Sony just a few days ago that at least for the moment RSX was locked out of PS3 Linux because of security concerns. That's a big disappointment, but it looks like the framebuffer device will be fast enough for HD videos. It's "just" a matter of someone optimizing ffmpeg for Cell I guess.
For games though, it's a bad news. Let's hope Sony will update the hypervisor to allow RSX access for Linux.

Re:Well... (1)

saboola (655522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254392)

"Security issues", or people making homebrew PS3 games (not just 2d stuff) that are as good or better than "real" PS3 games and thus taking away from corporate profits.

Re:Well... (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254584)

I'm thinking it's more of an issue of Sony worrying that somebody will be able to make boot-leg PS2/3 games and possibly Blu-Ray movies.

Re:Well... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17253832)

I'm currently developing using the PS3 cell. I suspect that the reason that the RSX chip the currently 'locked out' by Sony is because there is a lot of proprietary stuff in there to do with piping data into and out of the RSX, some of which doesn't apply to the PS3 anyway.

It is perfectly possible (and likely) that an OpenGL accelerated library could be released for Linux using the RSX that does not expose the proprietary stuff.

By the way the power of the thing is crazy - you can do 6x real-time HD (1920x1080) MPEG-2 *encodes* (one in each SPU) no problem. There's going to be some pretty cool stuff out there soon.

Re:Well... (2, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254716)

They never exposed them on the PS2 Linux [google.com] that they released. In fact, many have argued that the inclusion of Linux on the PS2/PS2 is just a fancy way to dodge taxes in Europe (since, apparently, computers are taxed less than consoles), not a serious stab at encouraging homebrew development. And, considering the way Sony has treated homebrew for the PSP, I'm inclined to believe it.

-Eric

Re:He's right... (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253592)

And this is exactly how Microsoft gained their dominance in the desktop PC industry. Get the developers using a different API for their platform. In the previous generation of consoles there were a bunch of frameworks that emerged for cross platform development. This time around it seems Microsoft is trying to set the standard for development to sidestep the inevitable, and lock developers into their platform.

This may be a great development tool set, but you're going to be stuck with only supporting the PC and the XBOX 360. No linux, OSX, PS3, Wii, or any other kind of gaming platform.

But hey, Microsoft bashing is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. In the head. With an elephant gun. Twice.

Re:He's right... (3, Insightful)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253834)

This may be a great development tool set, but you're going to be stuck with only supporting the PC and the XBOX 360. No linux, OSX, PS3, Wii, or any other kind of gaming platform.
Maybe, but Sony at least will have to blame themselves just as much. By not supporting the PS3 graphics chip under Linux (actually some reports say it has been hidden from Linux), they made sure that the PS3 is not very attractive to indie game developers.

Re:He's right... (4, Insightful)

Harlockjds (463986) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254016)

it's not like developing under linux on the ps3 will allow for 360 and wii development (and it hardly enables ps3 development thanks for the restrictions sony puts on the platform)

Re:He's right... (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254336)

Well, its not like hobbyists can develop for PS3 or the Wii in the first place. And if you're talking about OSX and Linux market share, I doubt many hobbyists would feel the market share was large enough to warrant using a different set of tools.

Re:He's right... (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254656)

I don't know about anyone else but my take on XNA was that it was for hobbyists or small dev teams who make games for fun. I couldn't imagine a 'real' developer would make their games in XNA. On top of that, the people who want to use XNA are probably doing so because they want to use it for PC/xbox development. They probably weren't going to develop games for PS3 or Wii anyway.

Offtopic, but... (2, Insightful)

solanum (80810) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253320)

am I only only one that gets sick of the PR language that is used in the IT industry, it's constant drivel. I mean look at:

What we [at XBox] are focused on doing is providing great tools at a free or low price point that are going to enable consumers to be absolutely successful at creating games for both the Windows and the Xbox 360 platforms.
They're not tools they're "great tools", they don't provide a product they "enable consumers", their product doesn't just do a job it is "absolutely successful" argghhhhhhh............. One of my aims in life is never to buy anything from a company that uses this sort of PR speak.

