Should the PS4 allow installations for Windows, Linux, etc?

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Posted by pandorasbox (301 posts) 1 year, 1 month ago

Should the PS4 allow installations for Windows, Linux, etc? (228 votes)

yes 17%
no 84%

notice: i am aware that this feature was not announced and will probably not happen, this is a "what if.." topic

With the playstation 4 confirmed to be using a "more pc" architecture, do you guys think that it would make sense to allow people to boot windows, or linux on the PS4? While the PS3 did have this feature, it was removed for security purposes (and probably other reasons).

My thoughts? The PS4 seems to be an extremely capable PC, so why not? Assuming they do the proper R&D and make sure that the security is air tight, i think selling the PS4 as a "PC/Gaming console" would be incredible. Imagine having a PS4 hooked up to your monitor in place of your PC, and simply selecting "PS4" or "PC" from a boot menu at POST.

#1 Edited by MedalOfMode (294 posts) -

No :)

#2 Posted by believer258 (11039 posts) -

Yeah, that would be cool, but I don't think it could serve any practical purpose unless it became popular for parents to buy their kids a PS4 and then expect them to use it as a computer as well. Coincidentally, this might also give Linux a popularity boost, which I would have zero issue with.

If Steam for Linux really takes off, it could also, potentially, mean that people could use their PS4's as sort-of gaming PC's, maybe. I would be curious to try such a thing out.

#3 Edited by DaMisterChief (628 posts) -

Why not at that point buy a PC. I mean come on

#4 Posted by Humanity (7945 posts) -

No, those consoles work well because they are a close-circuit system and thats the way it should remain.

#5 Posted by Ninja_Welshman (469 posts) -

No. Besides, after last time there is no way Sony will we'll ever see this as an option again.

#6 Edited by 71Ranchero (2580 posts) -

No, its just a back door into piracy.

#7 Posted by s10129107 (1164 posts) -

It seems like that might break their entire console. Just the way the RAM interfaces with the system might be totally different. At the very least those OSs wouldnt use that ram efficiently.

#8 Edited by DonPixel (2585 posts) -

What for? I have a mac laptop a windows pc i just order, and a bunch of old PCs around. I'm sure this is the case for most people out there, Why would you want to waste time installing windows in your console?

#9 Edited by John1912 (1742 posts) -

Consoles are computers, thats all they are, thats all they ever will be. There is no point anymore not to allow the running of a proper OS. You could already run Linux on PS2. Why does anyone care if they unlock these systems to run a OS. God forbid you are able to run chrome, check your email, or run some non game programs on a console.

#10 Posted by DonPixel (2585 posts) -

@john1912 said:

Consoles are computers, thats all they are, thats all they ever will be. There is no point anymore not to allow the running of a proper OS. You could already run Linux on PS2. Why does anyone care if they unlock these systems to run a OS. God forbid you are able to run chrome, check your email, or run some non game programs on a console.

Consoles have a proper OS, their own custom proprietary OS.

#11 Edited by mellotronrules (1170 posts) -

i'm not sure if they 'should' - it's a purpose built machine. it doesn't need to have a secondary OS, and i'm not sure who it's serving to put that capability on there. and besides, between the geohotz business and the PSN getting hacked, you can bet they're trying to lock it tight and throw away the key. ultimately someone will figure out how to root it- but i don't think it does sony any favors for putting that ability in.

#12 Posted by John1912 (1742 posts) -

@donpixel said:

@john1912 said:

Consoles are computers, thats all they are, thats all they ever will be. There is no point anymore not to allow the running of a proper OS. You could already run Linux on PS2. Why does anyone care if they unlock these systems to run a OS. God forbid you are able to run chrome, check your email, or run some non game programs on a console.

Consoles have a proper OS, their own custom proprietary OS.

Yes, nice job on missing my meaning.

#13 Posted by DonPixel (2585 posts) -

@john1912 said:

@donpixel said:

@john1912 said:

Consoles are computers, thats all they are, thats all they ever will be. There is no point anymore not to allow the running of a proper OS. You could already run Linux on PS2. Why does anyone care if they unlock these systems to run a OS. God forbid you are able to run chrome, check your email, or run some non game programs on a console.

Consoles have a proper OS, their own custom proprietary OS.

Yes, nice job on missing my meaning.

I didn't missed, I just think is a poor argument to have at this point.

#14 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4281 posts) -

Well that would be dumb.

#15 Posted by Mister_V (960 posts) -

No. I would rather Sony concentrate on getting the OS they have made for the PS4 working as well as it can. Rather than wasting time and money adding a feature that almost no one will use except pirates.

Nothing good would come from them allowing that. They learnt that from the PS3

#16 Posted by Shakezula84 (439 posts) -

If you open up the console like that you open it up to hacking which leads to piracy (or at least the fear of piracy) which hurt the PSP badly.

