Sony Considering Commercial Applications For PlayStation 3

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
Sony Considering Commercial Applications For PlayStation 3

Sony Computer Entertainment has announced they are exploring the possibility of using their PlayStation 3 console for commercial applications in a distributed computing environment.

Masa Chatani, Sony Computer Entertainment's chief technology officer, was quoted in the Financial Times as saying Sony had received numerous inquiries regarding distributed computing on their PlayStation 3 console. ?This kind of computing model could be used in a commercial application,? Chatani said. ?We are discussing various options with companies and exploring commercial applications.?

?Distributed computing? is a method of data processing that involves sharing tasks between multiple computers over a network. By distributing the work over multiple systems, researchers and companies have access to computing power far beyond what they could achieve through a normal computing environment. While this model is familiar to many PC users, popularized by such applications as [email protected] [], it is still a rarity on game consoles.

One area of concern is convincing PlayStation 3 owners to allow commercial enterprises to use their consoles' processing power for free. Incentive programs may present a solution; Chatani gave as an example one possible scenario in which a company would offer users free products in exchange for their participation.

Currently, PlayStation 3 owners can take part in Stanford University's [email protected] program, used to study how proteins assemble. According to Chatani, there are 11,000-12,000 PlayStation 3 owners participating in the program at any given minute, numbers ?far greater than we had anticipated,? he said.