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PlayStation (Games) Software Linux

Emulation Explosion On the PS3 Via Linux 425

Marty writes "The PlayStation 3 has recently seen an explosion of releases of emulators and games for the Yellow Dog Linux distro for PS3; once you have installed Yellow Dog Linux you then have the ability to try out MAME, SNES, Amiga, Dos, Commodore and Atari emulators (that's the tip of the iceberg) and such games as Quake 2, Duke Nukem 3D, Hexen 2 and Alephone. Time to start installing Linux on your PS3?"
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Emulation Explosion On the PS3 Via Linux

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  • Linux on PS3? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DemonBeaver ( 1485573 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:14AM (#27118491)
    I really can't see a good reason to install Linux on a PS3 except for once again proving that Linux goes on everything with a microchip. I'd rather buy a cheap pc for Linux, and have a working keyboard...
  • by skreeech ( 221390 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:23AM (#27118525)

    Most of those programs worked on the PS3 day one. I am not aware of what makes this a new development.

  • What explosion? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by seebs ( 15766 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:51AM (#27118655) Homepage

    Please name an emulator which works on the PS3 today and didn't in 2007.

    "Explosion" implies that there are many such emulators, and that they all showed up recently. In fact, I don't know of any at all, and it's hardly an "explosion" for a Linux system to have access to a bunch of common Linux packages. What next? "Emulator explosion on the Eee" headlines because my specific Eee has access to more emulators than it did when I bought it?

  • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cyrcyr ( 1070070 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:52AM (#27118665)
    Not sure what your point is, but it is the "ecosystem" that is making money. If you sell something at a loss, but make more money on peripherals, you're still making money.
  • by zaffir ( 546764 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:56AM (#27118683)

    The reason to put Linux on a PS3 is the same as it has been since release day: access to the wonderfully (sinfully?) complex Cell.

    If the thought of 6 128-bit wide vector processors hanging off the back of a general purpose CPU gets you all hot and bothered, the Linux on the PS3 is a great place to start.

  • by feepness ( 543479 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @04:15AM (#27118733) Homepage
    What is the point of buying the most expensive console on the market to run Seti at home? You aren't buying the PS3 to do emulation. You're buying it to play the library of hundreds of games. The fact that you can stream content from the computer, watch BluRays, and do emulation is just a bonus. Running Seti at home is the silly thing. I can do that on my computer. Playing an emulator with a real pad on my big screen not so much.
  • Re:Linux on PS3? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tokerat ( 150341 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @04:38AM (#27118795) Journal

    but why? why put yourself through the trouble of making it run, when you could run Linux on a computer way easier and keep playing games on the PS3?

    This is the fucking problem with geeks today, and why the dot-com boom ruined the tech scene.

    Why? Because you fucking CAN! There doesn't need to be a point. It's INTERESTING, and you can learn about a new system by doing it. Hell, maybe you'll even find a way to unlock the graphics hardware instead of waiting for someone else to do it so you can just download the patch and be all l33t.

    Now we've got all these lazy pseudo-geeks running around like "Oh, Linux on the PS3 is stupid, why not just use a PC?" and "Oh, pattern-recognition technology in video cameras is stupid, why not just use a bar-code scanner?" etc. Not sure if it applies to parent poster here or not (either way, shame on you, parent) but this is a result of all the people who went to school for computer science because it was the "hot new thing" and you could "get rich and retire when you're 30!". Now we have clusters of lazy, jaded nerds who resist change and new technology because they had a hard time leaning what little they know in the first place.


  • Re:Yay. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tokerat ( 150341 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @04:48AM (#27118831) Journal

    Sony locked it down with a firmware update. My biggest complaint about Sony is they're not very friendly to homebrew game developers (not that any of the console makers are).

    And seriously? "It'll look stupid compared to someone running MGS4?" Is that REALLY supposed to compare? You don't find it in the least bit awesome that you can get all your favorite old games (that you own already, obviously) on your HDTV with a wireless controller? Are you really saying that the PS3 would be better if it did less? What kind of geek are you?

