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

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Posted by pandorasbox (303 posts) 1 year, 5 months ago

Poll: Should the PS4 allow installations for Windows, Linux, etc? (229 votes)

yes 17%
no 83%

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.

#51 Edited by sonicrift (295 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.

All that said, I'd love it if they included the option. Especially if they gave us access to the GPU. Gimme a PS1/2 emulator I can use my discs with, and I'd be reeeeaaaaal happy. It just doesn't make sense for them.

.....

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.

#52 Posted by Szlifier (488 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.

Adding countless layers of security is more expensive.

There is an initiative among the higher level console hackers/crackers to make them run linux. People holding that presentation (fail0verflow) and specifically that one person who discovered this huge encryption mistake made by Sony is behind that initiative. But that still wouldn't be even look into if OtherOS would still be there. It all started with that middle finger from Sony pointed at those very people that were the biggest danger to them. They fucked up. Maybe if there was no OtherOS at all, things would've been different. I don't know, but PS3 hacking timeline is a proof that linux capabilities of that console did postpone any major hacking movement.

#54 Posted by Skooky (473 posts) -

I voted yes because I'm not some kind of boring armchair businessman.

#55 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1556 posts) -

@szlifier said:

@grantheaslip said:

@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.

Adding countless layers of security is more expensive.

There is an initiative among the higher level console hackers/crackers to make them run linux. People holding that presentation (fail0verflow) and specifically that one person who discovered this huge encryption mistake made by Sony is behind that initiative. But that still wouldn't be even look into if OtherOS would still be there. It all started with that middle finger from Sony pointed at those very people that were the biggest danger to them. They fucked up. Maybe if there was no OtherOS at all, things would've been different. I don't know, but PS3 hacking timeline is a proof that linux capabilities of that console did postpone any major hacking movement.

I'll accept that removing OtherOS was a catalyst, but I don't think linux compatibility and hacking were mutually exclusive. Removing a feature (at least from systems that shipped with it) was poor form, but this feature in particular should never have been included, and Sony clearly realized this. Also, from what I understand, the lack of GPU accessibility meant that many in the homebrew community weren't happy with OtherOS to begin with.

And again, I don't think Sony has a responsibility to appease a tiny minority who have broken their ToS (and, as far as I know, the law in many jurisdictions). Letting a tiny interest group dictate the terms on which they won't break into your system strikes me as a slippery slope.

I'm receptive to the "I own the hardware, I'll do what I want" argument in principle, but I don't there's any good business case for Sony to base their decisions on it when the system will probably get hacked in some capacity anyway.

Online
#56 Posted by Slaegar (697 posts) -

I would be really awkward if people started buying PS4's installed Windows and just played console ports on them.

Actually that would be awesome.

But I don't think its a good idea to have other OS be an option because they took it away from the PS3 and it made people very mad since it was a promised feature. It would have been better to not have the option in the first place.

I'm not concerned about it for piracy because that's not how signed keys work on consoles. It would be like pirating and running photoshop for mac because you installed Windows under boot camp.

#57 Posted by Max_Cherry (1133 posts) -

@humanity said:

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

Agreed. Microsoft is treading in a dangerous direction for us hardcore gamers, ie, 3 operating systems for extra non-game related features. The ps4 needs to win the next generation.

#58 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

Well I did vote no but man I would laugh so much seeing a PS4 with Windows on it.

#59 Posted by Humanity (8999 posts) -

@humanity said:

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

Agreed. Microsoft is treading in a dangerous direction for us hardcore gamers, ie, 3 operating systems for extra non-game related features. The ps4 needs to win the next generation.

No one needs to "win" this generation. No one benefits if either of those companies "win" if such a state could exists. We all benefit from having two competitors continually pushing each other to innovate.

#60 Posted by jgf (383 posts) -

No because it would take several sony engineers to make this feature airtight. They should focus on making the best possible gaming platform, no distractions allowed.

#61 Posted by rebgav (1429 posts) -

@szlifier said:

There is an initiative among the higher level console hackers/crackers to make them run linux.

...because people are fucking stupid. If only I could run my open OS on a closed hardware platform owned and operated by horribly unfriendly companies, that'd show them! Feel the sting of my hundreds of dollars, The Man! Recoil in terror as I wait 8 years for a hardware upgrade! Vive la revolution!

Meanwhile, a GX-420CA is like $100.

