Sony has announced during the Develop conference 2009 this week that it is currently beta testing a new PlayStation 3 development kit for students.
Sarah Lemarie, from SCEE R&D made the announcement, saying:
I have exciting news. We have started a PS3 Academic Development Programme, and we’re referring to the dev kits as mini-dev kits, which I can best described [sic] as being in a closed beta stage at present. We’ll be opening this beta up slowly … 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.
This isn’t the first time Sony has released such a kit. Back in 1997 it released the Net Yaroze, a black PSOne which came with all the software and tools required to create games on the company’s first console. It was soon picked up by Universities and bought by students eager to get a taste of what it was like to develop on a console. At $750 it was within reach of individuals and education institutes could afford to fill a classroom with them.
The new PS3 kit will include a PS3 with two USB ports and an SDK which includes the PhyreEngine – a free cross platform engine for PS3 and PC which supports both OpenGL and DirectX and includes the PS3 LibGCM library.
I know not many people are intrested in this but with this probably we will see many new small games coming to PSN in the future :D.