XMB + Open Source = Awesomeness

Loot Ninja writes:

"The PlayStation 3 can probably be considered one of the most customizable consoles on the market. With the ability to upgrade you HDD, use external USB devices, Bluetooth peripherals, install open source operating systems (Linux/Unix) and freely customize your own XMB theme, the PS3 gives users a freedom of choice that was never previously established in console gaming until this generation. Not to say that it's really "open" in the sense where programmers, like myself, don't really have the ability to access any hardware acceleration in the RSX because of restrictions by a hypervisor (software systems that run directly on the PS3 as a hardware control and guest operating system monitor) in the available Linux/Unix flavors; this limits any 3D operations that can be done on the PS3 whilst running Linux. But gamers don't really need to worry about crap like that. That's reserved more for the bewildered geeks that get a stiffy trying to comprehend the internal workings of any system - let alone the PS3.

But what if Sony took off the shackles currently limiting user control of the PS3? What if Sony decided to give users the ability to fully customize and control their interactivity and interface? To finally change that sonata chime at startup to something more you (not to say that the startup chime is bad. It's pleasing). I'd tell you what would happen - greatness, my friends, would be defined in a whole new way."

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Lord Anubis3605d ago

open source always = For the Win

elorm93605d ago

The problem with this is that you won't always know how these things will turn out

Lord Anubis3605d ago

freedom is always better. that's why open source will always win.

FantasyStar3605d ago

Agreed, Can you imagine what life would be like now if Firefox never existed and brought forth to the mainstream the good-ness that is "open-source"?

elorm93605d ago (Edited 3605d ago )

What I mean is that, we don't know if someone will find an exploit that'll install CFW. Even if Sony puts as much security on this, someone will eventually figure a way through those locks. Such a thing won't really happen on a PC because you can easily run pirated software without any problems. On a console, it's a whole new battlefield. Someone could also easily make one of these "themes" that will display absolutely nothing on the screen, spread it around (with a good looking preview pic), and potentially make the people's PS3s display absolutely nothing.

I don't think they should give full access to designing it with programming. I just think they should make a better theme designing program, and spread it around. They should just add more options for customizations.

kwicksandz3605d ago

dump the hypervisor and then it will be "open source"

Allowing you to run an extremely gimped version of linux isnt what id call open, nor would most open source programmers.

But props to the ability to use non PS brand HDD, and accessories as well as being region free for games.

thewhoopimen3605d ago (Edited 3605d ago )

Anubis I disagree. More Freedom isn't always better.

freedom without any restrictions is called anarchy. Ex. Basically i would have all the freedom to kill your parents and you for your game system and not pay for any consequences, simply b/c i am free to do so and do what i want. Sound that great? i think not.

Tempist3605d ago

Open source would undermine the entire ideology behind the XMB.

Remeber, they started using it in the PSP and in other Sony products to standardize menu interfaces across all their products. The minute it's made opensource that means that standard and uniformality gets shattered. Remember, it's not like it doesn't get updated and what could you seriously need to add or take away to justify having it open source.

uie4rhig3605d ago

This article is NOT fully about having the XMB as open source XMB .. like being able to view its code and being able to compile it for any CPU.. it's more about that XMB customisation that talked about a while back and going even further than that to allow something similar to Microsoft's XNA but creating the apps for the XMB and not creating games..

freedom will NEVER EVER IN YOUR WHOLE LIFE become an anarchy!! no way!! what we have currently is called freedom.. humans won't get any more freedom that we have no.. if we do get an anarchy, quote me on this, and i will eat my shoes after running for hours through dirt!!
however, i don't think anubis said freedom like anarchy is better :P but just freedom in general..

XMB was first used in the PSX ( ) which was basically an improved PS2 that was only released in Japan because of the low sales..
and if XMB does become open source (as in viewing code and all) then it would become a bigger standard coz every company will be able to use it (depending on the license obviously lol) so i'd say it would become a bigger standard if it does get released as open source..

but on side note.. this article is really making a big point.. if sony does do this.. it would also lessen the chance of the ps3 getting hacked since you would already have something similar to homebrew.. which means less people will be trying to hack it..

and it would also be cool if i could use the XMB as a app in windows/linux/mac.. like.. to put everything together.. would be pretty cool..

thewhoopimen3605d ago

I beg to differ. You may have never seen anarchy at work in your life, but that doesn't apply to what's in the rest of the world. Let me give you an example of a person with unrestricted freedom. Do you know what a dictator is? There have been plenty of those past or present. What you do you think Saddam was? He had complete and utter freedom to do what he thought fit. He could do the exact example I made above. His only misfortune was invading kuwait and having a US gov. itching to overthrow his regime on a trumped up premise of posessing weapons of mass destruction.

