Why PS3 Lost that Linux Feeling?
Posted on 02:50, August 27th, 2009 by David
Ever since the PS3 slim announcement last week.. I’ve been fascinated by Sony’s decision to remove 3rd party OS support from the system. On one hand it makes sense since it doesn’t promote game sales but then again why include it in the first place? I’m guessing is has to do with the Hypervisor, but what could it be? A little sleuthing around revealed the following nuggets (see bottom links for sources):
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This makes perfect sense for Sony. Most people are aware by now that linux support on the PS3 was not so much a way for end users to run alternative applications, but for programmers wanting to experiment with the radical design of the Cell Broadband Processor. Anyone following Sony’s history with Linux knows they have internal personalities fighting for control with their on-again, off-again support. Perhaps Sony can collaborate with open-source developers to do the work?
Many view this news as evidence that support for OtherOS on ‘phat’ PS3s will be dropped when a new software update is installed. However, another Sony representative had this to say to quell everyone’s concerns:
So there you have it. 3rd party OS support will continue for ‘phat’ PS3s, but Slims are left in the hands of the hackers.
Some observed the amount of static RAM has steadily declined with each iteration of PS3 hardware; Beginning with 256MB for the original 60GB model and now only 64MB in the slim. Could this contribute to the limited OS support? I’ll wait for ArsTechnica.com’s excellent analysis since they always have the skinny on hardware.
I’m still holding high hopes that Backwards Compatibility will be announced for a future update on all PS3 Slim models. Keeping my fingers crossed since the PS3 is by far the best PS2 ever made. It’s one of the things the PS3 does best with its graphical smoothing, 1080 scaling and memory card management. In fact, the most excited I ever was owning a PS3 was when a rumor circulated that you could install PS2 games to the hard drive. What can I say, I love them classic PS2 games!
The good news for wannabe Cell Broadband Engine programmers; All the PS3s after the 60GB model but before the Slim ought to be had at bargain prices. The next few months is the opportune time to snag these up as development machines.