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Valve's Newell Thinks PS3 Needs To Be "Open Like a Mac" 348

Eraesr writes "Apparently Valve boss Gabe Newell thinks the PS3 needs to be more of an open platform, drawing a comparison to Apple's Mac platform. In an interview with 5BY5.TV, he said he would like to see the PS3 be 'open like a Mac' instead of being 'more closed like a Gamecube.' 'Platform investments, like the Mac, are difficult because you have to be aware of what direction that platform is moving,' Newell said, referring to the firm's recent move onto Macs with its titles and distribution service Steam. 'We need to target platforms that do a better job of looking like where we want to be in a few years.'"
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Valve's Newell Thinks PS3 Needs To Be "Open Like a Mac"

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  • Re:Yeah (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dov_0 ( 1438253 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:55PM (#32299672)
    Apple took some of the best of open source - and made sure they screwed with it enough that they could claim it as their own.
  • Well... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by andrewme ( 1562981 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:58PM (#32299716)
    With Linux, of course, you don't have to pay anything, really, and the tools are free. But: To be fair, the developer tools on the Mac are free, unlike Microsoft's developer tools; the "native" language (Objective-C and the Cocoa frameworks) are usable by anybody who wants to learn (and even those who don't), provided that they're using a Mac (which still constitutes open, in the Mac ecosystem). The iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, by comparison, also of course from Apple, is an entirely closed ecosystem. Just trying point out perhaps how Valve's person might be seeing it.
  • by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @05:58PM (#32299718) Journal

    C'mon. It may be a legitimate comparison on the continuum of platform comparision.

    "Sony, you've made the PS3 so closed and restrictive that you make the Mac look like Richard Stallman's promised land."

  • by zardozap ( 1812430 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:05PM (#32299792)
    Geez, Newell needs to stop hitting the burgers. Who has a neck like that? Seriously dude.
  • Re:Yeah (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:08PM (#32299826)

    Don't confuse "open" with "free." They're not quite the same thing. Even Stallman knows the difference.

  • by Wovel ( 964431 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:09PM (#32299840) Homepage

    OSX is the most open operating system Steam currently delivers software for. OSX is the most open of the operating systems with a measurable desktop market share. OSX is the most open platform that runs Microsoft Windows. I could make up about 100 other items. The most important item however is this:

    OSX is the most open platform any commercial software companies are writing consumer applications for.

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:12PM (#32299894)

    There is commercial software on linux, for consumers even. I played native Quake 4 last night.

  • by Wovel ( 964431 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:13PM (#32299908) Homepage

    I am fairly certain I can come up with the source for a lot more of OSX than you could for Windows 7...

  • Re:Yeah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by H0p313ss ( 811249 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:15PM (#32299940)
    Oh I don't know, it seems from my experience that anal retentiveness seems pretty evenly spread across the users of all operating systems.
  • by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:19PM (#32299994)

    It's open in many more ways than that... e.g. Apple wrote a BSD'd compiler for C like languages (clang) which for C and objective-c beats the pants of gcc in almost every way, and is getting *damn close* on the C++ front.

  • Re:Yeah (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:30PM (#32300110)

    Nothing like a completed unsubstantiated assertion in response to someone who not only gripped but supported his complaint with a specific example... an example you ignored/had no answer to.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:45PM (#32300280)

    Valve's Newell needs to tell us when FRICKIN' HALF LIFE TWO EPISODE THREE will be available - that's what he needs to do!

  • Re:Yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by forkazoo ( 138186 ) <wrosecrans@nospam.gmail.com> on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:46PM (#32300284) Homepage

    Open like a Mac, I get it,

    kind of like, Secure like a Windows?

    You realise that the comparison is against a PS3, right?

    Besides, the Mac is a fairly open platform. You can get kernel code and Webkit code under a genuine open source license. Good luck getting Windows NT kernel code and IE rendering engine as open source projects. Apple's developer tools are built around gcc, and the default shell is bash. Apple provides X11 support out of the box, so you can build an app for a Mac, and trivially move it to another platform if you choose to rely only on open standards.

    Apple as a company may be psychotic, but I don't know why people insist the Mac is so hilariously closed.

  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kwami ( 1104073 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @06:57PM (#32300414)
    Unless you want to compile native 64-bit binaries. In that case, Visual Studio Express Edition won't be sufficient.
  • Re:360 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:02PM (#32300448) Homepage Journal
    Xbox 360 is more open than PLAYSTATION 3. Microsoft has the XNA Creators Club and Xbox Live Indie Games, a business model that is (coincidentally?) similar to Apple's later iPhone developer program and App Store. True, retail games and major-label download games aren't XNA, but does Sony have any counterpart to XNA?
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:03PM (#32300462)

    I suppose in the OSS zealot definition maybe it is more open. There is more of the code that is available to the public. Not very much of it overall, certainly not enough to make a compatible system yourself, but whatever.

