SCEE R&D have created a PS3 development kit designed specifically for use by educational institutions. In a presentation at the Develop Conference 2009 Sarah Lemarie, SCEE R&D’s education contact and support infrastructure development manager, has confirmed that it is in a closed beta programme.
“I have exciting news. We have started a PS3 Academic Development Programme, and we’re refering to the dev kits as mini-dev kits, which I can best described as being in a closed beta stage at present. We’ll be opening this beta up slowly”, she announced. “Of course universities can use Linux to program on the PS3, but I would really strongly recommend that if you are interested in the PS3 you look into this, as the experience you will get over Linux is quite incredible.”
The dev kits include a consumer-sized PS3 with a full SDK. Additionally Sony are making their PhyreEngine game engine available to participants in the program.
This is another example of Sony getting in on the grass roots of console development. Previously budding developers could buy themselves the Net Yaroze, the version of the PS1 that anyone could buy and develop games on. It was only earlier this year that the Net Yaroze servers were finally switched off.
With the price cuts on PS3 dev kits earlier this year and the PSP dev kits that was announced during E3 the cost of the hardware required to start developing games on Sony’s platforms is falling fast. It is only a tiny fraction of the cost of game development but for smaller independents it makes a difference.
Very jealous of any undergradutes who get to try PS3 development as part of their studies. When I was at college we still had rooms full of BBC B micros and a Prime minicomputer!
Source: Develop Tipster: Tuffcub