Hopefully you are all aware of ‘[email protected]’ on the PS3. This is basically where all of the spare processing power is utilised to help understand the causes of various diseases and illnesses such as Cancer. There are even [email protected] leagues. Why not join team TSA? Then, keep an eye on your progress with Watchful’s updates.
But it would now appear that the XBox is being harnessed for similar scientific practices. As reported on BBC, researchers at Warwick University have unlocked the processing potential of the 360’s CPU and have turned it into a cheaper method of calculating vast amounts of data. In this instance, a former employee of Microsoft’s Rare studio – Dr. Simon Scarle – has tapped into the console to aid with heart research. He simplifies the process by saying:
“Instead of pumping out stunning graphics, it’s reworked; in the case of my research, rather than calculating the position of a structure and texture it’s now working out the different chemical levels in a cell.”
The initial research has been with a single XBox CPU, but Dr. Scarle does state that connection via XBox Live would be possible, but not easy.
Don’t misunderstand me here; this isn’t me saying ‘Ha ha, look what our PS3’s can do that your XBox can’t’. I’m genuinely interested for something like this to come to MS’s console. The fact that we lowly gamers can be adding to something so important is great news. If both PS3 and XBox can be of value in these projects then I think it’s a case of ‘the more the merrier’. If alongside my monthly donations to Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Trust I can throw my PS3 into helping with advanced calculations and solutions, then I’m all for it and I think a lot of people would share my views. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a similar system on XBoxes in the not so distant future.
Now, if only we can harness the power of PS3’s to help us understand where Michael Pachter is coming from 90% of the time!