  • Re:Linux on PS3? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DemonBeaver ( 1485573 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @05:23AM (#27119001)
    I think you are confusing actual research with "lets run Linux on everything including a toaster powered by a grandma on a hamster wheel". The PS3 is a gaming console. It was designed to run a specific type of software as smooth as (arguably) possible. You want to research it? Crack it? Fine. Have fun. Don't get all worked up over me buying it to play games on it. There are amazing technologies being developed as we argue here, but I doubt having emacs on a PS3 is creating the next great breakthrough.
  • by Arker ( 91948 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @05:57AM (#27119147) Homepage

    Why would I want to play 9 year old+ games on a new entertainment system?

    Someone who's noticed that most games these days suck perhaps?

  • Re:Yay. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 09, 2009 @06:04AM (#27119173)

    Much more friendly than the accursed Microsoft though, still no progress (real) towards Linux on there, makes me wish I bought a PS3 :-/

  • Re:Linux on PS3? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zwei2stein ( 782480 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @06:13AM (#27119201) Homepage

    I have seen what you loathe happen over and over again before .com. Your conclusions are too hasty.

    Certain percentage of geeks simply matures and "doing cool stuff" is not enough. Or maybe it is exposure to actual, non-academic, world of software development where cool ideas tend to work out as dumb waste of time.

    If you have your pet project, it also has to be useful. It needs to be something worthy your time when not with family/working. It ideally should give you job-translatable skills (haha). And you definitely do not want to reinvent wheel or spend time making someone elses reinvented wheel working.

    More on topic:

    Installing Linux on PS3 is easy. Installing emulators on Linux is easy. Its nothing to write home if you do both. Hell, its wasted time if you do it because you could be actually look for those hidden hardware gems instead making videos of you playing Mario.

  • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tatsh ( 893946 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @06:52AM (#27119361)

    The one thing I hate about console-proponents is that they exist. Each console has its pros and cons. Just because you bought a PS3 instead of an Xbox 360 or Wii does not make you better than someone else. AFAIK, nobody is paying you to advertise for Sony either.

  • Re:Linux on PS3? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 09, 2009 @07:41AM (#27119593)

    You must be new yourself. It has always been like that.

    In fact, it's like that in every field. There are a few dedicated people and a whole lot more "poseurs". Work still gets done.

  • Re:Linux on PS3? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by numbski ( 515011 ) < minus poet> on Monday March 09, 2009 @07:56AM (#27119659) Homepage Journal

    You're missing a very valuable piece of information here, which is that anyone that openly supports Linux on their platform deserves praise. Sure, it's annoying that they abstracted away the hardware, but STILL. They are trying to protect their IP (gawd, did I really just say that???), but instead of locking it down to the hilt, they provided abstraction and gave us Linux anyway. It's hard to complain about. Given time, that hardware abstraction will probably be bypassed for good - of course it will be after the PS3 is past it's prime, and despite the sales numbers, the hardware itself definitely has a few more good years under it.

    No - I won't open fire on Sony on this one. I really wish they would license the ability to get direct hardware access for a reasonable price for homebrew, but I won't hold my breath.

  • Re:Linux on PS3? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by numbski ( 515011 ) < minus poet> on Monday March 09, 2009 @08:08AM (#27119727) Homepage Journal


    Why are you blaming this on the dot-com bust exactly? I can and should be as jaded as anyone else. I worked for a dot-bomb, and I've even since started, run, and failed at my own business.

    I don't think this has anything to do with dot-com, and everything to do with a trend that's been going on for a LONG time now: each generation is lazier than the last. The last generation had mortgages and homes, this generation didn't know the work involved and presumed buying a home was and should be easy, greedy people accomodated, and here we are: trashed economy (I'm over-simplifying of course). There are kids straight out of college (I'm only 10 years out myself!) that my wife administers at work, and their expectations of what they should have and be able to do while on business time is ridiculous. They're LAZY. I was and still am lazy to a degree, but it's as though they saw my lazy and took it to a whole new level.