    However in most other respects it is extremely closed. The biggest would be with regards to hardware. To run OS-X legally, you must use Apple's hardware. What's more, they have technical checks in there to try and force that. They do everything they can to close it down and lock you to their platform.

    Well that is very different than Windows. It is open to run on any compatible hardware, and adding hardware compatibility is easy. The only thing that can't be added by companies other than MS is processor architectures. However, Windows itself is designed to be portable and indeed did run on Alpha and MIPS back in the day. There is every indication MS would port it to other architectures, given the demand. Regardless, anything else it is easy for third parties to add support for.

    So that would be a major difference. You can crow on about the minor bits of OS-X that are open sourced, the OS itself requires Mac hardware. That isn't very open in most people's way of thinking. They aren't concerned with having access to code they don't understand, they are concerned with being able to run on the hardware they want.

  • by Gizzmonic ( 412910 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:08PM (#32300510) Homepage Journal

    Remember the horrible Orange Box port for PS3? That was farmed out to EA, but it was still with Valve's approval. It reflected poorly on Valve, and Newell's been in PS3-bashing mode ever since then. Rather than admit that his company is too small to devote the resources to develop on PS3, he blusters about how crappy it is.

      No, Gabe, other developers have been developing on PS3 for years and there are some great games for it. You already develop for Xbox 360, another platform that forces you to have the developer's blessing before you can code. Whining about openness doesn't make sense at this point. Feel free to skip PS3 development. Just don't blame the PS3 for your own company's shortcomings.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:16PM (#32300590)


    Here is a list of software I compiled for another mac dummy. This is the list of commercial software I bought in the past couple years for linux.

    Quake 4
    Doom 3
    Vmware Workstation
    Postal 2 (will soon be getting Postal 3)

    LOL, I have all those too, minus nero, and plus almost all Loki published games after EB liquidated them for $10 a piece. It doesn't change anything about the viability of Linux as a commercial gaming (or desktop software) platform.

    Think of it this way: How long has Transgaming(Cider/Cedega/WineX) been around?
    How long after developing Cider did _EA_ start publishing games using it, for Mac?

    My second point is: Loki. I really wanted them to succeed, and bought many games at full price, prior to the $10 EB firesale.

    Maybe someday Linux desktops will change, but the "well, it's free" attitude is only going to take it so far.

  • Re:Yeah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:29PM (#32300734) Journal

    The Portal game itself crashes on launch if you try to run it on anything other than the most recent GPUs.

    Runs fine on my on my Geforce 8600gt. Not exactly state of the art by any means (3+ year old card).

    Have no idea why you would choose to complain after choosing to use case-senstive hfs... Why do you need that ,btw?

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:31PM (#32300746)

    Yes they did. Why else would they make them?

    They got my money only because they made them.
    ID has been selling commercial games on linux for a long time kiddo.

  • Re:Yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Johann Lau ( 1040920 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:41PM (#32300868) Homepage Journal

    No, open like a Mac compared to, say, a Gamecube. None of you going ROFL have actually watched even the first five minutes of the interview, have you? It's boring, it's annoying, but at least it clears up that misconception. None of you (so far, as I'm posting this) are actually discussing the subject of the article, anything he actually says.

    Oh, and just to make it clear, I think Mac sucks (1mousebuttonLOLOLOLkthxbai) and Valve is a bunch of greedy, uninspired whores. I'm not defending them, I don't care at all about this.... I just think y'all are tards too, for talking to/about strawmen exclusively. Cheers.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:47PM (#32300908) Homepage Journal

    There is no possible way that parent post deserves a troll mod, except in Windows-fanboi land. What he says is exactly right: in certain ways -- specifically, code availability, which is exactly the sense in which "open" is most often used on Slashdot -- the Mac is indeed more open than Windows. As another poster points out, hardware-wise Windows is more open, but think about the subject of the story! Sony isn't going to start writing OSs for other companies' game systems any time soon, but more information about the PS3 would help draw developers to the platform. The type of "openness" which Valve is calling on Sony to practice with regards to the PS3 is exactly the type of openness Apple practices with OS X, not that which Microsoft practices with Windows.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:47PM (#32300914)

    It's possible (likely, even) that Gabe Newell was not using Mac as a counterexample to Windows. After all, Steam and many (all?) Valve games were available for Windows long before they were available for Mac.

    It's probable that he only chose Mac because they *just* finished creating Steam for Mac and are unable to create it for PS3. Additionally, there is some ambiguity in the phrase "open windows".

    On the scale of openness, you have proprietary embedded systems on one end and BSD on the other. There are many shades of grey and, regardless of where Windows sits on the scale, I think we can all agree that the PS3 is a much darker shade of grey than Mac OS.

