E3: Kawanishi Talks Homebrew Linux PS3 Development
In an intriguing turn of events, Sony executive Izumi Kawanishi has illuminated some of his company's PlayStation 3 Linux plans, indicating that it will be possible for individual 'homebrew' coders to create playable content for PS3, something actively blocked for Sony's PSP handheld.
In comments made to Japanese game website Impress Watch, and translated by GameSetWatch contributor Shou Suzuki, Kawanishi noted: "Because we have plans for having Linux on board [the PS3], we also recognize Linux programming activities... Other than game studios tied to official developer licenses, we'd like to see various individuals participate in content creation for the PS3."
It seems that Sony is happy to let basic application and game construction take place without access to the extremely sophisticated rendering and physics libraries available to licensors - Kawanishi further commented: "When a game studio enacts development on a PS3 by entering a license contract, SDK libraries... will be presented, and various technical support given. In contrast, when using Linux World on the PS3... support will fall to the lowest level required, and you must solve and work on things by yourselves."
Sony has previously made a Linux kit available with the PlayStation 2, but it is unclear whether any code created using PlayStation 3 and Linux will be freely spreadable and runnable via memory cards.
Additionally, Sony has not yet commented on whether it will only be possible to distribute this content via some kind of Sony-regulated online server, or only to fellow Linux coders, as was the case for PlayStation 2 Linux, which spawned a number of homebrew games. More information on the Linux coding opportunities for PS3 are likely to surface over the next few months, however.