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PlayStation-edu

Mark Danks's Avatar + Posted by Mark Danks on Jun 06, 2008 // Senior Manager, Developer Support

The games industry is always on the look-out for new, talented engineers and programmers who understand how the hardware works under the hood. However, it isn’t possible to buy a PlayStation development kit at your local computer store and development for the PlayStation has remained a mystery, even to very interested individuals. It gives me great pleasure to unveil the mystery and announce the PlayStation-edu program! We expect this program to be a great tool to teach students about the PlayStation platforms.

PlayStation-edu is a program for universities and colleges to get access to PS2 and PSP development kits…the same ones that professional developers use to make the games you love to play. You get the development software, the hardware, and the SDK to learn and experiment with. SCEA wants to make sure that students who are graduating from college are ready to program on PlayStation hardware and that means getting it into your hands.

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PlayStation-edu is not a general game creation program (sorry artists and designers). It is for computer science and engineering students who want to understand how the hardware works in the PlayStation consoles. Schools which teach game programming or computer architecture can use the development kits in their classes. Participants will get demo code and samples, as well as documentation about how things work. We want the dev kits used in the classroom! Students in PlayStation-edu will have access to our support web site where they can talk with other students in the program on our forums.

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Of course, there are a couple caveats (aren’t there always?): Yes, your school will need to sign some legal agreements with us and yes, “get access to” means that your school will need to purchase the hardware.

For more information and application information, educators may contact me (Mark Danks) at applications@psp-edu.scedev.net. Only requests for applications from qualified school representatives will be responded to, so any students reading this should have their teacher submit the request. Also, this is only for universities and colleges, so high school students will need to wait a few years.

We are looking forward to hearing from you and seeing what you can create!

//Add Your Own

83 Comments

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1

+ Tropic on June 6th, 2008 at 11:19 am said:

Interesting, looking forward to hearing more about this.


2

+ StalkingSilence on June 6th, 2008 at 11:21 am said:

Is it bad that I just want a PS2 that says TOOL on it? haha


3

+ Fersis on June 6th, 2008 at 11:22 am said:

Nice one.
Damn my parents for not living on the usa.
:D


4

+ Madness3120 on June 6th, 2008 at 11:26 am said:

If should be given free to qualifed schools. Companys always trying to milk money out of everything and everone.


5

+ StalkingSilence on June 6th, 2008 at 11:27 am said:

All jokes aside, my bachelor’s was in Computer Engineering and this is an AWESOME program. I think sadly a lot of schools will be hesitant to jump on and the main interest will come from student groups who have faculty advisory for senior projects, but I really hope you do get some solid interest. I think our educators see gaming as a real opportunity for learning content (they want to teach using games) but I hope they start to teach about gaming and how to create games.
My last note is that Sony is really pretty far ahead with some tech features even on these systems (PSP Remote Play currently to my wireless USB camera viewing my house). And there are some COOL things students can do with these tools. Hopefully as a result Sony will get some more talented recruits and *maybe* we’ll even see some of the stuff the students churn out.
Thanks for this post and I’d love to hear more from the engineering side of the house in the future (one of my favorite blog posts was from the scedev guys working with the PSeye).


6

+ Nynja on June 6th, 2008 at 11:30 am said:

This is a great idea… just a little too late for me.

Are there any plans to release an SDK for the public (outside of schools)? Of course coming at a price would be expected.


7

+ Mana Knight on June 6th, 2008 at 11:32 am said:

I really like this idea. Too bad I just graduated college and would not experience this, but I may try to see if my college (A Big Ten Conference University) would be interested.

I’d love to make PSP/PS2 games. :D


8

+ Thwip on June 6th, 2008 at 11:33 am said:

Awesome idea! I would have embraced this idea back when I was in school; nice job Sony!


9

+ TheSlayerIsBack on June 6th, 2008 at 11:34 am said:

nice, sounds pretty interesting, hopefully we’ll see more indie games


10

+ supersnake on June 6th, 2008 at 11:35 am said:

Very interesting indeed. But how about us in europe? Left on the bench once again? We hate SCEE, and you know it, but please do something.