  • Poor guy... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by northernfrights ( 1653323 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @07:58PM (#32301012)
    He has a valid point when you read the context (comparing mac vs. gamecube in terms of game distribution). But a headline like that on a forum like this == serious flamebait.
  • by Narishma ( 822073 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @08:19PM (#32301214)

    It still doesn't make much sense. They support the Xbox 360 which is as closed as, or even more closed than the PS3.

  • Re:360 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Narishma ( 822073 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @08:23PM (#32301236)

    XNA doesn't matter to developers like Valve, so the parent's point still stands. The Xbox 360 is as closed as the PS3. The only reason they support it is that porting their games to it is very easy since it uses the same technologies as Windows.

  • Re:Yeah (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 21, 2010 @08:39PM (#32301352)

    Look Gabe is a true idiot. Years ago he was upset that Apple wasn't open enough and then the rumors were that he wanted Apple to pay them to port over their games ala MS. Also PS3 is as Open as the XBox.

  • This sounds to me like a "waaah" whine:

    "Waaaah, we're an x86/Microsoft/DirectX platform dev house we don't want to learn any other architectures or tools."
    "Waaah, we want to sell our games via OUR online distribution, not the one Sony has set up for the PS3"
    "But we want to make money selling games for the PS3 so Sony should do what we want...waaaah"

    Sony is probably thinking:

    "Fuck you, Newell, you farmed out the Orange Box port to EA instead of some competent house like Gearbox."
    "The PS3 is our sandbox, our rules, it's the same way with the Microsoft's Xbox."
    "Tying yourself to Microsoft like you have is a mistake. You can make games without Microsoft Tools and on non-microsoft platforms...if you're not a lazy x86 dev house."
    "If the Mac is so open, why did it take you 12 years to release the original Half Life for the platform, Considering that the PS2 version came out in 2001?"
    "How long did it take you to do Half-Life 2...six years? Lazy x86/Windows devs! A sequel should only take 2 years or less. How many Final Fantasy games did Square release between 1998 and 2006? Lets see VIII, IX, X, X-2, XI, and XII."

    I've noticed a few other Windows centric game houses (like Blizzard, and Wild-Tangent) that talk the same way.

  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday May 21, 2010 @08:52PM (#32301428)

    What, like OpenGL? You might need that for video games. Dunno, do video games need to draw things on the screen?

    What about sound? OpenAL? Might need that perhaps.

    What about writing the Steam app itself. Well, you might need Objective C and C, and compile it with GCC in Xcode. All so proprietary! Whatever to do!

    You might also need to be able to write to the Mac filesystem - most use HFS+, because that's all proprietary and closed.... no wait.

    Sorry, what parts do Valve need that are Apple-only and proprietary. Specifics please.

  • by not-my-real-name ( 193518 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @09:07PM (#32301510) Homepage

    It's really very simple. Apple is a hardware company that also makes software. Microsoft is a software company that also makes hardware.

    Apple doesn't care what software you run on a Mac. Microsoft doesn't care what computer you run Windows on.

    Apple wants you to buy a Mac. Microsoft wants you to buy Windows.

  • Re:Yeah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @09:40PM (#32301708) Homepage Journal

    (I thought that it had been deprecated, but can't find any evidence of this)

    Nope. HFSX is fully supported and is most certainly not deprecated. You're thinking of the ancient UFS format that has been deprecated for a while. UFS is not only deprecated, but was actually demoted to read-only in Snow Leopard.

    The reason UFS is deprecated has nothing to do with case sensitivity, though. It's deprecated because A. it's very, very slow compared with HFS+, B. it doesn't support extended attributes or POSIX filesystem ACLs or any of the other dozen things that have been added to the VFS layer in Mac OS X over the last several years (so using it would break a LOT of things), and C. case-sensitive HFS+ made it largely unnecessary.

    What are you doing that makes this problematic?

    It's not that it's problematic. It's that I want to be certain that when I check in changes to the tree, they're not going to break my server when the update goes live.

  • Re:Yeah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bigjeff5 ( 1143585 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @10:33PM (#32302010)

    You were speaking from the developer level when you were talking about case insensitivity. 95% of people own a computer that is case-insensitive in the practical sense. The default setting in OSX is case insensitive, and most people never go through the trouble to change it. Doing so requires either above average technical skill to do it the hard way, or way above average technical skill to do it the easy way.

    I cannot see how you can honestly say that case insensitivity is the exception and not the rule when 99% of people in the world use a filesystem that is case insensitive for all practical purposes.

    Seriously, a case sensitive filesystem with a shim to make it case insensitive is *drumroll* case insensitive!

    In other words, your arguments did you no favors.