I know the argument that if it had good games but for example Chinatown Wars was an amazing game, but Rockstar saw way more players online then copies sold that rental couldnt account for.

#17 Posted by Nightriff (4338 posts) -

No but I'm more indifferent because I would never do that

#18 Posted by Daveyo520 (6597 posts) -

What is the point? I never got why people were mad when they took away Linux from the PS3, why not get a PC or something to mess around with it?

#19 Edited by chocolaterhinovampire (1287 posts) -

Nope

#20 Posted by captain_clayman (3300 posts) -

I don't think it would even work right, it's hardware is not designed to be a standard PC. Plus, that's just one more way piracy will make its way in. Consoles should be closed ecosystems. If you want to goof around with coding and crazy stuff, build a PC and run Ubuntu or whatever your distro of choice happens to be.

#21 Posted by Caustic_Fox (112 posts) -

Yeah, like the time Sony even advertised Other OS (aka: linux) early on the PS3's launch. I think it even was printed on the box for crying out loud.

#22 Edited by John1912 (1742 posts) -

If there are probs with the OS running its up to the OS to adapt to run on a console, not the other way around. Sony or MS would just not bar it from running windows or linux. If a PS2 can run linux there is no real issue to begin with. I dont get why people care.

Its about simplifying your home. Power down the console, reboot to Windows or Linux, surf the web on Chrome, check your email. Do what ever from your TV. Maybe someone else is using the only other PC in the home. Maybe you want to play a online game with someone in your house. Maybe you have to move to another room to use your PC. Maybe you cant afford to buy a new PC but can afford a new console. Maybe you dont want to double up on several TV/Monitors, having a PC, PS3, Xbox on one source to clutter the area. Its not about well, jeez I got 9 PCs all over my house, Ill just use one of those like thats somehow a better idea.

Having a console run a PC OS wouldnt change anything. It might cause more issues with piracy, but it isnt going to affect the hardware. It just gives you a better product with more options. To say hey, omg I dont want my console to be able to do this free shit it should be able to do in the first place is fucking stupid.

#23 Posted by Enigma777 (6047 posts) -

Remember what happened with Linux on the PS3?

So no.

#24 Edited by TruthTellah (7635 posts) -

Yes, so I can also make my PS4 into a Steam Box. :)

Just boot into the PS4 menus or into Linux. Best of both worlds.

#25 Posted by mellotronrules (1170 posts) -

Yes, so I can also make my PS4 into a Steam Box. :)

Just boot into the PS4 menus or into Linux. Best of both worlds.

wait real talk for a second- if one of the major manufacturers end up dropping out after this gen...how amazing would it be to have a sony or microsoft built steam box. at least i'd be into it.

#26 Posted by Aarglefarg (25 posts) -

I'd say the PS4 should allow it, for personal reasons, but it won't happen. I'd like to install Linux on a PS4 to play around with that, but would restore it to normal soon after. I got into Linux after OtherOS was removed as an option from PS3s. :(

#27 Edited by Cameron (594 posts) -

They won't do it because that would open up competition. If you could install Windows or even Linux on it you would have access to Steam and Sony doesn't want to have to compete with Steam prices. By locking people down to PSN they can keep living in their console fantasy land where having the occasional good sale on old content is enough to keep people happy. I think PSN is the best of the console marketplaces, but it is still lightyears behind Steam.

#28 Posted by JasonR86 (9372 posts) -

No. God no. All that will do is lead to bullshit. If I were Sony I wouldn't trust that power in the hands of consumers after what happened. In this instance, fuck consumers that want to do this.

#29 Posted by Andorski (5107 posts) -

@truthtellah said:

Yes, so I can also make my PS4 into a Steam Box. :)

Just boot into the PS4 menus or into Linux. Best of both worlds.

wait real talk for a second- if one of the major manufacturers end up dropping out after this gen...how amazing would it be to have a sony or microsoft built steam box. at least i'd be into it.

I had this pipe dream that in the Playstation Meeting, Jack Tretton would be on stage saying that they have partnered with an online distribution company and then introduce Gabe Newell onto the floor to talk about the partnership.

In reality though a deal such as this would be impossible. Sony and Microsoft lose money making consoles for ~1/3 of the console cycle and then make a minimal amount on them afterwards. The majority revenue comes from licensing fees. That profit margin would be cut down if either of them sought to make a deal to have Valve's Steam on their system.

#30 Posted by mellotronrules (1170 posts) -

@andorski:

yeah it's pie in the sky stuff. but dear god, we'd be living the dream. valve arguably makes the finest front-end, and sony makes great hardware...we'd be living the DREAM, i tell you!!

#31 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

Really windows? Think about that.

#32 Edited by Halos_god (160 posts) -

I'm up for it, if they can make it work...