Re:Offtopic, but... (1)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253864)

no, it doesn't enable customers, nor is their product absolutely successful.
Maybe you need to read the sentence again.

"...it enables consumers to be (absolutely) successful at creating games.."

There is nothing at all wrong with that sentence, apart from the unnecessary use of successful. Although I guess you could rephrase that as "..to enable consumers to successfully create games..", but that's not a case of marketing speak, just a kind of clumsy sentence.
There's also nothing wrong with them claiming their tools are great.

If you're going to pick nits, make sure they exist first.
That "PR speak" is called English. Plain, simple, (if a little over enthusiastic), English.

Translation (1)

jimmichie (993747) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253920)

You're right. He could have said...

"We are going to provide cheap or free tools that let buyers create games for Windows and Xbox 360."

...but that's the language of commitment and definites. He's in marketing, so he doesn't ever want to say anything definite in case the company changes its multi-headed mind, hence "focused on" instead of "going to". And no, you're not the only one [wikipedia.org] who's sick of PR language.
If it bugs you that much, you could try writing a Firefox plug-in to convert marketspeak to plain English. Here's a few to get you started;

"focused on" becomes ""
"great" becomes ""
"absolutely" becomes ""
"platforms" becomes ""

Re:Offtopic, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254316)

And the infatuation with the word "consumer" - okay, I know that "customer" is something different, but at least in this case, a better term would be "producer", surely? As in, one who produces... A consumer who creates isn't just a "consumer".

Re:Offtopic, but... (1)

gutnor (872759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254414)

"One of my aims in life is never to buy anything from a company that uses this sort of PR speak."

Ah, I see you lived in some remote island until recently, so let me be the first to welcome you in the "civilisation". Yout nightmare is over.

Here every companies is a leading player in its field, cheaper AND better than everybody else. Oh and they don't "sell" you products like in the dark ages, no they sacrifice themself to offer you an intimate and spiritual experience made just for you.
That applies to software off course, but also to hardware and to washing powder, snaks, car, tv, milk, water, holidays, ... and even polician.

Rejoice consumer.

Re:Offtopic, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254444)

been watching too much george carlin i see

Re:Offtopic, but... (1)

saboola (655522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254548)

Is PR language different in any other industry? It's not like Campbell's soup has advertisements that say "We provide liquid food for nourishment".

Re:Offtopic, but... (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254618)

So you want something that says... "well... uh... here is product X, buy it"?

My thoughts are I wouldn't buy a product if the company didn't at least attempt to be excited about selling it.

Cluster (3, Interesting)

mocm (141920) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253328)

I see Linux on the PS3 more as an opportunity to get a cheap cell cluster than for game developement.
It may also be an excuse for Sony to avoid customs fees, because now the PS3 is a usable Computer as
compared to just a video game.

Re:Cluster (1)

ZahnRosen (1040004) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253496)

I know those in the distributed computing field, render farmers, folders and the like are pretty excited to get access to that cell processor. Even if it is completely crippled.

Cheap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17253502)

Those things are far from cheap, even when the price comes down it woudl be cheaper to build a cluster out of stock X86 hardware.

A PS3 cluster at this point has no purpose other then to exist for the sake of existing, it does nothing that cant be done cheaper with another solution.

As much as I don't want to, I agree with that. (3, Funny)

Atriqus (826899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253334)

Considering Linux PS3 is missing a 3D accelerated video driver. What are they coming out with next, an LCD without a backlight?

Re:As much as I don't want to, I agree with that. (1)

vandenh (224583) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253916)

Indeed... Microsoft is right. Linux on PS3 is not a competitor to XNA as long as RSX is locked out in PS3. Basically Linux for PS3 will be good for 2D games (emulators), pirates and as a media server/HUB. Not bad but not useful for small/amateur PS3 game devs.

No GPU drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17253344)

Considering that PS3 Linux does not come with drivers for the GPU, he's pretty much spot on.

Microsoft is absolutely right. (2, Insightful)

hsa (598343) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253384)

PS3 Linux is an effort to sell PS3 as a computer. It has only access to framebuffer, without any hardware accelerated 3d support.

