Sony on PS3 Hobbyist Game Dev

April 25th, 2007 by Crusader

Slashdotposted a community interview of Sony’s PhilHarrison about the PlayStation3. One of the questions asked for his take on homebrew gaming:

When I started making games on the Commodore 64 in the 1980’s, the way Ilearned to make games was by re-writing games that appeared in magazines.Really the best bit about a C64 was when you turned it on it said “Ready?”with a flashing cursor – inviting you to experiment. You’d spend hours typingin the code, line-by-line, and then countless hours debugging it to make itwork and then you’d realise the game was rubbish after all that effort! Thenext step was to re-write aspects of the game to change the graphics, thesound, the control system or the speed of the gameplay until you’d createdsomething completely new. I might share this with a few friends but not forcommercial gain at that time. But the process itself was invaluable in helpingme learn to program, to design graphics, animations or sounds and was reallythe way I opened doors to get into the industry. Now, those industry doors arelargely closed by the nature of the video game systems themselves beingclosed. So, if we can make certain aspects of PS3 open to the independent gamedevelopment community, we will do our industry a service by providingopportunities for the next generation of creative and technical talent.

Linux is supported on the PS3, albeit without access to the GPU at present. There are developer resources around the intertubeswebnet, like this IBM tutorial (feel free to share any other documentation you’ve found in the comments!).

3 Responses to “Sony on PS3 Hobbyist Game Dev”

  1. richard Says:

    “So, if we can make certain aspects of PS3 open…”

    There’s no way Sony is going to give full access to the GPU, allowing unlicensed applications access to the same power that you would normally have to buy a license for.

    Note that this restricted access flies directly in the face of his C64 experience where the platform was completely open.

  2. TiCL Says:

    I never understood why they restricted the access. Couldn’t they just put some sort EULA, etc. that you cannot develop/sell commercial games for PS3 w/o license?

  3. Anonymous Says:

    You mention why not license?

    Because they’re too lazy to police the people that’d be cheating and publishing games for that console- it’d cost them a sizable chunk of that per title, per unit royalty payment that they extract from every title not published by Sony directly. They want their cut of the whole pie without having to work for it.

    And we won’t even mention “piracy” here…

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