HDMI has definitely been in Sony’s interests as it is a huge media vendor with SCEA and Sony Pictures. Yet giving out a game system with HDCP-HDMI output for HDTV gaming while putting an open source operating system like Linux on a single machine is kind of insane. You can’t put the ‘hacker’s OS’ on a relatively cheap Blu-Ray/computer/gaming machine and not expect piracy. You can put it on the PS2 with an HDD which would be a relatively cheap DVD/psuedo-computer/gaming machine- but due to the nature of the compatibility of the PS3 spec- it will be much more tempting to commit piracy on a PS3 than a PS2, and a PS3 with Linux than an Xbox360.
This implementation of Linux would be asking for easier copyright-protection-overrides than the Xbox currently suffers (a soft-mod here, a network cable there- Linux and Evox in of their illegal game copying glory. ) The PS2 made consumers realize the PS wasn’t as rare a thing as they’d thought. The PS3 will make consumers realize the PS2 was an introduction into an industry larger than film, and that film-quality games have their very beautiful appeal. Yet Linux would definitely drive sales- a large portion of Windows users hear about Linux’ supposed superiority and don’t care, but sure wouldn’t mind it if a Linux machine fell into their lap with a GUI comprabale to Windows. The PS3 part won’t be too shabby either. I’d say they’ll have a Linux-like full-fledged proprietary OS with a bunch of root restrictions to make it harder to override it with another OS, learning from MS’ mistake on the Xbox.
I can possibly see Sony eventually giving consumers ability to put Longhorn on PS3. It would have the competivite/ironic edge consumers would adore. “The MS OS can’t run on Xbox360, but it sure can run on PS3. ” Longhorn will be super-feature-rich in terms of copyright control technologies, avail in Sony’s interests.
In that scenario, MS could even be forced to follow Sony in putting Longhorn on its Xbox360, but I doubt consumers would forget Sony did it first. Its pretty doubtul, but if Sony elaborated on such an idea with action I think we could expect great things in terms of revenue and support. Given Sony’s history of proprietary-competiveness with other names in the mainstream, a deal with Apple seems out of the question- “Tiger OS X” popping up when you turn on your PS3 wouldn’t seem ‘Sony’. Apple obviously created Ipod, and Sony’s been competing in portable audio forever -we still refer to portable cassette players as Walkmans- and seeing as how Apple’s image is tied in with the player, I just doubt Sony wants to buckle down and identify with Apple and the lowest paid CEO on earth. Sony loves to own the standard and to define the format.
A windows-like/linux-like proprietary OS seems most likely. Programming for Xbox360 vs PS3 will be about as different as it is now for the Xbox and PS2 in terms of the time it takes to do so, but the inherent difference in the Cell architecture and the Xbox360’s general-oriented processing power do not allow any truly accurate comparisons in performance of one and the other at the moment. A majority of game developers have said PS3 will be “by leaps-and-bounds stronger”, but this is probably a hyperbolic understanding of yet-unwielded technology. The new architecture that takes the seperated processes of AI, sound, physics, shading, etc. . actually keeps them seperated- allowing for potentially massive optimizations and niches for eye-candy gain.
Sony’s touted “emotion-engine” for the PS2 was really anything but, but in PS3 demos it seems to be there. PS2 was supposed to look like Toy Story. Yet although “Chris K” doesn’t agree, if the PS3 is anything near “leaps and bounds” more powerful than the XBOX360 while putting out 720p resolution, I really don’t doubt the existence of “Toy-Story games” in measures of visual performance down the game-developing line. Those who say Xbox360 is more powerful would be right if they considered the Cell architecture to be a bunch of DSPs and a Main, it all depends on how individual developers are able to see and unlock actual usage out of the Cell. With IBM, Toshiba backing the Cell and Nvidia backing the GP- I personally think PS3 has the advantage. But none of us will know until both systems have a few hardware boundaries pushed (creatively).
Some developers see new architecture as a godsend of power and streamlining the dev-cycle while others see it as suicidal. 440 ghz understandings for one and 39 ghz understandings for the other don’t really mean anything and won’t really mean anything until developer(s) buckle down and take as much advantage of it as possible. Even with the Cell adding up its components processing power in a single number- the Xbox360’s, when added up also, maintain to be a significantly lower number. The two systems will remain incomparable in terms of power because of the yet-unused architecture and whether or not its easy to take advantage of.
Because of the new complexities of the systems and of game development budgets/schedules that weren’t around and ‘in the same boat’ as the PS2/Xbox launch, its doubtful that the first games released for either nex-gen system will come anywhere close to taking advantage of the systems’ power and efficiency in a way that is optimal. PS2 had some kind of DSP-like power that was a theoretcial-predecessor to Cell but didn’t really end up being taken advantage of outside of real-big-budget games. MS’ ATI is still catching up with Crossfire and the like, they could be spread a bit more thin than Nvidia during the Xbox360’s conception span. It’s doubtful PS3 will be as expensive as MS hopes.
Sony’s going to give higher numbers and then lower the cost to numb consumers and shock MS; it may suffer a monetary loss per each console but that would be a lesson from MS that helped lead the Xbox’ success. Sony would be taking from the best of both worlds. The Sony PS2;PS3 reputation and the performance ratio of XBOX:PS2::PS3:XBOX 360? Personally, I don’t care about any of this. If PS3 were an HD-gaming computer and XBOX 360 were just a toy compared to unlocked potentiality, it wouldn’t matter. I’m going to be playing Halo 2. 5 in 1280x720p.
I don’t care what OS is on PS3 because we’ll eventually have Linux on it.