XNA is a game development platform working on both Windows and XBOX360.

Which would be better for Game Developers? :)

Re:Microsoft is absolutely right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17253554)

XNA is a game development platform [only] working on both Windows and XBOX360.

Which would be better for Game Developers? :)
None?!

Say what you want ... (2, Insightful)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253410)

about Microsoft, but this is one thing they have *always* gotten. Providing excellent tools and 3rd party developers has been one of the main reasons they have been so successful over the years. It's nice to see they haven't forgotten that.

Re:Say what you want ... (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253438)

oops ... "for 3rd party developers", not "and 3rd party developers". Must click preview. Must click preview.

Re:Say what you want ... (1)

binkzz (779594) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253996)

"about Microsoft, but this is one thing they have *always* gotten."

That's categorically false. In recent years their tools have improved a lot, but before that they were a right nightmare.

linux on ps2 proved valuable (1)

ZahnRosen (1040004) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253424)

By providing access to a development platform at such a low cost users are encouraged to program, learn and hopefully not brick their consoles. Do I expect Ps3 linux gaming to be anything special, not really, but if it provides access to the hardward, development tools then you'll see kids getting even more interested in becoming programmers since they'll have practical experience.

What's an XNA? (1, Funny)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253520)

Apart from being the the IATA airport code for Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in Fayetteville, Arkansas, what on earth is an XNA?

Re:What's an XNA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17253616)

It's Microsoft's newest marketing scheme to lock developers to their platforms.

Re:What's an XNA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254264)

HAHAHAHAH! That's really funny!

You're insinuating that Microsoft locks development to their platforms because it doesn't support coding for the Wii or PS3! And forces you to use Windows to code in!

You can't currently code for the PS3 without Sony's dev kit.

You can't currently code for the Wii without Nintendo's dev kit.

In fact, no console provider has ever provided a cheap or free tool that will enable indie developers to make games, on one OS or another. So wouldn't this make Microsoft less restrictive then every other fucking console maker, ever?

Prick.

Distribution Channels and Licensing? (1)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253540)

I've been hearing a lot about XNA lately, but I'm curious if the licensing only allows you to share your creations with other XNA developers. At what point does the average consumer get to try out these independent games for themselves? Also, who ultimately owns the content you create using these tools? As inexpensive as Microsoft is making XNA for all the aspiring developers out there, I'd imagine there's probably some benefits Microsoft is going to gain from offering XNA other than mere bragging rights.

Will some of these developers one day find their creations suddenly assimilated into the Xbox Live Arcade under a completely different title with no mention of their name in the credits?

XBox 360 and Independent Developers (1)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253868)

Just on the outside chance that there is no "catch" to using XNA, there are ways Microsoft could embrace independent game development to it's full potential.

One possible method, would be to introduce a special section on XBox Live Arcade specifically for allowing end users to try out independently developed games. They could set up a sort of "Independent Game Developer of the Week" contest, where the best designed game gets a full week of distribution onto the Xbox Live Arcade. Once downloaded, these games would have an expiration date on them, at which point the game is removed from the user's console once the time has elapsed. Microsoft could then use Xbox Live to track each game's popularity and overall usage to determine whether or not to buy the rights to the game outright and make it a permanent addition to the Xbox Live Arcade's library.

On an HTPC (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253900)

At what point does the average consumer get to try out these independent games for themselves?

Right now, if you're not a member of XNA Creators Club, you have to run the game on a PC running Windows OS, and unless you have a home theater PC, it's likely that the screen will be too small to fit four players around.

Re:Distribution Channels and Licensing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254038)

It will work like this:

- Indie developer makes an XNA game and wants to sell it.
- Developer contacts Microsoft and makes a deal.
- Microsoft sells the developer an XNA-compatible development kit for XBox Live Arcade. This allows any XNA game to be trivially ported to XBLA.
- The game appears on XBLA, with both the original developer and Microsoft sharing in the profits from sales.