    I'm not saying every single person coming out of college right now and for the last 3 years is a useless pile, but it's a trend that is going to continue - the next generation is going to see how lazy THIS one is and take THAT to a whole new level. The economy getting trashed like it is might be the best thing for us. Once upon a time, people were encouraged to grow gardens in their yards for food, to go out of their way to work not just for themselves, but the betterment of everyone around them. I would hope it doesn't come to that again, to people living in Hoover^H^H^H^H^H^HBushvilles, etc, but dang it - we all need to become less lazy.

    How does that translate? Well - "Linux on the PS3 is stupid, why not just use a PC?" really translates to "That's too much work, I can just use a PC instead." LAZY.

    Being a really good geek - I don't care what area of technology or science you work in - requires a desire to learn. You soak up new information like a sponge, and you're always looking for new information. The desire to hack something at it's core comes from that desire for new information, along with a healthy dose of ADD usually. ;) OOOH! New! Shiny!

    But hey, I'm talking like the old man here, and I'm 31. I've been in my career for almost 13 years now - did some of my time while still in college. If I'm talking this way about 21, 22, and 23 year olds now...woooh boy. My own niece and nephews, the oldest is soon to turn 12 - they're laziness just oozes from their pores. I'm sure I didn't appear much better to my parents, but the way they demand that everything be given to them without any work being required - it's not a value my family has bestowed upon them that I can tell. It's a societal trait.

  • Re:No (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cowmonaut ( 989226 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @08:13AM (#27119753)

    +1 Underrated / Insightful.

    That really can't be put more fairly, and is true more so now than in the past. The Xbox360, PS3, and Wii all have their high points and low points. For the Xbox, it seems to be getting "all" the games (and woo i get to use it as a bridge from my PC to my TV without buying a TV tuner card that wouldn't fit on my already fully loaded motherboard), the Wii gets a lot of "just plain fun" games that are also great with groups of people, and the PS3 gets some pretty games and is the only bluray player worth buying if Sony hasn't stopped changing the format already. And all of them get Rock Band / Guitar Hero which are a pretty solid money making fad (and unusually fun for a rhythm game).

    There's something for everyone. The pissing contest is kind of moot.

  • Re:Sweet! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 09, 2009 @08:34AM (#27119857)

    In salmaklak's defense, your first post is rather trollish.

    In the first post, you clearly state that "you can only use 256 MB RAM", yet in the second you retract that and say "you can use it, but the bandwidth is terrible".

    Also, You really really really should have said something more like "...last time I checked (though this was X years ago), I didn't have bluetooth...". I'm betting you already know that, though.

    You also talk about Sony regularly breaking the system (yet you haven't booted Linux on it in an unspecified number of YEARS).

    So, in short(?), your first post does read like a troll. Your second is only marginally better.

  • by MadClown69 ( 1409457 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @08:43AM (#27119919)
    This is so true. I'm not sure why everyone is complaining about no access to the GPU when you have 6 cell processors at your disposal. Most emulators don't even use the GPU. They use software to generate the graphics from the CPU. Just update the emulators to us 2 or more cell processors and you'll probably have a better graphics layer then on a PC.
  • Re:Sweet! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Phasma Felis ( 582975 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @10:32AM (#27120999)

    "Only" 256MB RAM? Accurate or not, what do you think we're emulating here? The SNES had a total of 256 kilobytes of RAM, with cartridge ROMs topping at 6MB. Quake 2 ran on a Pentium/90 with 16MB.

    The PS3's specs might be a problem for a Windows box that demands half a gig for OS overhead, but Linux isn't supposed to have those problems.

  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @10:41AM (#27121119) Homepage Journal

    There are several projects, like spu-medialib [] and mesa3d [], which accelerate PS3 graphics/video on the Cell's SPEs. spu-medialib is actually a general framework for acceleration, while mesa3d offloads OpenGL onto the SPEs as a GPU.

    There's a narrative tutorial [] for installing the spu-medialib mplayer driver, with links to files, that plays video on the SPEs quite well, including 1080p HD videos.

