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Offline Andrew Davison

Junior Devvie


Medals: 2



« Posted 2006-08-30 01:22:00 »


Dear All,

I'd appreciate comments on the following:

--------------------------------------
The lack of a games console version of Java is a bit embarrassing for a "write once, run anywhere" language.

The Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2) is the dominant games console, with over 100 million units sold, dwarfing its competitors such as the Xbox, Xbox 360 and GameCube. Not unsurprisingly, there have been many rumors over the years about a Java port for the PS2. In fact, it is possible to run Java on Sony's version of Linux, but the OS requires the PS2 to have a hard disk, and only has limited access to the PS2's other hardware.

The good news is that the prospects for Java support on the PlayStation 3 (PS3, due out in November 2006) are looking much brighter. Both the basic and premium PS3 versions will have 512 MB of RAM, a large hard drive, will support Linux, and use an extended version of OpenGL. Sony's software development chief, Izumi Kawanishi, has spoken of making it easier for individuals to create games on the PS3. Development kits are expected to appear in Spring 2007.

Applications will be written in a high-level, object-oriented language, but currently there's no word on what it'll be. It's likely that a virtual machine will execute the code, utilizing JIT technology.

The PS3 will include a Blu-ray disc for storing high-definition video and data. All Blu-ray drives support a version of Java called BD-J for implementing interactive menus and other GUIs. Also, Blu-ray's network connectivity means that BD-J can be utilized for networking applications such as downloading subtitles, short movies, and adverts.

As I write this (August 2006), there's a good chance that Java, and Java graphics based on OpenGL (such as Java 3D and/or JOGL) will be available on the PS3. We'll have to wait, and hope.

-------------------

By the way, there have been several threads about the PS3 in these forums over the years. Some of the posts made predictions about the PS3's technical specifications which have proved to be inaccurate. A good source of uptodate information is the Wikipedia entry for the PS3 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playstation_3


Dr. Andrew Davison
Dept. of Computer Engineering
Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai
Songkhla 90112, Thailand
Offline Death33284

Junior Devvie





« Reply #1 - Posted 2006-08-30 17:30:25 »

Sounds good for Java and Sun, support on all consoles (with an easy way to get java games) would help a great deal.

(Still don't think it makes the ps3 worth $600)
Offline kevglass

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 211
Projects: 24
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #2 - Posted 2006-08-30 17:34:23 »

What's the source for:

Quote
Applications will be written in a high-level, object-oriented language, but currently there's no word on what it'll be. It's likely that a virtual machine will execute the code, utilizing JIT technology.

and this:

Quote
As I write this (August 2006), there's a good chance that Java, and Java graphics based on OpenGL (such as Java 3D and/or JOGL) will be available on the PS3. We'll have to wait, and hope.

Kev

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline ChrisM

JGO Coder


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Exp: 14 years


Luke...END OF LINE


« Reply #3 - Posted 2006-08-30 18:21:32 »


Dear All,

I'd appreciate comments on the following:

--------------------------------------
The lack of a games console version of Java is a bit embarrassing for a "write once, run anywhere" language.

The Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2) is the dominant games console, with over 100 million units sold, dwarfing its competitors such as the Xbox, Xbox 360 and GameCube. Not unsurprisingly, there have been many rumors over the years about a Java port for the PS2. In fact, it is possible to run Java on Sony's version of Linux, but the OS requires the PS2 to have a hard disk, and only has limited access to the PS2's other hardware.

The good news is that the prospects for Java support on the PlayStation 3 (PS3, due out in November 2006) are looking much brighter. Both the basic and premium PS3 versions will have 512 MB of RAM, a large hard drive, will support Linux, and use an extended version of OpenGL. Sony's software development chief, Izumi Kawanishi, has spoken of making it easier for individuals to create games on the PS3. Development kits are expected to appear in Spring 2007.