11

+ Fatez on June 6th, 2008 at 11:35 am said:

Hey Mark!! what a great idea. Also, why not do a contest for the best application for PSP and donate some money to raise funds for something that a college could need? The best project wins.


12

+ Mark Danks on June 6th, 2008 at 11:42 am said:

Hi all,

Thanks for the feedback!

For those people in Europe, schools can get access to PSP dev kits as well. Use the same email address for an application.

For SCEA (the Americas), PlayStation-edu is for both the US and Canada. I’m also working on getting the legal agreements for Central and South America.


13

+ Fersis on June 6th, 2008 at 11:45 am said:

South America!
DAAAAMN, i had finished studies a couple of years ago.
if i were born later, just a couple of years later….sob* sob*


14

+ MrDuran on June 6th, 2008 at 11:49 am said:

Nice, wish you guys would’ve offered this before I graduated with my Computer Engineering degree. But still nice.

Im close to completing a masters, Im going to talk to my professor to see if he would open a lab for this. Though with all the budget cuts going on in the FL state university system I doubt they would go for it.


15

+ supersnake on June 6th, 2008 at 11:49 am said:

Great, thanks for the reply Mark.
I’m very interested in the program, I sure hope it will hit some institution here in Paris. I’ll ask for some more in-depth informations via the email you provided above.


16

+ Eternity_Viper_Snake on June 6th, 2008 at 11:50 am said:

that looks pretty asume wont you have a compitation for them to create a usb port device for 20gb ps3 (wifi connection) so we can play remote play on our psp’s instead of having to use landbase and have it laging because it’s not wifi like the psp and the 40gb,and 60gb ps3′s. that would be great and usefule for most people…

P.S. come on MGS4 so close but yet so far :)


17

+ MrDuran on June 6th, 2008 at 11:52 am said:

BTW, why don’t you guys also offer PS3 dev tools. The PS3 would be great for teaching parallel processing technics.


18

+ StalkingSilence on June 6th, 2008 at 11:54 am said:

Guys, if you missed it – Mr. Danks replied and is post #12 (his post isn’t in RED yet). I’m sure Jeff will fix that.


19

+ crystalx3d on June 6th, 2008 at 11:54 am said:

This sounds excellent. It will definitely boost the number of developers willing to make games on the playstation if the new employees already have these skills right out of college. I’m not a CS major myself, but I can see the benefit here for both students and Sony in the long run. It would also be interesting to see what students and teachers could make the machines do beyond the strict definitions of gaming.


20

+ Enforcer_X on June 6th, 2008 at 11:54 am said:

What about PS3?

Can’t we get something like this for Indie Devs?

I think it will lead to better PS games over the long run with people graduating with PS programming experience.


21

+ Jeigh on June 6th, 2008 at 11:58 am said:

Kind of a shame that it only covers PS2 and PSP. The PS3 really is the attraction now, and considering the steep learning curve it supposedly has, it would be nice to have a tool for that.


22

+ crystalx3d on June 6th, 2008 at 12:02 pm said:

I also wonder how similar it is developing on ps2 and ps3. I know making ps3 devkits readily available might be a big risk, but it would be nice to have more 3rd party ps3 development going on. With all the hardware capability it has, there’s a lot of unexplored possibilities.


23

+ Xanog on June 6th, 2008 at 12:03 pm said:

Should produce some interesting results.

Any plans on Sony going around to these colleges after time passes, taking a look at what the students are working on, and getting their games up on PSN? (similar to the way that Valve goes around looking for indie projects)


24

+ jqtaxpayer on June 6th, 2008 at 12:03 pm said:

The same company that stifled homebrew PSP development with updates, lol.

And no PS3 program? Jesus, even EA hasn’t figured that machine out, lol.


25

+ Omen_20 on June 6th, 2008 at 12:09 pm said:

Just sent this along to my adviser at my university. I’m going for an area in Computer Science and Design. I actually plan on being a designer but I want to know all about programming and hardware as well. My dream is direct a huge game on the scale of Assassins Creed or Oblivion.


26

+ Omen_20 on June 6th, 2008 at 12:17 pm said:

I gotta agree with some people that PS3 devkits would have been cool. I think it would be cool for Sony to help push university PSN games. Could u imagine the competition between computer science departments in all the universities trying to 1up each other? I see small groups of college students making games like Everyday Shooter. Sony already has the indy world in its hands, it should really go all the way I think. If students get their big break on a Sony platform chances are they’ll always be partial to Sony. Just my 2 cents.


