It's Not A Game

Andrew Berg andrew_c_berg at
Tue Apr 1 18:02:09 UTC 2003

On Tue, 1 Apr 2003 17:00:23 +0200, Marcus Denker <marcus at> wrote:
> The problem is: Sony and Microsoft are actually loosing money with
> each sale of the hardware. The whole gaming-console industry works
> only because the hardware-manufacturers are getting money back from
> *every* game sold.

That's almost true.  Sony is right near the break-even point with their 
hardware.  (Nintendo actually makes a profit on theirs.)  Microsoft is 
losing money on each one, hoping to make up for it by selling games, or by 
selling consoles at a small profit once the other 99.3% of the population 
starts wanting one.  So far, M$ really appears to be just dumping piles of 
money into that sector, probably just trying to get a decent beach head for 
their next-generation home "everything" console.

Sony'll sell you a kit to let you put Linux on a Playstation 2: is the Sony kit to 
do just that.  It seems a bit expensive, but it contains a HD, KB, Mouse 
and a NIC so it does add some value.  Microsoft very much wants this to not 
happen, for exactly the reasons you describe.

> As soon as you would allow people to start Squeak on a XBox or 
> Playstation, they could load Squeak programms over the network.
> (e.g. multiuser games implemented in Croquet) *without paying the tax*.

It seems to me that a port of Squeak to the PS2+Linux should not even 
require hacking.  Just a good, old-fashioned recompile.  Now, making one 
run directly on PS2 and boot native might be a bit more work.  From my 
previous life as a game programmer, I suspect that Sony's reasons for 
wanting to suppress this are similar to what Nintendo's have always been:  
If they let just any schmuck write and distribute games/apps/whatever for 
their platform, the overall quality of the software available for the 
platform might very well degrade, causing a bad perception on the part of 
the "normal" users.  That is a large part (at least as it was explained to 
me) of their licensing cost structure--in depth QA testing and playability 
testing to ensure that the perceived quality of PlayStation or Nintendo 
games is high.

> Getting Squeak to run on such a system is not the real problem, e.g.
> Squeak has allready been ported to the PS2...

Is there a bootable ISO that runs natively?  I'd like to see that.


andrew_c_berg at

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