When is a Game Console Not a Game Console?

When is a game console not a game console? When it can run linux.

Recently Sony announced it will sell online, a linux kit for the PS2 . The kit includes a linuxdistribution on DVD, plus some additional software, documentation, a 40GB hard drive, an Ethernet adapter, a USB mouse, a USB keyboard, and a computer monitor cable. The package will cost $200. So,for ~$500 you can have a full fledged machine that can surf the net, serve as an email/web/file server, play original Playstation and Playstation 2 games, AND play DVDs. But what does that mean? Wellthe article mentions that now, game developers and kernel hackers can now write games for the PS2 without having to purchase the very expensive SDK. This, combined with Sun’s new java game initiative , means that a single device can function as many different things. Imagine taking a CD out of the wrapper,dropping it in to your Windows PC, PS/2 or Linux box and the game will run on all three.

With the economy in a crunch, the consumer has very little pocket change to throw around. Gone are the days when we can drop $2000 down on a decent gaming computer. Now we buy sub $500 boxes, drop in a decent video card and cross our fingers. The consumer is moving away from specialized configurations. For example, people are no longer buying just a DVD player, game console, stripped down machine that can only run office apps and configurations of the sort. They want a cheap wonderbox that can do it all. Many companies have different technologies and strategies to accomplish just that.

Take, for example, Nvidia’s Personal Cinema and the new nForce chipset With the Personal Cinema devices you can turn your computer into a Tivo basically. It also has the abililty to play DVDs, capture video, and comes with a remote control. With the new nForce chipset, the nVidia motherboards have on-board graphics and Dolby Digital 5.1 decoding, which means you can integrate it right into your current home entertainment system.

When is a Linux Box not a Linux Box? Want to run Windows apps but not have to pay for XP every time your computer reboots? Enter Lindows .

This OS aims to bridge the gap between Linux and Windows. It allows the stability and functionality of Linux but also the compatibility with those Windows apps that you just can’t live without.

Can all this be a little confusing and daunting for the average gamer, home computer user, and home entertainment shopper? Of course. Is it good for them and the public in general? Yes. I think that convergence of devices is not only inevitable but has been going on for quite a while. A lot of companies are even leading the charge. I am excited about the future and hope that these guys can fulfill their promises…

If anyone has had a hands on experience with any of these, please drop me a line or post in the forums…

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.

Gaming

Yoshi’s Crafted World proves without a doubt that Mario was a monster

Remember how Mario repeatedly punched Yoshi in the back of the head in Super Mario World? Well, Yoshi's Crafted World, an insanely charming platformer, demonstrates how lovingly Yoshis treat each other -- unlike that wretched Mario.
Home Theater

There isn’t a single good reason to buy Apple’s new AirPods

After nearly a three-year wait, Apple has finally announced a new version of its popular true wireless headphones, the AirPods. We had high hopes for vast improvements, but that's not what we got.
Gaming

The Division 2 offers nothing but a funhouse mirror of America

Tom Clancy's The Division 2 improves on the design shortcomings of the original game in several different ways, but its version of Washington D.C. is completely removed from reality.
Home Theater

Yesterday’s Apple event was a whiplash-inducing parade of copycat services

Apple showed off a massive barrage of news, streaming, and gaming bundles at its Showtime event aimed at boosting its services and adding more revenue. But while the services are big on celebrities, they appear short on innovation.
Movies & TV

Deconstructing the Marvel method: How DC movies finally found their groove

Warner Bros. Pictures superhero universe based on DC Comics heroes and villains had a rough start, but the success of the last few films have suggested that audiences have reason to be optimistic about the future of the DC Extended…
Gaming

Brace yourself. Sony’s PlayStation 5 is going to be expensive

How much will Sony's PlayStation 5 cost? Official pricing will stay under wraps for months, but early details provide enough information to make a guess. Our estimate suggests the price will be higher than fans expect to pay.
Movies & TV

HBO and Game of Thrones should learn a lesson from Netflix and Stranger Things

By embracing technologies like 4K, HDR, and high-bitrate audio, Netflix delivers its premium content to your living room with the same care with which it was created. Why doesn’t HBO do the same with ‘Game of Thrones’?
Gaming

An ode to Cuphead: One of the most lovable games of all time

Revisiting Cuphead on Nintendo Switch is just as memorable as it was on Xbox One nearly two years ago. Cuphead's aesthetic has a magical quality that transports you back to the childhood joy of discovery.
Movies & TV

You’re doing it wrong! Here’s the perfect way to watch the Star Wars films

There's more to making the perfect Star Wars movie marathon than just collecting all of the movies. You also need to decide when to watch each of them. Let us propose an altogether different Star Wars viewing order.
Computing

Surface, Windows, and everything else Microsoft skipped at Build 2019

Microsoft's annual developers conference had plenty of updates on what the company is doing in the cloud computing space. But what about Surface? Or how about Windows? Microsoft was silent on these fronts, and that was a missed opportunity.
Computing

Who is Microsoft’s new Edge browser for? Probably not you or me

Microsoft's new Chromium-based Edge is shaping up best for enterprise users, but that doesn't mean it offers nothing at all for the consumer. But what's clear is that right now, nobody really knows.
Movies & TV

Why Thor is the key to the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Avengers: Endgame

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is facing an uncertain future after the events of Avengers: Endgame, but Thor could be the key to moving forward. Here's why the God of Thunder is so important.
Gaming

Google’s Stadia plans to make launch woes a relic of gaming history

Launch problems have sunk numerous recent releases including Bioware's Anthem and Bethesda's Fallout 76. Google Stadia is positioning itself as the solution, but can it convince the world's biggest game developers?
Movies & TV

That Game of Thrones re-do petition is more embarrassing than any coffee cup

The Game of Thrones fan petition to remake the show's final season isn't just silly. It's a misunderstanding of the relationship between shows and their audience, among many, many other things.