27

+ zookey on June 6th, 2008 at 12:20 pm said:

Pretty cool!!!!


28

+ OldManGaming on June 6th, 2008 at 12:29 pm said:

Great program.

Put me in the group wondering why not offer the PS3 devkits as part of the program. For teaching more basic concepts, almost any devkit would work, but if I wanted to present a cutting edge curriculum, I would want the most current gen available. Plus you just know that at some university, someone will come up with a way to implement a new feature or unlock more power, that could even possibly benefit the PS3 business.

Nonetheless, great program. Makes me want to go back to school lol. Please try to let us know how PlayStation-edu develops over the next few years. Thanks :)


29

+ Theossie on June 6th, 2008 at 12:30 pm said:

Very cool..

I wouldn’t mind going back and taking some classes for this.. I really like programming but haven’t been able to grow my knowledge much since college..

Just started taking some Microsoft classes on .NET w/ Visual Studio.. and it’s reminded me how much I like programming..

I’ll have to keep my eye out to see if any school start getting into this..


30

+ tokon on June 6th, 2008 at 12:39 pm said:

This is pretty interesting. I’m currently getting ready to start my last semester studying for my BSEE at one of Georgia Tech’s satellite campuses. So I’ll probably not be able to take advantage of this, but we usually get to test out new stuff in trial for the main campus. I sent it to one of my professors, maybe he’ll do something with it. I wonder if I could use it in my senior project though… Cool stuff though.


31

+ outkast32 on June 6th, 2008 at 12:45 pm said:

god just tells us about fw 2.4 already


32

+ Eternity_Viper_Snake on June 6th, 2008 at 1:19 pm said:

sorry to double post but i was reading everybody post and reading some of there ideas and i agree w/most of you all what sony needs to is scout for people that are making there own games and since we are always complaing for demos give them the chance to put there (ruff draft) games on psn and let us do a survey (which we do now on some beta’s)on there game and then you decide or we decide if it’s a game worth proceeding with just a crazy idea/thought but if i was sony and i was reading all these post wanting demos i think that it would be a great way to expand on gaming and giving devolpers the chance and always having something for psn instead of weak updates sometimes (but now this update rocks) ….you know what im trying to say..


Mark Danks's Avatar

33

+ Mark Danks on June 6th, 2008 at 1:33 pm said:

Hi all,

A few people have asked why the PS3 isn’t in the program. There are a couple of reasons for this…

The main reason is the primary goal of PlayStation-edu is help students understand how the hardware works in game consoles. The PS3 is very powerful (read: complex :-) and it would take a long time before a student could get some satisfying output. With the PS2 and PSP, in a couple of weeks, students can have graphics and sound up.

The other reason is that if you understand how the PS2 works, then you understand how the PS3 works. Even though they have different CPUs, etc. the fundamental concepts are the same.

The PS2, PSP, and PS3 are different from general purpose PCs and we want to help future game programmers understand them better.


34

+ maluraq on June 6th, 2008 at 1:39 pm said:

This looks like an excellent learning tool. As for the PS3, its worth noting that any PS3 can be used in schools for non-3D development using a Linux installation, so teaching Cell programming is totally within the realm of accessibility already.

PS, for those who don’t like programming on a TV, set up an SSH session on your PS3′s Linux installation and run the terminal remotely instead (ditto for graphics).

Cross-compile, rsync, test, debug, etc.


35

+ erico316 on June 6th, 2008 at 1:42 pm said:

great news but what about every1 else that want to learn programing?


36

+ Daver on June 6th, 2008 at 1:44 pm said:

Thats a very nice idea!! Good job! I hope it helps a lot of people who wants to work in that field


37

+ manutd on June 6th, 2008 at 2:34 pm said:

Hey Mark

Sounds great.

Any more news on PhyreEngine.


38

+ crazyred47 on June 6th, 2008 at 2:34 pm said:

this is very cool. i’m an engineering major so i hope to see one of these before i graduate.