It's a pretty good model really. Microsoft gets many more 3rd party developers for their platform. Developers get to sell games with low overhead costs (no physical distribution). 360 users get to play interesting indie games. The disadvantage - Microsoft is the gatekeeper, and everything is done on their terms. Anyone signing up for this will be locked in to a fully proprietary platform.

correct me if i am wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17253692)

isn't xna EXACTLY (exactly as in microsoft payed money to sell it under a own name) the same product as the torque game builder ( http://www.garagegames.com/products/torque/tgb/ [garagegames.com] ) which is available on linux for a long time? coming with full sourcecode and makefiles for gcc+linux, so it should be piece of cake to compile it on a ps3?

Re:correct me if i am wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254022)

From the site: Note: Windows only release, Mac release is still on the way.

Re:correct me if i am wrong (1)

Lissajous (989738) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254942)

Short answer: You're wrong.
Less-short Answer: Torque-X is a port of TGB sat on top of XNA.
Long Answer:
XNA is a gaming framework sat on XP or x360.

XNA Game Studio Express is a free (as in beer, not as in code) solution for developing managed directX applications on XP (unofficial support for Vista). You can also deploy your application on your Xbox360 if you pay MS $100 per year. (Note - this also gets you access to lots of content to use in your app).

Torque X is a free (as in scripting code, or as in all code - if you get the Pro/Commercial license, not as in beer) port of Torque Game Builder to XNA. You need XNA Game Developer Studio to develop with it (I believe...been to busy to check it out up 'til now). You don't need to pay a bean to distribute it over and above ensuring you have the correct Torque license.

These are both different things to TGB, although you can certainly release the same game under linux, x360, pc, mac. Porting TGB to ps3 linux, however, will sux0r big style as you only have access to the framebuffer, not the 3d accelerated hardware.

So....you're wrong.

Hope this helps :)

Locking more like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17253694)

The following Microsoft business speak:

"What we [at XBox] are focused on doing is providing great tools at a free or low price point that are going to enable consumers to be absolutely successful at creating games for both the Windows and the Xbox 360 platforms."

Translates to:

"What we [at XBox] are focused on doing is providing great tools at a free or low price point that will hopefully lock people in to our platform, just like we've done previously with any other product we've ever made. Also dongs."

Sound nice at first (1)

angelfly (746018) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253768)

XNA may sound nice at first but it's actually pretty limiting. The worst thing of all is your forced to use C#. It also sucks that they didn't make solutions for other platforms. I could have seen myself buying a 360 just for XNA but not being able to code in C or C++ and having to use Windows to compile the stuff really changed a lot of that.

Re:Sound nice at first (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253812)

XNA may sound nice at first but it's actually pretty limiting. The worst thing of all is your forced to use C#. Then go C++ and DirectX. It is very similar except for the re-write of DirectInput/some changes to Direct3D and DirectSound. C# really isn't that bad of a language once you get to know it. Its kinda like a lovechild of Java and C++ except without some of the boneheadedness of java (no operator overloading! bah, java!) and less ways to kill yourself in C++ (no pointers unless you explicitly call unsafe {})

It also sucks that they didn't make solutions for other platforms

Ok. It works on every microsoft platform. What more did you expect?

handheld? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253960)

The worst thing of all is your forced to use C#.
Then go C++ and DirectX.

Why can't I go Managed C++ or C++/CLI?

C# really isn't that bad of a language once you get to know it

Right now, I'm working on a project where the PC and Game Boy Advance versions of the same program share the same game logic source tree. Is this possible with an environment that requires the C# language? Or would I have to code the game logic twice and keep them in sync manually, which as far as I can tell would appear to have a huge potential for introducing bugs?

Ok. It works on every microsoft platform. What more did you expect?

Compatibility with Microsoft Windows Mobile perhaps?

Well, yeah, he is right, but... (1)

nekokoneko (904809) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253784)

Although Linux can be a nice environment for programming, a framework which facilitates writing games specifically would be much easier to write games to. And that's where he's missing the point (on purpose or not). It's only for writing games. Linux enables you to do a bunch of other cool stuff (playing around with the Cell architecture, doing cheap clusters, etc). And theoretically, Sony could eventually provide people with a framework to write games on PS3 Linux, while still enabling us to do cool stuff.