    The USB works fine, so an external HD should work fine. I don't know whether there are PPC (the Cell's application core) drivers for a USB tuner card, but you should try it. If it doesn't work, make it work with some programming. That's what Linux is all about :).

  • Re:No (Score:0, Insightful)

    by amori ( 1424659 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @11:17AM (#27121587)
    The trend post-2007 is that the losses have decreased, and if 51 represents the value for first quarter 2009, then they're headed towards their largest profit margin on the PS3 yet.
  • by chopper749 ( 574759 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @11:33AM (#27121833) Journal
    As soon as I can play my PS2 games on a PS3, I might look into buying one.
  • by Sj0 ( 472011 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @11:42AM (#27121945) Journal

    I disagree.

    We're in an age where some incredible games are being released. The indie scene is more alive than it's been since the days of Doom. When I bought my first indie game, Pontifex, back in 2000, it was a strange thing. Today, for the first time in history, you can actually buy an indie game right from your xbox. I bought Braid and N+ this weekend and it took about 20 seconds. The commercial scene has some incredible players, like Valve Software, who keep on churning out unique titles like Left 4 Dead and Portal.

    Sure there are brownfest WWII shooters, but that's always been the case. Download a rompack for the SNES and NES, and see how many games are actually any good. You'll be shocked at the massive amount of crap you have to sift through to find the diamonds.

  • Re:Linux on PS3? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Monday March 09, 2009 @12:29PM (#27122799) Homepage Journal

    Certain percentage of geeks simply matures and "doing cool stuff" is not enough. Or maybe it is exposure to actual, non-academic, world of software development where cool ideas tend to work out as dumb waste of time.

    This argument doesn't hold water.

    Yes, geeks mature, get families and jobs that take up a lot of time so they lose interest in doing geeky stuff "just because".

    But real geeks never lose the understanding that cool hacks are their own reward, and never start asking "why would you bother", because they remember when they would have bothered, and are perfectly capable of being impressed by the cool and the useless, even if they don't have time for it.

    No the "Why bother?" arguments come from the posers, who never did see the value in doing something just because it was there to be done.

  • Re:Linux on PS3? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by deek ( 22697 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @10:30PM (#27129881) Homepage Journal

    You are being a tad cynical, but I do generally agree with you.

    I've often thought about this issue. Each generation has generally been more prosperous than the last. This prosperity leads to levels of expectations that exceed the previous generation. We are, in a way, a victim of our own successes. Or, in other words, we're being spoilt.

    Each generation of children have been given more, without much effort at all. It's only human nature that they learn to expect to be given what they want. This is just a natural consequence of having a high standard of living, and is very difficult to overcome. It takes conscious effort on the part of the parent, to teach children that life will not give them what they want. That they've got to work hard to achieve their goals, and even then it's no guarantee.

    People, all people, not just children, generally appreciate what they had only after it's gone. This is the crux of the issue; the real difficulty of parenting. It's hard for a parent to deprive their child. You want to give your child every opportunity, want to make sure that they're well provided for, and that they have many choices in life. Problem is, if you give it to them, they cannot understand what they've been given. It has to be taken away before they can truly understand the value of it.

    I do believe it's possible to appreciate what you have, without being deprived of it. It takes conscious effort, and continual reminders. Giving thanks before meals is a good example, although I guess most people don't really listen to the prayer, but just recite it by rote. Another good example is to wake up every morning and think "how lucky I am that I have a bed, a house, and food on my table". It's not something I'd expect of children though, as it takes considerable maturity to really appreciate that statement.

    As far as children are concerned, it's a tough issue. Getting them to work for their basic needs can help. Education, in all forms, should also be able to increase their awareness. Not sure what else can be done, but whatever it is, I'm sure it'll involve hard work for parent and child. .... and to drag this post, kicking and screaming, back on topic ... I've already installed Linux on my PS3. Why? Because. No real reason, other than to experience it, to learn what it's capable of, and to have it as an option to solve a possible future need.

Trap full -- please empty.