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Friday, February 23, 2007

Yet Another Cell Platform

But Sony may not be entirely opposed to the idea, either. It still plays a major role in Khronos Group, the alliance which develops the OpenKODE series of libraries (which include OpenGL and OpenGL ES). To that end, in 2005, Sony folded into Khronos' activities its Collada project, which involves the creation of open-source tools enabling game developers to transport their assets (their graphics, scenery, and environments) between platforms, such as from PS2 to PS3 or PlayStation Portable. RapidMind's development tools are developed around C++ and Open GL, which makes them quite complementary to Collada.

Perhaps you already see the path opening up here. Conceivably, a Yellow Dog Linux-based Cell computer -- whether it's a PS3 or something else -- could be marketed to enthusiasts, maybe as a new brand. And if enough developers were interested in supporting this new platform, then the tools may become available to them for rapidly porting their PS3 games. Almost instantly, the new device would have a software base.
-- IBM Shops Cell to Indie Game Developers

It's a fascinating idea - if not a little weird. Why a different brand? If the PS3 can boot into Linux ... and you can dev in Linux ... why a different hardware spec? The PS3 may be an expensive console - but it's a pretty cheap multimedia computer. I'm not sure why Sony has been so hesistant to embrace the idea that if you have a PS3 ... you might not need that Winbox. An open source game development platform would help attract indies.

To put it simply - why isn't Sony aggressively pushing the PlayStation 3 to hobbyist developers of all stripes? Wii channels are clearly an effort on Nintendo's part to try and make the Wii a more universal tool. If I can get weather, news and email off my game console - why do I need to leave my couch? Sony's browser probably goes a long way for this - but Sony's been oddly quiet about their browser (which I've heard nothing but great things about).

Here again - we have simple moves that Sony is ignoring. Release a cheap but decent wireless keyboard and mouse combo for the PS3. Hype Yellow Dog to indies and hobbyist. Remind people they can use Google apps on their high def TV.

How is this hard?

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