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  Community Call to Action re: JVM on PS3  (Read 19230 times)
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Offline kaffiene
« Posted 2008-09-28 23:29:21 »

Right, there's been some discussion lately about Java on the PS3.  It has been pointed out that Java can run on the PS3 via the linux/ps3 effort and also via the Blu-Ray JVM.  These efforts are interesting and may be of use to some people, but I don't want to go in via a back door - I need a JVM to work properly on the PS3 and to have full access to the machine so that I can release performant games on the console.  I'm sure that I am not alone in this concern.

I am convinced that software developers such as myself or Puppy Games would be happy to pay to get access to a PS3 JVM.  I think it offers Sony an Indy/Hobbyist development platform to rival C#/XNA and opens up a whole new avenue for Causal and Indy games to deploy on the platform.

My belief is that if we band together as a community and show some of the work that this community has produced (plus other Java gaming highlights - such as Puzzle Pirates?) that Sony may listen to us and relent. 

I propose to listen for community feedback about the best way to put our case to Sony, then collect the information I need for that and submit this to Sony.  At this point I think we need:

(a) Game examples that run Java that could work on PS3 casual/Indy channels.
(b) Supporting comments from commercial Java games developers.
(c) Some argument about the desirability of a Java/PS3 development path to rival C#/XNA
(d) Others ideas?

Well, there you have it - that's what I believe the plan of action should be.  I'm going to wait a while for feedback and ideas before I progress to the next step of gathering information for a document to send to Sony.

Thanks for your time so far.  Please help me with your best ideas - I think we can do this, and I believe that it is crucial for the Java games market to be all that it can be  Shocked

Cheers,

Peter Ashford,
Clocktower Games.
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #1 - Posted 2008-09-28 23:31:24 »

My belief is that if we band together as a community and show some of the work that this community has produced (plus other Java gaming highlights - such as Puzzle Pirates?) that Sony may listen to us and relent. 

And what exactly are you basing that belief on?

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline kaffiene
« Reply #2 - Posted 2008-09-28 23:40:30 »

And what exactly are you basing that belief on?

I believe that Sony, being a commercial entity competing against Microsoft has something to gain by deflating C#/XNA

I believe that Indy/Casual games are actually attracting players to console platforms and provide value to them, which is important to Sony's bottom line.  A JVM makes Indy/Causual a lot more appealing than learning to code seven cores and a multiprocessor memory model in C/C++.

I believe that the multiple core nature of the PS3 would be easier coded to using a language that threads natively, such as Java.

I believe that Sony is interested in expanding its business model - and Indy/Casual plus MMO-ish offerings such as Puzzle Pirates do precisely that.  Sony has shown that kind of insight and leadership with offerings such as Singstar and Eye Toy which expanded the gaming market with the PS2, I believe that they might have the insight to do the same with Java powered Indy/Casual and MMO games.

I also *know* that my company would like to do an engine rewrite in Java and still be able to target consoles.  The lack of a JVM is the only thing stopping us.  We would certainly pay for a PS3 JVM and I believe that PrinceCC said the same thing previously.

I also believe that sitting back and being negative will get nothing done.  It might be that Sony ignore us, but if we never try, we can be ensured that we never get heard.
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #3 - Posted 2008-09-29 02:02:30 »

C# is almost identical to Java in terms of functionality and syntax, why not just use C#?

Also, I know that Sun almost immediately became interested in making a JVM for the app store for the iPhone, so the interest in adding other platforms is certainly there.

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline gouessej
« Reply #4 - Posted 2008-09-29 05:35:13 »

C# is almost identical to Java in terms of functionality and syntax, why not just use C#?
C# is less mature, not cross-platform and slower than Java, especially the JIT compiler and the garbage collector. Please think about those who refuse to use Microsoft's products.
(a) Game examples that run Java that could work on PS3 casual/Indy channels.
(b) Supporting comments from commercial Java games developers.
(c) Some argument about the desirability of a Java/PS3 development path to rival C#/XNA
(d) Others ideas?
Don't speak only about commercial games. My game is not commercial and I'm ready to pay to get a SDK to port it on PS3.

Offline bjgil2

Senior Newbie




That's it Mr. Giraffe, get all the marmalade


« Reply #5 - Posted 2008-09-29 07:06:16 »

I think the idea of a JVM on PS3 is a good one.  However, I don't think it is going to get anywhere as a community driven effort.  We as Java developers and game programming hobbyists don't have the weight or finances to get something like this off the ground.

I think for this to have any chance of happening,  there needs to be official backing from Sun.  Also Sony has to be shown an overwhelming business case as to why bothering with Java on their console is going to make them any money, or give a competitive advantage over Nintendo and Microsoft.