**SIGH**

Ok, for the last time Smiley

Java on PS2:  Yes, we had a very early VM demo on a PS2 dev kit and it was demoed on stage at JavaOne   In fact, here is the news clip from TechTV during that conference in June 2001:

http://www.java-gaming.org/Media/JavaPS2.mp4

The team that started this effort (note: it was not me and Jeff) assumed that it would be no big deal.  Well....it turned out to be a huge deal.  Without going into specifics because I can't under NDAs, let's say that one man's floating point implementation is not another man's floating point implementation. 

We worked hard on this, had dev kits in-house and a dedicated team on it.  It was just too expensive to do (among other reasons). It's interesting that people assuwm that it can "just be done" and that these things are pretty trivial.  On highly exotic systems like the PS2, it is not a trivial thing at all.

PS3:  There will be a full Java stack in the PS3 for BluRay functionality.  No word yet regarding access to it for anything other than BluRay functions.  Sony is not saying anything.  As soon as we know, we'll let you know (if we are not under NDA Smiley )

-Chris

P.S.  With regard to Sun putting VMs on all of these consoles.  These are multi-million dollar projects and we give Java away for free.  How do you suspect we should recoup the investment for these efforts?  Don't think I ever asked this question of the community before Smiley


Offline kaffiene
« Reply #4 - Posted 2006-08-30 22:24:48 »


P.S.  With regard to Sun putting VMs on all of these consoles.  These are multi-million dollar projects and we give Java away for free.  How do you suspect we should recoup the investment for these efforts?  Don't think I ever asked this question of the community before Smiley



Fair question.  Ok, so Java is free, that doesn't mean that access to a PS3 JVM has to be free.  Why not make it a paid product? 

Also - I agree with Andrew, I think that Java *needs* to be able to run on consoles.  This *is* a big deal and C# on consoles (even just the XBox) would be a huge drawcard over Java.  Not being a fan of M$, this is not something I want to see happen.
Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #5 - Posted 2006-08-30 23:04:56 »

Quote
P.S.  With regard to Sun putting VMs on all of these consoles.  These are multi-million dollar projects and we give Java away for free.  How do you suspect we should recoup the investment for these efforts?  Don't think I ever asked this question of the community before

Then how do you recoup investments in creating JVM's for all the platforms you support now? Is there really no business case to think of at all to add one *major* platform to the list (even if it's in a new market)?
Even if you add Dark Star in the mix + the new Sun servers which are gaining popularity again? is there really nothing feasible in there?
(I know it's easy to ask Smiley)

Offline Andrew Davison

Junior Devvie


Medals: 2



« Reply #6 - Posted 2006-08-31 02:38:24 »

Kev asked me where two quotes came from. The first one:

Quote
Applications will be written in a high-level, object-oriented language, but currently there's no word on what it'll be. It's likely that a virtual machine will execute the code, utilizing JIT technology.

This comes from my reading of CELL: A New Platform for Digital Entertainment, by Mark DeLoura, Dominic Mallinson from Sony (http://research.scea.com/research/html/CellGDC05/index.html), with the JIT remark at the very end, found at http://research.scea.com/research/html/CellGDC05/51.html.

Perhaps "likely" in the last sentence of the quote is too strong.

Also, it's likely that the OO language will be C++ since C/C++ libraries currently exist for Cell, and Sony is developing a C/C++ compiler, debugger, and IDE (this from the Wikipedia entry for the Cell processor).

I may as well be more controversial, and say that lots of the Cell software is coming out of IBM who, incidentally, also offer their own Java tools.

Kev also asked about:

Quote
As I write this (August 2006), there's a good chance that Java, and Java graphics based on OpenGL (such as Java 3D and/or JOGL) will be available on the PS3. We'll have to wait, and hope.]

This comes from me Smiley

Dr. Andrew Davison
Dept. of Computer Engineering
Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai
Songkhla 90112, Thailand
Offline Andrew Davison

Junior Devvie


Medals: 2



« Reply #7 - Posted 2006-08-31 02:52:33 »


ChrisM is "the man" for Java gaming, so his opinions are always interesting Smiley I've two responses (similar to erikd's):

Surely the presence of C/C++ tools, OpenGL, and real Linux support on the PS3 makes the costing issues different from what happened with the PS2?

