4.) 'Homebrew Gaming' by Anonymous Coward, maynard, and flitty
If someone manages to get homebrew games running on the PS3, will there be firmware updates to stop this kind of development, to protect your software developers, or is homebrew something you are planning on and even encouraging? Is there a chance that the policy of restricting access to PS3 graphics hardware (via the hypervisor) could be revised to encourage us homebrew developers? How does this strategy differ from your strategy with PSP homebrew? Has Sony considered offering kernel patches and an RSX optimized OpenGL library for PS3/Linux?
Phil Harrison: Now, let me first say that Homebrew is sometimes a misused term and so for the purposes of this answer I will exclude pirates and hackers with illegal intentions from the definition.
I fully support the notion of game development at home using powerful tools available to anyone. We were one of the first companies to recognize this in 1996 with Net Yaroze on PS1. It's a vital, crucial aspect of the future growth of our industry and links well to the subtext of my earlier answers. When I started making games on the Commodore 64 in the 1980's, the way I learned to make games was by re-writing games that appeared in magazines. Really the best bit about a C64 was when you turned it on it said "Ready?" with a flashing cursor - inviting you to experiment. You'd spend hours typing in the code, line-by-line, and then countless hours debugging it to make it work and then you'd realise the game was rubbish after all that effort! The next step was to re-write aspects of the game to change the graphics, the sound, the control system or the speed of the gameplay until you'd created something completely new. I might share this with a few friends but not for commercial gain at that time. But the process itself was invaluable in helping me learn to program, to design graphics, animations or sounds and was really the way I opened doors to get into the industry. Now, those industry doors are largely closed by the nature of the video game systems themselves being closed. So, if we can make certain aspects of PS3 open to the independent game development community, we will do our industry a service by providing opportunities for the next generation of creative and technical talent. Now having said all that, we still have to protect the investment and intellectual property rights of the industry so we will always seek the best ways to secure and protect our devices from piracy and unauthorized hacking that damages the business.