    That said, hard-coding paths is sloppy, but forgivable considering their background and the very small subset of users it affects.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @11:07PM (#32302218)

    Sorry, my irony detector is overloading.

    You might want to look around for a large ferrous source then, because it's not the Mac setting it off. The Mac is a very open platform. The iPhone is a rather closed platform. Unlike other vendors, you get choice in what degree of openness you prefer when choosing platforms to purchase.

  • Re:Yeah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Friday May 21, 2010 @11:41PM (#32302400) Homepage Journal

    You were speaking from the developer level when you were talking about case insensitivity.

    And developers using file access APIs in Windows can get case sensitive behavior. It's just a single FILE_FLAG_POSIX_SEMANTICS flag to CreateFile [microsoft.com] and friends. It's actually easier to do that in Windows because it doesn't require a reformat and reinstall.

    I cannot see how you can honestly say that case insensitivity is the exception and not the rule when 99% of people in the world use a filesystem that is case insensitive for all practical purposes.

    Case-insensitive volume formats are only common if you're talking about hard-drive-based filesystems for consumer use. As soon as you move beyond that market into anything remotely enterprise-y (e.g. home directories on any NFS server, some SMB servers, some AFP servers, etc.), there's a very real chance that you're getting into case sensitivity territory. As soon as you talk about the world of servers, it's almost a given.

    Further, every CD-ROM (except the base ISO-9660, which is almost useless), every DVD, every Blu-Ray disc, a sizable percentage of cell phones, and lots of embedded systems use a case-sensitive filesystem. Want that game to work when run from optical media? You'd better work with case-sensitive volumes. Want to port it to iPhone? It had better work with case-sensitive volumes. Want to be able to fetch files over the Internet? Yup. Case usually matters. And so on.

    The average home has one hard drive, thirty or forty DVDs. When viewed in a broader sense (not limited to local hard-drive filesystems), case sensitivity is the norm, and case insensitivity is the exception. Case-sensitive volumes likely outnumber case-insensitive volumes by several orders of magnitude.

    That said, I wasn't talking about the number of instances of any given filesystem when I referred to case insensitivity being in the minority but rather that *recent* filesystems are almost *universally* case sensitive. That's a pretty strong indication that technology is moving towards case sensitivity, not away from it. Thus, designing software that doesn't take this into account is very shortsighted, and is likely to be costly in the long run.

    Put another way, if you want to talk about total number of instances of a filesystem, ignoring DVDs and CDs, the most popular filesystem that a home user will encounter (by a large margin) is non-long-filename FAT16 on flash cards. That doesn't mean it's acceptable for a photo viewer application to barf when it sees a filename that's more than eight characters long, even though 99.999% of them won't be.

  • Re:Yeah (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PenguSven ( 988769 ) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:17AM (#32303468)

    It's not that it's problematic. It's that I want to be certain that when I check in changes to the tree, they're not going to break my server when the update goes live.

    This is what testing environments are for. Your dev workstation is not a testing environment. I do web dev and I've developed sites/web apps to run on Windows, Linux, BSD, and even god-damn Netware (not OES - Netware 5!) servers, and I can't remember ever having an issue with case-sensitivity. I think you're making a problem where one doesn't exist.

  • Re:Yeah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grumbel ( 592662 ) <grumbel+slashdot@gmail.com> on Saturday May 22, 2010 @05:03PM (#32308590) Homepage

    A user certainly should not have to care, or even deal, with case-sensitivity.

    At which point does the user ever have to care about case-sensitivity? You can search case-insensitive on a case-sensitive file system without any issue and when you want to open a file, you just click an icon anyway. It really doesn't make a difference for the average user. The only area that I have seen where it does make a difference is when it comes to programming, people on Windows often end up messing up their #include directives with incorrect case, which then causes trouble on Unix systems, but its easily fixable.

    They certainly won't understand the difference between ThisFile.TXT and thisfile.txt. If they see both, they'll wonder why they have two copies of the same file.

    While having .TXT mixed with .txt is annoying, as it looks ugly and inconsistent, case-insensitivity doesn't solve that, quite the opposite, it caused it in the first place. If everything would be case-sensitive app developers would simply take a bit more care to write proper file extension instead of mixing case. About it causing confusion, I completly disagree. I would say the exact opposite is true: Not allowing files with the same name is a case of low-level implementation details leaking into the users space and thus causing confusion. In a modern GUI the files "Bob.txt" and "Bob.txt" could be clearly differentiated by not only being two separate icons, but also having different file size, content, thumbnails and other meta data. My Blog can handle just fine having two articles with the same title, why can't my file system? This of course might cause a little trouble for text based interfaces, as the filename is the unique identifier of the file, unlike in a GUI where you could have a hidden unique id for the file, but its not an unsolvable problem.

I owe the public nothing. -- J.P. Morgan