I guess the investment would be large, but can't that be balanced against the potential payoffs if the PS3 is anywhere near as successful as the PS2?



Dr. Andrew Davison
Dept. of Computer Engineering
Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai
Songkhla 90112, Thailand
Offline CommanderKeith
« Reply #8 - Posted 2006-08-31 03:47:25 »


It's not in Sony's interests to allow a JVM on the PS3.  The PS3 console is estimated to cost Sony US$900 to make (initially) and they sell it for just  US$600.  So they lose $300 for every unit sold (this is what normally happens for all console makers).

Sony and the other console manufacturers make money only from the games.  So why do you expect that they'll allow a JVM to run free java games made by us?  We are dreaming.

source: http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/playstation-3-will-cost-sony-900


Offline kevglass

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 211
Projects: 24
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #9 - Posted 2006-08-31 04:31:40 »

I don't think we're talking about free games here. I'd like to see Java on the PS3 for commercial titles that pay their normal dues to Sony. That'd give me a chance to get a job doing games in the way I want Smiley

Kev

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #10 - Posted 2006-08-31 08:16:53 »

I don't think we're talking about free games here. I'd like to see Java on the PS3 for commercial titles that pay their normal dues to Sony. That'd give me a chance to get a job doing games in the way I want Smiley

Yep, you can absolutely forget about free games on console. *if* java were to make it onto the console, *and* prove a success, *then* people would consider making it possible to do free games. This is all about the fact that most games developers don't exactly love programming games in C++ (but it's the best available at the moment, all things considered, including sadly the fact that "C# will never run on Nintendo or Sony consoles, and Java will never run on any of them"), but many would very seriously consider using it if it worked on the biggest console (well, OK, IMHO very many would rapidly switch to using it.).

Or ... if the PS3 proves to be a failure, and Sony get desperate (like Nintendo did with GC/Revolution), and decide to destroy XBLA from under MS's feet *and* try to steal a large share of the currently > $100m casual games market by making an open equivalent on PS3 and watching XBLA deflate like a pricked balloon.

Incidentally, from the rumours I've heard, Sony's got more than enough problems on it's plate right now just to make sure PS3 makes it to launch as a working product with working games. I'm sure they'll manage it, but ... I get the impression they have 0 spare capacity to spend on anything non-core right now.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline cylab

JGO Ninja


Medals: 55



« Reply #11 - Posted 2006-08-31 15:27:21 »

I would love to see an inexpensive (not necessarily free) SDK for java on the PS3 and some sort of community/micropayment platform like it is available for the XBox via XBox Live. This could be a way to generate revenue for Sony and Sun if they would team up for this.

Mathias - I Know What [you] Did Last Summer!
Offline kevglass

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 211
Projects: 24
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #12 - Posted 2006-08-31 16:38:39 »

Quote
I would love to see an inexpensive (not necessarily free) SDK for java on the PS3 and some sort of community/micropayment platform like it is available for the XBox via XBox Live. This could be a way to generate revenue for Sony and Sun if they would team up for this.

Unfortunately it seems the initial investment (cost of PS3 VM development, support and publicity) is too high for either side to risk on something you have to admit may not generate any significant revenue at all.

I think the more likely convincing revenue stream would be from improving the way games are currently developed by using Java - increasing the speed at which things can be developed and the robustness of the code to change later. I only know two languages that I've really seen give a significant boost like this - one is owned by MS so is probably out for Sony. I would have thought Java would have been a great fit for a multiprocessor system also - especially if they ever envisage releasing a PS3++ with more/less cells.

Kev

Offline cylab

JGO Ninja


Medals: 55



« Reply #13 - Posted 2006-09-01 08:12:17 »

Quote
I would love to see an inexpensive (not necessarily free) SDK for java on the PS3 and some sort of community/micropayment platform like it is available for the XBox via XBox Live. This could be a way to generate revenue for Sony and Sun if they would team up for this.

Unfortunately it seems the initial investment (cost of PS3 VM development, support and publicity) is too high for either side to risk on something you have to admit may not generate any significant revenue at all.