Case Against their argument: GP2X. (0, Flamebait)

torpor (458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253798)

The GP2X is a Linux gaming platform done right. [gp2x.co.uk]

Microsoft's straw-man shenanigans overlook the reality that Linux/FOSS on the GP2X has resulted in a superlative gaming experience for many who care to look beyond the hype and behind the curtain and see that, in fact, having access to the full suite of Linux tools in an open fashion results in superlative code being written for the fun of all .. And while the hardware specs themselves may not be comparable, its quite feasible that the success of the GP2X (and it has been successful, indeed) will lead to a GP4X/GP8X built on the same platform, from which a great deal of ass-whoopin' can be delivered to both Microsoft, and Sony as well.

With the difference being of course, that Sony have a gate opened for Linux hacking, and for the porting of all GP2X code to their platform, with ease. And this could, indeed, lead to a many-headed hydra Microsoft won't have the swords for ..

Prediction: In 6 months, we'll see Linux as a gaming platform tour de force. Its only just warming up, yo ..

GP2X is for emulators and source ports, right? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254012)

Linux/FOSS on the GP2X has resulted in a superlative gaming experience for many who care to look beyond the hype and behind the curtain and see that, in fact, having access to the full suite of Linux tools in an open fashion results in superlative code being written for the fun of all

But was most of this code on the GP2X written with original games in original worlds in mind, or is it mostly just to run copies of classic games in emulation or source port?

Re:Case Against their argument: GP2X. (1)

supermank17 (923993) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254354)

Except that, Linux on the PS3 doesn't allow access to 3D video acceleration. Its hard to become a gaming monster when the pretty graphics of all the big games won't run on it. Also, the GP2X may have been "successful", but that success is hardly anywhere near the success of a big name gaming platform. Total sales as of October were 30,000 units, while sales of the Nintendo DS are in the 20 million range.

Hearing a lot about XNA lately... (4, Interesting)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253802)

methinks Microsoft is pumping up the marketing on this one. XNA [wikipedia.org] seems to be a combination of previously-separated technologies (DirectX, IDE), and integration (if you like it or not) is one of Microsoft's strongpoints IMHO.

As the target of XNA seems to be both the professional and the home-brew-market, can the Free Software camp beat this? Well, we already have quite a few game libraries, heaps of engines and a number of IDEs. I'm not aware of any FOSS-'game asset pipeline management tools', and targetting consoles (outside of the Linux-on-the-* projects) has always been something for the big players due to licensing fees.

What is interesting is their idea of having various 'starter kits' for certain types of games (FPS, RTS, platform), all using a common framework. Using them you could quickly get nice results. Is anyone aware of similar FOSS-projects? Might be interesting to build something similar on top of pygame.

Re:Hearing a lot about XNA lately... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254258)

It would be very cool if it were possible to glue pygame and XNA together, so that XNA games could be written in Python. Then, indie devs could write games using Python and have instant cross-platform compatibility with the 360, Macs, Windows, and Linux. They could work with XNA without being locked in to Microsoft platforms.

There is a Python interpreter for .NET - can it be used in XNA? If so, no reason why this wouldn't work.

Re:Hearing a lot about XNA lately... (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254366)

Pygame and SDL are integrated, just like XNA is an extension of DirectX (and then some)

No, I think what you want is simply impossible. Reading on for a bit more about XNA left me the idea that the whole point is to lock in developers. We're going to have to roll up our sleves if we want both Python and XNA-like features.

Re:Hearing a lot about XNA lately... (1)

Molt (116343) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254812)

Some people have already got XNA development working with IronPython, and it all seems to work well. I've been playing about with XNA myself for the last few months (It's been in open beta for a while) and the codebase I'm working on now happily allows me to add IronPython scripting with very little pain.

In worse news there isn't though is much chance of ever gluing XNA and pygame together. XNA is heavily based around the current PC/XBox360 graphics hardware, it can't even target anything not capable of running shaders and has no support for the fixed-pipeline in 3d (The 360 doesn't have it so neither does XNA) hence relying very heavily on MS' HLSL graphics shader language.. any kind of cross-platform code conversion would be very difficult indeed.