What do you think the political situation is in most sub-saharan countries? Anarchy. Look it up.

And also btw, our government isn't a democracy. That's an outright lie. We don't even have the freedom to vote for our own president.

iiprotocolii3605d ago

Read the article. With moderation by Sony, this "anarchy" you speak of will be non-existent. The idea of fully allowing the system to be completely open and allow people to develop for it will NOT allow for the system to be "hacked" in the means you speak of. Look at operating systems like Solaris, Linux, Unix; all open source and much more secure than any operating system out there because of the freedom given to the people to study, modify and write code.

Proper moderation, as with anything involving outside hands (as MS does with XNA) required some sort of moderation. Freedom, in this sense, is absolutely far safer than what you may think. The freedom of development and the freedom applied in government are WAY two different to even consider comparing.

thewhoopimen3605d ago (Edited 3605d ago )

I've read the article lilprotocol, it is you and mr. lootninja that realy need to think on the implications of this move.

Open Source is an added cost and headache that Sony can't afford right now. You are telling sony to go against its profit model at huge risks and no REAL benefits to speak of.

The linux community's chief contributions so far (as I've seen... so I may be wrong) is still largely groundwork stuff. Drivers, networking, integration, OS shells AND some free CLONED software. Where is this contribution going to run when we all know Sony needs to keep XMB OS footprint as small as possible (they want to go from 64mb to ideally 32 or better).

What is opensource going to give that web integration cannot in the near future? Free productivity software? Why not use Google's docs, sheets etc? drivers... what does an entertainment console need to support? Network computing? Does the average gamer need this feature? Do any of the afforementioned benefits need graphics chip support? No. Does Sony want to open graphics support only to have the console reverse engineered to run pirate software? Why yes that would be fun especially considering they are losing money per console right now.
These are bad things I can name just off the top of my head.

There is no profit margin to speak of for sony. Sony won't be getting into the distributon of linux distros or can't even sell open source apps. The added cost of moderating is a huge headache! Don't even tell me the benefits of a community led moderation group. They RARELY have the same goals that a for-profit corporation has. Why would Sony want to relinquish control like that? No benefit. Add to the fact that Sony is losing $150-200 on every console and there just isn't room for a community that hasn't even reached maturity. Opensource PS3 isn't going to be ready in time for the remaining 5 years of this console lifespan.

What sony does need is to get a friendly software development program for game studios looking for publishing/development support. Run contests to select a winner who gets a $200k to fully develop and publish their game/app. Get an iphone app -philosophy- store up and ppl will flock w/o open source.

Open source for ps3 is a BAD idea.

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Gue13605d ago (Edited 3605d ago )

In the source code of the pic, why instead of declaring "std" every time you'll make a "cout" with spaces why not make a statement in the global area with "using namespace std;"? I think that would save a lot of time...

Anyway, interesting point the one they make in this article. It would be amazing if Sony let to fully customize the interface of the XBM. I know that not everybody knows how to program but what if we could download the interfaces from other users like we have been doing with the icons? That would be so great!

greyishfox3605d ago

Interesting article. Open source will be tough to manage but a community SDK would be nice. MS has XNA, something from the Sony side would be just as interesting. I think we will see growth in this area as LittleBigPlanet and other community and user created markets grow.

LinuxGuru3605d ago

I believe Sony's equivalent to XNA is called "Phyre Engine".

GWAVE3605d ago

As cool as an open-source PS3 would be, I think Sony has learned their lesson with the PSP and the rampant piracy and hacking on that handheld. I doubt they would open up the more malleable aspects of the system to hackers and whatnot.

ruibing3605d ago

I think Sony struck a fine balance between letting the users customize their console and keeping pirates out. They have been the most open, for this generation, towards letting the users make their own theme, exchange game mods, use non-official peripherals, and even installing an OS. But then again, some people are just never satisfied.

I mean I've never felt at any time that there was something console can't do that pirates can add with a hacked firmware. The only things users still want (i.e. cross game invites, easier trophy comparisons, a better version of gamercard, etc) is related to the network or the SDK, so it must be supported by the Sony servers and developers.

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