Maybe not, but it could be enough to pay for itself. Let's say the PS3 has a market share of 10 million units and there are 5% of users that are willing to pay 5$ a year for a community game. Let's say the turnover is split by 40% to Sun, 40% to Sony and 20% to the game manufacturer, that would be 1million for Sun and the same for Sony per year.

I also think such a platform could be a good publicity tool (having to admit, that's this would also be true, if Sony would use a different language to set this up)

I think the more likely convincing revenue stream would be from improving the way games are currently developed by using Java - increasing the speed at which things can be developed and the robustness of the code to change later. I only know two languages that I've really seen give a significant boost like this - one is owned by MS so is probably out for Sony. I would have thought Java would have been a great fit for a multiprocessor system also - especially if they ever envisage releasing a PS3++ with more/less cells.

I would like to see this happen, too. Unfortunately I am afraid this is not going to happen any time soon, since most commercial games are (afaik) developed using licenced engines (e.g. the Unreal engine) and it's more natural to stay in the language of the engine at least to take full advantage of the provided tools accompanying the SDK.

Mathias - I Know What [you] Did Last Summer!
Offline kevglass

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 211
Projects: 24
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #14 - Posted 2006-09-01 14:04:24 »

Agreed on both points, but I think the key hey is "initial" investment. Someone has to stump up the cash before there are any community games based on the speculation that it'll pay off. Given the still unstable technology world I'm not sure either can justify taking the risk while laying off so many works for instance.

Kev

Offline jfelrod1960

Junior Devvie




Use the source Luke, use the source!!!


« Reply #15 - Posted 2006-09-01 16:10:25 »

Agreed on both points, but I think the key hey is "initial" investment. Someone has to stump up the cash before there are any community games based on the speculation that it'll pay off. Given the still unstable technology world I'm not sure either can justify taking the risk while laying off so many works for instance.

Kev

If neither Sony nor Sun are willing to cough up the "initial" investment, then what is it going to take to get a venture capitalist for example to do it?

Jeffrey F. Elrod
Complexsive Systems
Offline kevglass

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 211
Projects: 24
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #16 - Posted 2006-09-01 16:56:13 »

Quote
If neither Sony nor Sun are willing to cough up the "initial" investment, then what is it going to take to get a venture capitalist for example to do it?

The same as any other VC, a good business case, a good salesmans, luck and alot of smarm. Smiley

Kev

Offline jfelrod1960

Junior Devvie




Use the source Luke, use the source!!!


« Reply #17 - Posted 2006-09-01 19:57:58 »

Quote
If neither Sony nor Sun are willing to cough up the "initial" investment, then what is it going to take to get a venture capitalist for example to do it?

The same as any other VC, a good business case, a good salesmans, luck and alot of smarm. Smiley

Kev

I figured as much Kev.  I was trying to initiate a discussion exploiting the "good business case".  For example, there are some good Java game engine tools/libraries available.  JME, Agency9, Cosmic is still in development, but it looks good, LWJGL, maybe others.  GenesisFX is not a game engine but a great (IMHO) special effects tool for Java3D game development.  But are these technologies at the level that PS3 game publishers require since commercial games are going toward the next generation game phase?  Can games developed in Java compete with the games that are being developed now for the game console?  I would think a VC would like to see evidence of this before making an investment.  If given the financial backing, could a game like Battlefield 2142 be made with Java.  Personally, I think so, but who has done it?

Jeff E.

Jeffrey F. Elrod
Complexsive Systems
Offline kevglass

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 211
Projects: 24
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #18 - Posted 2006-09-01 20:27:51 »

I think if you look at Tribal Trouble, MegaCorps and Wurm you can see that Java is indeed able to make games that are compareable in quality to other platforms and languages. However, it much harder to prove that the development and maintainence time/costs are cheaper compared to existing langauges and methologies. Harder still to justify this when considering that the bulk of games developers out there would have to "learn in" to the Java tech to get the benefits. Showing technology is very nice - but it'll only ever do what existing tech can already do. What's needed is proof that it's going to be cheaper/faster/better using Java.

