[Beowulf] Sony considers offering Linux kits for PS3

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Thu Jun 9 23:51:02 PDT 2005


Sony Considers Linux for PS3 Hard Disk
Company hopes to have major non-game software support for new system.
by IGN Staff

June 9, 2005 - Continuing its Ken Kutaragi interview from yesterday (see our
translation here), Japanese site PC Watch has scored more commentary from the
father of the PlayStation brand. As with yesterday's interview, today's
interview features Kutaragi touching on his vision of things to come with the
next generation PS3, this time focusing specifically on the system's hard
disk and operating system.

In the interview, Kutaragi gives a reason for not building a hard disk into
the system, stating "We won't have the hard disk equipped by default. The
reason is, no matter how much we put in, it won't be enough."

Kutaragi seems to have a disfavor for a local hard disk in the first place,
stating, "The next step is definitely network drives. With the Cell server,
[the storage] can be accessed from anywhere through the network. In your own
home, in your friend's home -- wherever you go, you can theoretically see
(the same network drive)".

However, Kutaragi recognizes the importance of a local drive as he adds, "But
there are issues with not having hard disk attached to the system as well.
This is why we've made it so that a 2.5 inch hard disk can be added."
Kutaragi makes it clear that even with a terabyte worth of network storage,
for the PS3 system to be recognized as a computer, it needs to have a drive
running an operating system.

And that operating system is... whatever you want it to be, apparently. Sony
is looking into having Linux installed from the start on the PS3 hard disk.
Referring to Linux as being "legacy," Kutaragi adds that it's just the start,
as with Cell, the operating system runs as an application on top of the basic
Cell OS. The presence of the Cell OS allows for multiple operating systems to
run on the machine simultaneously, including, of course, Linux, but also
making room for Windows and Apple's Tiger OS.

With an operating system in place, Kutaragi hopes to create an environment in
which people produce software for Cell and the PS3 -- and not just game
software. Kutaragi hopes to see complex applications such as high definition
video editing software running on the system. He comments that user
interfaces will improve much more quickly than what's happening in the PC
world today, and that this will have a direct impact on games. Additionally,
Kutaragi feels that an open environment will allow for more advanced game
development tools above the libraries that Sony has provided for its systems
in the past.

Kutaragi's comments in this latest interview aren't directly related to
videogame applications of the PS3's hard disk. As with previous interviews,
which are hosted at a Japanese PC technology website, the interviews focus
more on the computing possibilities of the PS3 system rather than the gaming

Of particular note is that the question we're all wondering -- will Sony
include a hard disk with the PS3 directly out of the box -- goes unanswered.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820            http://www.leitl.org
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE
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