XBox 360 Media Center? (2, Interesting)

Aggrajag (716041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253974)

Would it be possible to start developing XB360MC with XNA and if it is does it cost anything?

I really wish someone would reply to this question (2, Interesting)

Civil_Disobedient (261825) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254960)

The single, solitary, lone reason I own an XBOX is for XBOX Media Center [xboxmediacenter.de]. Nothing else comes close to the TiVo-like integration and Firefox-like expandability.

Unfortunately, the built-in 733Mhz. processor is the limiting factor. Friendtech used to sell a 1.4Ghz. Celeron upgrade, but they don't offer it any longer (if anyone has one of these systems, by the way, I'd be happy to buy it off you). At this point, the XBMC developers are looking at ways to use the onboard GPU to do some of the calculations and take all the heat off the CPU, but this is like looking for breadcrumbs when right next door is a fully stocked kitchen pantry (XBOX 360 or PS3). Instead of wasting time developing for a platform that's basically a dead-end, they could be working on a system that will be able to handle HD content by design.

Would developers have to port MPLAYER to C# in order for this to work? It sounds like the PS3 is a lost cause until someone can whip up some Linux drivers for the graphics system. Does Microsoft have similar restrictions to the hardware?

Was it supposed to be competitive? (1)

Oz0ne (13272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17253982)

I didn't think that linux on PS3 and XNA were even remotely related. Different technologies, different purposes.

Proprietary engine=market failure (1)

Tzinger (550448) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254020)

Sony has clearly not learned a lesson from the early 80's. TI produced a console called a TI99 that was based on a pretty good TI 9900 microprocessor. In many ways the microprocessor and its supporting chips were superior to the technology and chip used by Apple and the Commodore 64.

Both Commodore and Apple made their platforms very open and allowed many 3rd parties to develop hardware and software with virtually no licensing restrictions and very modest fees if any. TI on the other hand, made its development kit proprietary and required use of a cartridge with a TI-only chip. Thereby, TI could control development for its platform in great detail. The license fees were significant so few small companies participated.

TI never did achieve the kind of market share they needed for the product. Eventually, a console that initially cost $500 was dumped onto the market at $99 to unload the inventory.

The situation is a bit different today. There are a number of large game companies that can afford to deal with Sony. That will keep the Sony product alive with a decent market share. However, we can expect that the most innovative products will come on other platforms where entrepreneurs are encouraged to participate.

Sony appears to be locked into the Betamax mentality. Try for price leverage by creating barriers that prevent new players from entering the market. Use every possible mechanism for generating revenue, even if it slows market penetration.

I don't see the strategy working now either.

Tzinger

MS Development Tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254440)

MS can create effective development tools? Where are they and how do I get them? We got Visual Studio 2005 to develop an app for Windows CE using the lobotomized .NET Compact Framework, and we have difficulty getting any fucking thing to work right.

A little leverage anyone (1)

lyz (988147) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254486)

...creating games for both the Windows and the Xbox 360 platforms.
Is it legal for them to leverage their OS monopoly to boot their console like this?

Why are they even comparing these? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254488)

In other news, oranges better for orange juice than apples.

Microsoft compares apples to a kitchen (3, Insightful)

tjwhaynes (114792) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254598)

I don't doubt for a second that Microsoft has put considerable time, energy and work into making XNA a decent development platform for games on the XBOX 360. Generally, their development tools are pretty reasonable (as long as you don't need to interface them into anything non-Microsoft). So it wouldn't surprise me if XNA actually does what it claims - allows you to make games!

It is interesting to see the Microsoft PR get out there and compare XNA on XBOX360 to Linux on PS3. Of course, if you are going to make this comparison, you had better play up your strengths (easy game creation) and ignore there rest (full operating system, full development suite, lots of libraries available). Restricted to game development, the comparison is probably fair - for the fledging game developer who already has an XBOX 360, XNA probably allows them to put a game together fairly easily, certainly compared with taking a huge and diverse tool kit like a Linux install.

