What's this now? PS3 development without a license?


Watch Impress has a general PS3 information article up (you know, final specs, what the user interface is like, yada yada) that includes an interview with Izumi Kawanishi. He is in charge of various things and divisions in Sony and must well known as the guy who announces the new PSP hardware features. There were rather interesting comments made in the section that starts out reading as this, which is the article writer’s comment, “The software isn’t just launched from the disk, but it is also possible for things to install and be started from the SD card slot or memory stick slot. This type of software is not only for the things produced by game studios, but running things that individual develop is permitted too.”

Kawanishi: “Because we have plans of having Linux on board, we also recognize Linux programming activities. ‘Presenting a programming environment that is essentially a wide footpath up the mountain’…is an compelling thing, I think. In the PlayStation era, we discovered various creators, but on PS3 we’d like to receive digital contents from all sorts of people and become creators, that’s what we’re saying. Other then game studios tied to license contractors, we’d like to see various individuals participate in contents creation for the PS3.”

He goes on to say:

Kawanishi: “To these types of individuals, demanding a license fee…that’s saying something that at Linux World would be a little hard to accept to the point impossibity.” (laughs) “When a game studio enacts development on a PS3 by entering a license contract, SDK libraries as in the form of development tools and libraries from the SCE side will be presented, and various technical support given. In contrast, when using Linux World on the PS3, despite the fact that license fees and such are not required, these kinds of tools and SDKs, that support will fall to the lowest level required, and you must solve and work on things by yourselves, which, by many meanings, I think is a kind of contract.”

EDIT: Whoops, forgot this last part:

Kawanishi: “Even as a Linux base, regarding the cell processor, its under the supervisor hardware layer of the OS side, but the things like SPEs will be open I’m thinking. Yet, though we do not have any plans to combine PS3 business so that its a Linux World inside a PS3.”

The article goes on, mentioning these technical things like H.264 and HDV which I have no idea what they’re talking about, but that’s the most salient part.


So, you can do homebrew, but just won’t get the ‘real’ SDK and will have to build on top of the usual Linux libraries? Seems fair enough.

Will the Linux support be built-in though, or an expensive add-on like it was for the PS2? I’m not sure what exactly is meant by “on board” through the translation.

So why wont they allow this on the psp? Homebrew is much more useful for a portable, IMO.

Fucking piracy paranoid jerks.



What? You don’t believe me?

It’s right here:


Want more? There’s a series of three articles over at ITMedia Plus


As for coming in the box, I’ve seen a place translate the Watch Impress article as meaning that, but I think its an inaccurate translation and I see no confirmation either way whether it is included or not.


They said it would be preinstalled at the March PS3 conference, although I’m guessing that might not apply to the $500 model.

I think that’s a poor guess. They’ve been rather adament about there being no change in internal functionality between the two models.

The only differences are supposedly with external interfaces and HD size.

The only way they could get me to buy one of these is to put a reasonable development model on it. I’m not, however, typical of any significant percentage of the market.

And you thought the PS2 Linux kit was useless…

What does that mean? As long as they let me use gcc in linux with access to the SPE’s too, that’s freaking awesome. Access to the sdk and sony libraries would be even better, but frankly I would be amazed to just get the c standard library and a few interfaces. It’s hard to tell if he is saying that no support would be provided for the sdk or the sdk itself would not be available.

Ignoring piracy concerns I think this would be a very smart move by sony. While the amount of people who would end up developing for it would be relatively small the end results can be enjoyed by just about everybody. I would love to get a translation of the rest of the article, tech bits included. Google translate just hurts my brain.

I have to go run some errands 1st, but as long as you promise not to be too whiney about my relative lack of knowledge with English technical words, I’ll do all four articles for you, if you want.


That would be awesome. I tried slogging through with google translate but my brains jellified and ran out my nose after the first paragraph.

With the PS2 Linux, unless you had A) insane amounts of free time or were B) gnu-saavy enough to build a cross-compiler and configure remote gdb debugging for a non-standard gcc target, it was…more than a bit challenging to actually do anything.

Ah, I never messed with PS2 development, just psp. Considering I was implementing stub functions in the standard c library for the psp B) doesn’t really scare me. Really I am just happy to see any legitimization of home console development.

It sounds too good to be true though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if additional restrictions come to light. The trick would be in finding the right balance to allow homebrew while disallowing piracy.

(E.g., perhaps you’ll only be allowed to run executables built and signed on your own system, but homebrew can just do the build as part of its install. Or certain advanced hardware abilities will be disabled, but you’ll still have enough power for typical homebrew uses.)

Were there any good compilers for the vector units? Hand coding VLIW assembly didn’t seem that easy either.

Without the vector units, you had a 300 Mhz MIPS computer, which is not the most interesting thing in the world.

I don’t believe they made the good VU compiler available, but I could be wrong.

And, FWIW, the Emotion Engine runs at 233 MHz.

I don’t really expect much to come out of this PS3 thing, to be honest.

Ah, here it is.

Hmm…C like language. Better than VLIW assembly, but you have to wonder how optimized it is.

It also looks like that was released a good bit after the initial kit came out.

Oh wow, I had no idea that they had released those tools.

Still doesn’t mean that it’s easy to program something for the PS2. ;)