Global Game Industry News Blog

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Leasing my PS3's CPUs

It's interesting that Sony has completely changed their tune with the release of the PS3 from the PS2 when it comes to alternative uses of video game consoles. I suppose that happens when you're desperately looking for people to make use of your system in new and interesting ways but you haven't really given game developers enough lead time to do that.

Instead they've had to resort to using scientific computation models like Folding@Home which has been built from the beginning in a cross-platform and highly distributed model, something that is able to make good use of the multiple cores on the PS3.

Game developers on the other hand have had relatively little time to scale their applications up to systems like this, and Sony certainly didn't go out fo their way to get emulators or other tools to developers early enough for them to get themselves and their tech up to the task of working with these technologies.

I like that they're looking elsewhere, but I'm not so crazy about leasing my PS3 out for "free" stuff from Sony. I'm sure there are some distributed computing projects that need donated cycles. AIDS research? Cancer? SPAM? Let's get a bit more imaginative than "lease it!"

Sony in talks on commercial use for PS3
Sony PlayStation 3 users may soon be asked to share the supercomputer power of their video game consoles with companies that lack their own technology to run complex research projects, the Financial Times was told.

Sony Computer Entertainment is in discussions with a number of companies about possible commercial applications for the PlayStation 3. This comes in the wake of its non-profit partnership with Stanford University in March that harnesses the spare computing capacity of registered PS3s for the analysis of protein cells.

However, because this would be a commercial proposition that would benefit profit-making organisations, Sony is studying whether it would need to offer incentives, such as free products, to persuade PS3 owners to participate.

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