What this PR totally ignores is that XNA allows you to make games. Linux allows you to do whatever you want to do. If you are into game development on Linux and you want something to create games, then a port of Blender to the PS3 and the Blender Game Engine would probably be of most use to you. Or you could use the SDL libraries to get a start on some 2D stuff. Or you could play around with the Quake 1/2/3 source code and try and use that. Or wait for the GP2X games to get ported over. Or you could build a multimedia box. Or a fortune reader!

So, the comparison XNA/XBOX 360 is better than Linux/PS3 is deeply flawed. It may be true (for now) from one angle. It just isn't the whole story.

Cheers,
Toby Haynes

Re:Microsoft compares apples to a kitchen (1)

toiletsalmon (309546) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254908)

Microsoft took the time and made the conscious effort to create software to allow people to create games in an easy manner. All Sony did was compile a kernel for linux on their black box and shove it out the door. Most of the other stuff you talked about is software written by other people (DVRs, Quake, etc). That doesn't even take into account the supposedly crippled acess to the video subsystem (I don't have a PS3, so I wouldn't know firsthand)

Although your argument about the bad comparison is valid, don't forget that Sony hasn't really DONE much of anything. It's like the difference between a friend lending you his tools versus him helping you change the clutch in your car. There's a substantial amount of "intention to actively help you do cool stuff" on the part of Microsoft in this regard. I think they deserve credit for that. Quite a bit of credit actually.

Crap (2, Informative)

siDDis (961791) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254614)

I'm very happy with developing small games for the Linux platform. SDL is just perfect to write a game that works on Linux, Windows, Windows CE, BeOS, MacOS, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, BSD/OS, Solaris, IRIX, and QNX. And unofficially supports AmigaOS, Dreamcast, Atari, AIX, OSF/Tru64, RISC OS, SymbianOS, and OS/2(Copied and pasted from libsdl.org). Additionally OpenGL actually supports software rendering so a GPU isn't exactly needed. Super Mario 64 shouldn't have a problem running in software on a Cell. With some skills in googling one can find superb tutorials of how to make a pong game in just a few hours. Of course it's required that you understand the basics of programming. But the great thing about this is that you can actually make games that everyone can play. A lot of users will think XNA is great just because they don't know about the alternatives or think the alternatives just suck. The market in Africa is mine, because my games works perfect with One Laptop Per Child PC's for $100 =)

What PS3 Linux is, and what XNA/360 is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254658)

PS3 Linux first:

How did the previous generation consoles come to be cracked ?
The Linux enthusiasts were instrumental in getting them cracked,
so they could use Linux on it. Supplying Linux is a very good
way for Sony to ensure those motivated people will not start
cracking the PS3 first thing at release, since they'll already
have what they're after: Linux.

I'm discounting the "hhidden RSX" type of things here, the pool
of cracking talent is already slashed by having basic Linux in
the box.

About XNA:

I have a very bad taste left in the mouth: I think what MS is
trying to do is corral the open source people that would try to
make console games into a framework where their output gets to
benefit MS while ensuring that none of it is free software.
Since many people who do open source don't grok the point of
free software, it won't take much to corral them. In a way, MS
is attempting to defuse part of the community's danger to their
business by embracing and... err... locking it down while being
seen as encouraging it.
Of course, none of that XNA/360 stuff will be allowed to get
out of the jail, oh no, perish the thought.

I'm developing with XNA right now (4, Insightful)

BShive (573771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254962)

I prefer Java/Eclipse personally to C#/VStudio, but XNA seems to be offering a good opportunity for Indies. Other than Beta1 to Beta2 transition, I've been impressed with the XNA team. I loaded my game on to a XB360 earlier this week and it was amazingly painless. A 'duh' issue where some content files were missing, but only had to do a few minor code changes. An hour later my game was running on an Xbox360! It's hard to believe that Microsoft managed to put such a solid product out. They did it with a very small team, which is why it is only VStudio Express and C# are supported right now. It's nothing like the bloated behemoth that Windows OS development has become. Other coolness is that Remote Debugging works, and works well. I've never had remote debug in hardware or software that worked so painlessly. Create the PC-360 link, start debug, play on the 360, and watched variables will update, you can insert breakpoints on the fly, step through, all that jazz without any problems at all.
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