#62 Edited by Vertrucio (147 posts) -

The only reason why you could do this on the PS3 was that they were trying to get a particular tax bracket applied for it being a computer, and not an entertainment device. I don't remember if they managed to get it for the PS2, but that's the reason why up until recently it's been the Sony Computer Entertainment and the PlayStation 2 Computer Entertainment System.

There's really no reason to allow separate OS installs, as others have pointed out. It's not a feature they could, or should support. Most people buying consoles aren't looking for a new PC, and there are plenty of cheap and small PCs that people can buy to put whatever they want on it.

#63 Posted by mlarrabee (2908 posts) -

It depends on what "should" means.

The ability to install an OS on a gaming console is terrific, but expecting it or demanding it is kind of like expecting your new car to come with a new garage. Sure, it should be like that, but really it's just a fantastic bonus.

On second thought, everything should come with a fantastic bonus.

#64 Posted by JasonR86 (9649 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

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.

I was just going to come in here to say this. This guy knows his shit!

#65 Edited by Boris_blackmilk (1 posts) -

Ok, I can imagine the flames I'm going to receive from this, I'm donning my asbestos pyjamas as we speak...

Yes, I know about piracy. And you know what, even after modding an Xbox, and a Gamecube, and using the official PS2 Linux kit, as well as using the OtherOS facility in the PS3, did I pirate?

No I did not! I wanted to run Linux on cool hardware!

Point in case to those who say "Just go buy a fscking PC..." Yup, you give me one with a motherboard that supports GDDR5 RAM at 5500MHz, with that 8GB of RAM at a decent price, and I'll leave the PS4 all to you people who think it should be a closed eco-system.

In the meantime, lets deal with reality: I have a project on that needs the fastest damn system RAM around. 1866MHz DDR3 in a new "dustcan" Mac Pro? Yawn. 5500MHz GDDR5 in a PS4? Its cheaper than the Mac Pro, by a very long shot. And that is super fast system RAM. I expect the bottle neck won't be the CPU or the RAM, it'll be the GigE LAN. Lucky I'm having 2 x 10MB real time buffers, 200 of them, of XML data streaming through this, so GigE LAN should be mostly ok for my purposes. Its real time up to 10,000 events per second. No, not in all 200 buffers, 10,000 events per second each - I don't think any computer could ever compute that. Ever. Its 10,000 total events per the second from multiple sources into certain individual buffers of the 200 total.

And it needs the fastest system RAM around.

Lucky for me, the PS4 is an AMD APU. Do I want X Windows? No. Do I want LXDE? No. Do I want Chrome? Nope. Do I want Busybox and the gcc suite? Yes. So this is console only, no drivers needed except for the USB, ethernet and HDMi for a console (CLI), and there removes the fanboys saying I need drivers. I'm pretty certain the ethernet and USB would be standard northbridge stuff, and considering these APUs are going in AMD netbooks, drivers will be floating around in the open source community *very* quickly.

Note I haven't said a word about Windows (evil, pre-historic, hideous software) or SteamOS (unproven software). Ubuntu, and we'll talk turkey. Ubuntu stripped down to a command prompt and not much else, you're my own personal saviour.

Next thing you have to consider is this: if all the talk is true (and I suspect it is), the PS4OS runs a derivative of FreeBSD, which means there is GRUB in there somewhere. Add to this the fact its basically PC hardware with super fast RAM, and you can bet your bottom dollar someone lucky enough to have one (ie, not me) is cracking it to run a real OS as we speak. Hats off to those folk who are. Now, your licencing terms on FreeBSD are not like Linux, its not GPL, so you don't have to release your source. So Sony used the licence, and didn't release their source.

But they did use something at the fondest heart of hardware hackers the work over - Open Source. And Open Source is made to be hacked, simply by its definition. And no matter the cries of the fanboys screaming "Piracy will ruin our eco-system..." someone will break it - I'll bet my own asbestos pyjamas on it.

I have a need... and that need is for speed. The PS4 delivers speed in spades. Not only will I have a need for that speed, I highly suspect places like Los Alamos and CERN are going to build their next compute clusters out of PS4s, once broken. Is that piracy? Hardly. Modelling the human genome is noble. Modelling proteins, or using it for super fast SETi boxes, is noble.

My research is in real time mobile robotics, large grids of them. These things will power large scale co-ordinated search and rescue in the future, and if I have my way, it'll be a PS4 at the heart of each low latency network. This is the future - build it, and they will come. Sony built, and we are coming. The cries of fanboys are nothing to pushing the boundaries of computer hardware.

Now you wait till someone puts Plan 9 From Bell Labs on it... the fanboys should be VERY afraid... ^.~

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