#33 Posted by Demoskinos (13849 posts) -

Why not at that point buy a PC. I mean come on

^ This. Why the fuck are you running a PC based OS on a console? That is just dumb man. There was no reason for Linux on PS3.

#34 Edited by Morningstar (2042 posts) -

Im not bothered whether it does or not.

#35 Posted by CoolMarquis97 (8 posts) -

Wouldn't mind seeing the feature including as I would probably use it this time around but if not including means that Sony can better protect their console from hackers than it's fine by me

#36 Posted by IrrelevantJohn (927 posts) -

Why? Sony is just going to repeat what happened with the PS3 all over again if they do allow that.

#37 Posted by Wacomole (811 posts) -

No, as a number of people have already proven to Sony that they can't be trusted with features like that.

#38 Posted by Ravenlight (8033 posts) -

Should they? No. Would it be neat if they did? Yes.

#39 Edited by ProfessorEss (7123 posts) -

I think that was one of the stupidest moves Sony made with the PS3.

...and removing it afterwards using the whole "well, not very many people are using it anyways" excuse was one of the dirtiest.

#40 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1355 posts) -

I think you’re vastly overestimating how much a PC it really is. It’s got a lot of the pieces of a PC, but it’s not a PC in traditional sense, and I doubt the way it’s architected would make running Windows on it feasible without a lot of custom code.

Who’s going to be providing up-to-date video card drivers, new release support, etc.? If it’s Sony, what’s in it for them? If it’s AMD, who’s paying them to do it? Who provides support when someone accidentally formats their PS4 hard drive trying to install Windows and loses all of their stuff?

Sony could tell people it’s an unsupported feature all they want, but you know they’d be blamed anyway. Imagine the “my son just bricked his $500 console trying to turn it into a PC, and I demand you fix it” phone calls. Providing a dangerous obscure feature like this is basically handing people enough rope to hang themselves, and they’d be crazy to do it.

#41 Posted by Jzjad (1 posts) -

I think you’re vastly overestimating how much a PC it really is. It’s got a lot of the pieces of a PC, but it’s not a PC in traditional sense, and I doubt the way it’s architected would make running Windows on it feasible without a lot of custom code.

Who’s going to be providing up-to-date video card drivers, new release support, etc.? If it’s Sony, what’s in it for them? If it’s AMD, who’s paying them to do it? Who provides support when someone accidentally formats their PS4 hard drive trying to install Windows and loses all of their stuff?

Sony could tell people it’s an unsupported feature all they want, but you know they’d be blamed anyway. Imagine the “my son just bricked his $500 console trying to turn it into a PC, and I demand you fix it” phone calls. Providing a dangerous obscure feature like this is basically handing people enough rope to hang themselves, and they’d be crazy to do it.

Yeah, maybe but then again a kid really shouldn't be doing the things they do these days, can we stop them? No not really we can try, and besides you know its going to happen with the specs of the PS4's system, its closer to a Computer then a console just about, and besides many unsupported people will gladly code/re-code software, and drives just for it, and Considering its AMD if you where to successfully install an OS like Win 7, Win8, maybe even Ubuntu, it would automatically find a compatible GFX driver for it to use. In this day and age technology is advancing at an alarming rate, so many children these days can easily code a program just from scratch, iv seen a 14 year old code software better then some top companies, its crazy!

#42 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1355 posts) -

@jzjad said:

@grantheaslip said:

I think you’re vastly overestimating how much a PC it really is. It’s got a lot of the pieces of a PC, but it’s not a PC in traditional sense, and I doubt the way it’s architected would make running Windows on it feasible without a lot of custom code.

Who’s going to be providing up-to-date video card drivers, new release support, etc.? If it’s Sony, what’s in it for them? If it’s AMD, who’s paying them to do it? Who provides support when someone accidentally formats their PS4 hard drive trying to install Windows and loses all of their stuff?

Sony could tell people it’s an unsupported feature all they want, but you know they’d be blamed anyway. Imagine the “my son just bricked his $500 console trying to turn it into a PC, and I demand you fix it” phone calls. Providing a dangerous obscure feature like this is basically handing people enough rope to hang themselves, and they’d be crazy to do it.

Yeah, maybe but then again a kid really shouldn't be doing the things they do these days, can we stop them? No not really we can try, and besides you know its going to happen with the specs of the PS4's system, its closer to a Computer then a console just about, and besides many unsupported people will gladly code/re-code software, and drives just for it, and Considering its AMD if you where to successfully install an OS like Win 7, Win8, maybe even Ubuntu, it would automatically find a compatible GFX driver for it to use. In this day and age technology is advancing at an alarming rate, so many children these days can easily code a program just from scratch, iv seen a 14 year old code software better then some top companies, its crazy!

Uh... welcome to Giant Bomb?