39

+ ODLdragonjoe on June 6th, 2008 at 3:02 pm said:

Seems like most of the people replying to this won’t have a chance to every see it in a classroom, but I might, so I have a few questions. I’m a Computer Engineering major at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and I really would like to see my school take interest in this program…but what would be the best way to pitch this? I don’t really know if this program is designed to give PS2/P devkits to schools for use in club related activities, or if the focus of this program is to actually get the university to develop a CLASS around the PS2/P devkits. The likely answer is both, but I don’t really see U of I integrating this type of thing into the classroom right away. In most of our undergrad ECE (electrical and computer engineering) courses, we use a hypothetical computer called the Little Computer 3 (or LC3, for short) to learn programming and hardware design. To me, the logical goal of this devkit program would be for the PS2/P devkit to take the place of an LC3-like hardware system. I guess this could have a place in what we call Discovery courses, which are usually 1 or 2 credit hour classes that focus on more interesting parts of math and science (we have a Discovery class on the mathematics behind music, for example), and I’d think that this would fit in pretty well as a discovery class that one would take after learning basic programming and computer hardware theories. Hmmm…

Sorry for the long post, but I guess I’m just asking for some advice on how to pitch something like this to my school. While it strikes all of us as a cool idea, a university isn’t just going to buy a bunch of PS2/P devkits just so they can show them off every once in a great while, you know?


40

+ Zorox on June 6th, 2008 at 3:06 pm said:

Are you guys doing this because developers are giving up on the PSP?


41

+ tirminyl on June 6th, 2008 at 3:08 pm said:

This is great to hear. I am only in the beginning of my game programming degree but I hope that my school is able to pick this up because I would love to play with PSP and PS2 kits. I will not even attempt cell programming :-P.

I also suggest publishing any quality PSP projects created. Having tons of good software is never a bad thing.


42

+ K2016 on June 6th, 2008 at 3:18 pm said:

This seems like a good idea. I’m looking forward to more information!


43

+ artofwar420 on June 6th, 2008 at 3:19 pm said:

I might just come across this soon. This is nice.


44

+ JayD16 on June 6th, 2008 at 3:39 pm said:

I just finished a upper division undergraduate course on programming in parallel architecture at UC Davis and I find this news pretty interesting. The professor was very interested in having an assignment written for the Cell but we couldn’t get the octopiler running.

I can certainly say that if we had dev kits or ever got the compiler working there would be 30 more people with experience on the Cell.


45

+ thammuz on June 6th, 2008 at 3:59 pm said:

I would love it if PSU would pick some of these up. I’d definitely transfer to main campus just to use it.


46

+ HedonismBot on June 6th, 2008 at 4:43 pm said:

This announcement is just brutal for development professionals who are long out of school.

While I commend Sony for having the foresight to launch such a program, I’d also suggest putting your heads together to find a way to make the same materials available for individual developers.


47

+ greyfade on June 6th, 2008 at 4:47 pm said:

So when can *I*, as an *INDIVIDUAL* buy one?

I’d drop the cash for one *RIGHT THIS SECOND* to buy one for a project I’m working on. But nooooo, Sony “will only work with established, incorporated companies.”

How did the guy behind Everyday Shooter get his kit? Why can’t I do the same thing?

This is just an empty gesture. Until PS3 development is opened up to the general user base – even partially as on the XBox 360 – moves like this are half-assed measures to gather interest.

Open up the SDK, dammit. I want to play in the sandbox, too!


48

+ jcasanova on June 6th, 2008 at 5:19 pm said:

Could there be something like this but for everyone interested on developing games for Sony’s consoles?


49

+ Momento Mori on June 6th, 2008 at 6:32 pm said:

Do you have anything in the pipes for us SDK wise particularly in relation to the PS3 for those of us who already have a BS in computer science or other applicable field? I work on engineering applications at my day job, but I would love the opportunity to try my hand at some indie development on the PS3 hardware.


50

+ tearsofash on June 6th, 2008 at 6:58 pm said:

Well it’s always good to put non-traditional architectures in the classroom for educational purposes. I’m sure teachers are getting bored with teaching x86 by now. I know microsoft has a similar program where you can do stuff with XNA in the classroom, but this is loads better because well…its PS2 and PSP of course!


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