Dec 20 2007, 05:57 AM
PS2Dev.org: Is Sony blocking 3D access?
Posted by XanTium | 19-12-2007 23:57 EST
The "otheros" option has provided a great opportunity for the homebrew development community to develop and innovate with the PS3. Over the last few months a few people that use our forums have been investigating using the 3D aspects of the PS3 GPU. It's a very powerful element of the PS3, so naturally people want to use it. In the last firmware update (version 2.10), the ability to access the 3D graphics has been modified. The method our users have been using has been removed. It is not currently clear if Sony is intentionally removing access to 3D aspects for "otheros" users. Can we get an official statement on whether Sony is intentionally blocking 3D access?
The main reason for this post is that I am concerned that it is Sony's intention to block access to the 3D aspects of the GPU entirely. I believe this is extremely short sighted. The level of access provided by the firmware prior to 2.10 has been accepted and understood by developers. By blocking access to 3D aspects of the GPU, Sony will encourage developers to find exploits that bypass the hypervisor security. These exploits once found may lead the way for further bypassing of security mechanisms. I understand that Sony might want to keep access to the 3D aspects of the hardware for exclusive use by PS3 commercial games. However, what is the danger of allowing homebrew developers access this hardware? Is Sony concerned a developer will create a great homebrew game and sell it through a different channel? The market for "otheros" developers is so tiny that it would not be worth while. It would actually be an opportunity for Sony to potentially pick up and improve some small games ready for the Playstation Network. The reasons to allow access are numerous. Developers will create a better experience when using Linux, create great demos that explore the hardware?s capabilities and maybe create some basic games. None of these things are threatening to Sony's core business.
Another reason for this post is that I believe it will be beneficial to have a contact point with Sony so that we can understand what aspects of the hypervisor Sony does not want investigated. Discussing these will help me and other moderators develop the right forums rules for the PS3. I believe that by having some communication between "otheros" developers and Sony will ensure that the facility is used for what was intended; to create a thriving innovative knowledgeable community.
Full Story: ps2dev.org
Dec 20 2007, 10:32 AM
Does he think Sony are going to give a list of aspects of the Hypervisor to leave alone. That would amount to saying these are the things we are really afraid someone will exploit. These are the weaker points
Dec 20 2007, 11:54 AM
These API's wouldn't even exist if the policy was constant at first.
First, PS3 was launched as a computer.
Now high ranks of sony are pulling out techies from command chains and dream of a ps3 turned into a plastic toy in order to earn as much money as nintendo does.
So these API's are in some incomplete state and won't be documented because policy has changed midway.
Personally I think this change will turn PS3 into another console not allowing homebrew and thus, heavily hacked and pirated. However there is a pretty impressive stock of PS3 not yet at fw 2.10.
Maybe after 4 or 5 generations of the same errors, techies will be given a chance to do what they know what must be done to prevent hardware hacks.
It seems the opportunity is lost again for this generation.
Note that I hear more and more rumours about hacked PS3's in China, maybe it's also a part of the decision made by Sony. It may be logical to stop any cooperation with homebrewers if the invisible deal was to avoid piracy and piracy appeared nevertheless... But it may be just rumours and I hope Sony didn't believe into them without verifying.
Dec 20 2007, 07:20 PM
Actually, there is maybe a better invisible deal to do with MS and Sony...
"If you let us run homebrew the way we want, then we accept lastest firmwares, we connect to online services and we purchase your videos on demand."
In order to activate such pressure, we just have to create nice free homebrew games, so more and more people won't connect and keep older firmware.
Dec 20 2007, 07:39 PM
You seem to forget that the PS3 was never intended to be a computer, they only floated that in the UK, to avoid some type of taxation. No hardware company wants their propritary hardware used for anything but to run the software they create for it. If people begin making free games and emulators and the like, Sony sees no money from this. It is the same with MS and Nintendo and Apple and any other company.
It just happens to affect consoles more than anything else, because when developing cutting edge technology, companies like Sony and MS are willing to take a loss on the hardware with the hope that they sell enough software to recoup the losses. They can't do this if you're using your console to play Linux based games, or emulators and the like, instead of playing Warhawk and Drake's Fortune.
Everyone seems to take offense to this, but business is business. Sony and MS both offer development kits if you are so inclined and would like to develop new games for their current hardware platforms.
Dec 20 2007, 11:41 PM
If someone was really smart, they would just purchase the development kit and make it open access to the public. haha.
Or at least purchase it to develope an exploit, boot disc, or something.
Anyways, I'm sure their is a way around this. The graphics would still work if it werent for the update and nothing like that is done on accident.
Anyways, Just use a chip to boot into the new version or the exploitable version.
Easy as that for now.
I really want to see the first NES emulator for the PS3 soon.
Emulation is the only way the PS3 is going to kick the X360's Arse.
And XBMC on PS3 as well.
Dec 21 2007, 09:22 AM
You can't say "was never intended to be a computer" since it was launched with the promise of possible installation of Yellow Dog Linux.
The policy changed midway.
I agree, that, now, there is a backward move. Highest ranks of Sony probably wish Linux compatibility was never given at first.
What you talk about is the "razor blade model" (razor sold at loss, blades sold for profit).
Who said it was something absolutely required?
Nintendo earns money on each wii or nds sold (because tech level is low).
Even if attachment rate on the wii is very low (usually people are just happy with wii sports), they will earn money.
The initial policy was to present ps3 as a super computer and have customers accept its high price.
They should have dropped the "razor blade model" and get profit from sales.
I wish, if they absolutely wanted to have something going through "razer blade model", they had created a secondary product, maybe named "PS3 Light", cheaper, not allowing Linux, completely oriented toward licensed games and licensed movies (I means they should have even prevented movie watching of non Sony movies).
Instead they just roam randomly between the two models, not giving the impression they know what they want...
One day they close rsx accelerated linux to go closer to "razor model"
One day they give DivX and Xvid support that makes ps3 more distant from that model...
It's a mess because highest ranks of Sony are lacking some "brain".
Get out Kutagari and his first lieutenant from golden closets and things will go better.
For now, sell Sony shares (only way to prove Sonly leaders they are doing wrong) because this silly internal war leads to non logical decisions... Even developpers are asking officialy that PS3 gets clearly defined.
I repeat, Sony, slice product into two branches :
Expensive PS3 as computer+console (not razor blade model)
Cheap PS3 Light as console only (razor blade model)
Otherwise it will be messy more and more...
But remember the extraordinaty things initiated with the computer way : folder@home, scientists putting ps3 as clusters for enormous calculation power, cheapest cell based machine with stable unified hardware, etc...
So I hope another console manufacturer will remember it and retry it again.
Jan 6 2008, 11:36 AM
I'm not sure how true this could be, but I suppose it's possible that Sony could have decided to limit it to ensure a hack for HD-DVD drive compatability wouldn't arise, to help with format control.
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