I don't think the PS4's GPU is off-the-shelf (or even discrete in the PC sense), so it's not like Windows Update (or any other online source) is just going to have a graphics driver ready to go. Graphics drivers are insanely complex, specialized pieces of software, and often need to be updated to support specific games. Some 14-year-old isn't going to hack together a stable driver in his free time.

The question also isn't "can we stop them?", it's "should Sony support them?". If they support other OSes in any way, they're going to have to devote millions over the lifetime of the system to supporting that (in terms of firmware updates, support costs, testing, potential security holes, etc.). If people choose to hack the system and do it, Sony can hang up the phone when they call, and don't have to worry about maintaining support across firmware updates.

#43 Edited by Szlifier (464 posts) -

Linux support on PS3 was a huge factor in it being "unhackable" for such a long time. In fact, first major development in PS3 hacking started when they cut Linux support out of PS3 Slim.

If Sony have learned they lesson then there will be some kind of OtherOS in PS4. I would do that for that specific reason. With both consoles on very, VERY well known architecture the risk of them being hacked is the highest since the original Xbox. That console was the first to feature PC parts (x86, same situation) and look how quickly it was wide open, PS2 was much harder to exploit.

Including some kind of Linux support is the cheapest and safest way to go if they don't want the consoles be completely hacked.

#44 Edited by Bane122 (763 posts) -

No. If you want a PC, buy a fucking PC.

#45 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1355 posts) -

@szlifier said:

Linux support on PS3 was a huge factor in it being "unhackable" for such a long time. In fact, first major development in PS3 hacking started when they cut Linux support out of PS3 Slim.

If Sony have learned they lesson then there will be some kind of OtherOS in PS4. I would do that for that specific reason. With both consoles on very, VERY well known architecture the risk of them being hacked is the highest since the original Xbox. That console was the first to feature PC parts (x86, same situation) and look how quickly it was wide open, PS2 was much harder to exploit.

Including some kind of Linux support is the cheapest and safest way to go if they don't want the consoles be completely hacked.

It's not Sony's responsibility to make expensive concessions to people breaking their terms of use (and the law, I think?).

I know the PS3 hackers have said they doubled down when the Slim came out, but I tend to think it would have been hacked anyway. I watched the (very impressive) presentation, and it seems like the bigger issue was that the PS3 was very well (with one or two notable exceptions) secured -- it's not like they could have hacked it anytime and chose not to.

This whole "you asked for it" narrative strikes me as revisionary and entitled.

#46 Posted by msavo (7522 posts) -

Nope. It's a stupid feature and a waste of time. Still amazed they had it for PS3 along with being able to hook it up to your printer...

#47 Edited by TobbRobb (4408 posts) -

Like uh. Why? I have a PC for that. The consoles are just collecting dust until the off chance I want to play an exclusive.

#48 Edited by EXTomar (4121 posts) -

Not unless they are going to include all drivers for all hardware. Otherwise HTPC are no longer exotic and can be built pretty readily even with LCD status panels.

#49 Edited by 49th (2542 posts) -

No, I want a closed system, not a PC. I have a PC already.

#50 Edited by sonicrift (288 posts) -

Aside from piracy, the Other OS feature just doesn't make good business sense.

I never got around to trying Other OS on my PS3, and totally regret that, but from what friends told me, it was really slow and had no access to the GPU. It would have been great to run Team Fortess 2 on a PS3, but it wouldn't look nearly as good as it does on XBox 360 or my 3 year old laptop if that was the case. That reflects poorly on the system, whether that's fair or not.

There's also issues of allowing avenues for other content distributers into the homes of PS4 owners through the PS4. If something like Hotline Miami came out on PS4 and Linux, customers would have to choose to buy it on one platform or another, and if they chose Steam, Sony doesn't get a cut of the profits of that game's sale on their own system. I don't know if there's a video store like iTunes or PSN on Linux, but they'd be losing out there too.

With Steam launching on Linux, there might be situations in the future where you could buy the PS4 version of Skyrim 2: More Skyrim for $60, and the same game on Steam for $50, to run on the same box. The PS4 version will be optimized for that hardware, and some sucker who doesn't realize that PS4 Linux can't access the GPU buys it for the wrong thing thinking its a deal, and can't play it at all.

Getting rid of Other OS protected them from piracy, but may have also prevented people from purchasing content through other stores or making purchasing mistakes. I've made the argument that it protects a breed of customer you might think doesn't exist, but I assure you, there are some real dumb people out there running Linux. There's at least one person out there every day that buys software that won't work on their computer/game system. I've seen angry parents in EB Games complaining that Super Mario didn't work in their Xbox 360.

.....

My beyonce keeps asking me when Skyrim 2: More Skyrim is coming out. She's pretty much finished every quest in what we're now calling Skyrim 1, so that's where that's from.

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