There's also a general underestimation of the costs involved in providing a compatible, supported and commercial VM for a console when you consider both the techology and ongoing support infrastructure that would be required. It's an awful lot of cash to be laying down based on a gain that is difficult to quantify.

Frankly I think the problem here is that we keep looking for a quick fix - won't some one pop up and build a VM for the PS3. Change is beginning to occur - it's slow and incremental - but there are for instance some companies picking up Java for non-mobile type development - a MMO or two. Once the foot is in the door, and people start raving about development speeds and low costs then things should accelerate.

The more scary thing, as Orangy Tang mentioned in a seperate thread, is that Microsoft are pushing hard in the area - so by the time Java has opened game devs minds to using managed languages for real - they might just jump in a steal the show.

The alternative to all of this is much more likely looking at what I've seen in the open source world over the last 10 years. The SUN Java VM is going to be open source soon (end of the year for the first bit?). MS have just published tools to develop against the XBox 360. PS3 is likely to be running linux of some sort with some ability to code against it.

Open Source JVM +
Freely Available Development Tools +
Enterprising Teenager in Far Flung Location with Too much Time = Sun JVM on a Console.

Kev

Offline zero

Junior Devvie





« Reply #19 - Posted 2006-09-01 21:26:32 »

Just for you information,

there was I presentation given by two Sony guys at the GDC2006, which contained a note on virtual machines on the 'Synergistic Processing Elements'.
It can be viewed at GDCTV: CELL: A New Platform for Digital Entertainment, By Mark DeLoura, Dominic Mallinson (scroll down a bit - and you have to register)

For those, who don't want to watch an hour of video, move the time slider to: 0:36:38
There you can see the following on the slide:

Quote
Many more innovative programming models will be developed:
-..
- Virtual Machines on SPE (JIT Technology)

I have no idea if this is relevant to Java, bout it *could* be. (Remember these slides are from Sony slides, not IBM Smiley)
Or am I just dreaming..


My 2 cents on the topic:
There is not enough interest for a JRE on the PS3 at the moment. I mean if you would ask all PS3 developers, whether they want a JRE on the PS3, I bet less 5% would shout: "YES!" I agree, there a few good games for the PC, but compare the number of commercial Java games, which sells for over 20$ to the overall amount. Until this remains as is, it wouldn't be worth the effort.

However, if there would be a JRE for the PS3 anyway, I bet the number of >20$ Java based games would rapidly increase..
And this could be great for SUN, because a JRE would be installed on almost every gaming pc (windows box).
Further, Sony anounced that there will be hombrew games/stuff on the PS3. If these could be written in Java, the language would increase its popularity among students. (IMHO this is what Microsoft tries with the XNA Gamestudio Express)
Now, I'm definitly dreaming Wink
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #20 - Posted 2006-09-01 23:08:05 »

[...]The PS3 console is estimated to cost Sony US$900 to make (initially) and they sell it for just  US$600.  So they lose $300 for every unit sold (this is what normally happens for all console makers).
[...]

Nintendo never sold hardware at a loss and they will never do so (thats what they said). The N64 CPU for example didnt even cost em $10 at launch date.

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #21 - Posted 2006-09-01 23:15:45 »

Nintendo never sold hardware at a loss and they will never do so (thats what they said). The N64 CPU for example didnt even cost em $10 at launch date.
CPUs are actually quite cheap to manufacture (especially in bulk). The majority of the costs go towards the design and the upkeep of the fabrication labs, and the design and manufacture of the motherboard/etc. Of course, when you start trying to produce huge chips like the cell then the yeilds go down and the costs start to skyrocket...

But yes, Nintendo have always tried to make a profit on the actual hardware. I wouldn't be surprised if the Wii is pitched to make Nintendo a slight profit on each one sold (or maybe even break-even).

For anyone interested in the Cell, I'd highly recommend checking out all the released docs from IBM. A surprising amount of low-level implementation detail is contained within. You can form your own opinions as to whether Java on the PS3 is going to be a good idea.

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