I think our only chance is for the PS3 JVM to ride in on the coat-tails of something like Project Darkstar, with a passionate spokesperson taking the lead and making the case *cough*ChrisM*cough*.

Cheers,
Brett
Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #6 - Posted 2008-09-29 07:44:25 »

C# is less mature, not cross-platform and slower than Java, especially the JIT compiler and the garbage collector. Please think about those who refuse to use Microsoft's products.
Dude I absolutely despise Microsoft products. I'm saying that because C# is already implemented on the 360, just do that if you really want to. It'll be a lot easier than trying to convince someone to do something that isn't profitable.

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #7 - Posted 2008-09-29 08:19:39 »

Quote
I believe that the multiple core nature of the PS3 would be easier coded to using a language that threads natively, such as Java.

Don't confuse the Cell with a symmetric multiple core CPU, because it isn't. Making full use of the Cell is not a matter of making the code multithreaded (like on real multi-core CPU's), and as such java is not a good choice for making maximum use of the Cell.

That said, java *is* a great choice for getting smaller scale indy type games on the PS3 that don't need all the power from the Cell.

Those two facts together are actually a great argument for a low cost java-based devkit: It's going to generate a lot more content and it can never compete with the full devkit.

Offline gouessej
« Reply #8 - Posted 2008-09-29 08:39:17 »

Dude I absolutely despise Microsoft products. I'm saying that because C# is already implemented on the 360, just do that if you really want to. It'll be a lot easier than trying to convince someone to do something that isn't profitable.
Why do you think it is not profitable?

Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 386
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #9 - Posted 2008-09-29 11:39:39 »

Well, when there's an embeddable JVM available for PS3, I'm sure we'll get LWJGL working on it in short order and Endolf will be all over JInput like a rash too, and then we've got a bunch of games ready-to-run. Although they will need adjusting for PS3. But right now I can't really be doing anything altruistic - I've got absolutely no money and every effort I make has to be directly linked to making money for me, personally, right now, so though I'd love to help ... I'm just not rich enough any more.

Cas Smiley

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

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #10 - Posted 2008-09-29 19:24:15 »

Quote
(a) Game examples that run Java that could work on PS3 casual/Indy channels.
Anything Puppygames, Tribal Trouble, Puzzle Pirates, Bang Howdy come to mind.

Quote
(b) Supporting comments from commercial Java games developers.
I'm not a commercial game developer, but if I could buy a low-cost java based PS3 SDK with OpenGL support, I'd go for it and make Hyper Blazer into a releasable state (for whatever it's worth...).

Quote
(c) Some argument about the desirability of a Java/PS3 development path to rival C#/XNA
1) Sony has a problem that their console has a reputation of being too hard to develop on. Java is a great counter argument for that, at least in the casual/indy area of games.
2) Sony is lagging behind in content on PSN compared to the 360 XBL. A lowcost java based SDK will make things a lot more accessible for smaller game developers, so it will help growing quality content of smaller titles without being competitive at all for the full SDK.
3) Supporting Java as a platform of choice for smaller PSN type titles just makes a lot of sense. It's easy, proven and standard.

Quote
(d) Others ideas?
I don't think we can expect a lot from Sun for this. It seems to me that they kind of gave up on the idea after the java on PS2 failure and is basically leaving it up to the community.
One could also wonder if Sun would be the best choice for providing a JRE on PS3 (I can imagine a long road of compatibility tests, profile specifications and whatnot. It'd probably take enough time for the PS3 to become obsolete in the meantime).

The only solution I see is to get Sony to do it themselves or even better, sponsor and support a collaborative community effort of a few well known java game developers (like Three Rings, Puppygames, Jagex, Oddlabs) to port an open source JRE with LWJGL to PS3 and get their games on PSN.
To get them interested, they would need to see a real, relatively easy to achieve business case. I can image ChrisM to be good person to help lobby the idea although I have no idea if that kind of thing is still something he can do in his position.

Offline gouessej
« Reply #11 - Posted 2008-09-29 21:40:47 »

LWJGL to PS3
Or JOGL as there is already JOGL-ES and PSGL is a sort of derivative of OpenGL-ES 2.0, it would require less work to make it work  Grin You should speak about it to Kenneth Russell.

Offline kaffiene
« Reply #12 - Posted 2008-09-29 22:40:51 »

C# is almost identical to Java in terms of functionality and syntax, why not just use C#?

Portability
Offline kaffiene
« Reply #13 - Posted 2008-09-29 22:44:31 »

Well, when there's an embeddable JVM available for PS3, I'm sure we'll get LWJGL working on it in short order and Endolf will be all over JInput like a rash too, and then we've got a bunch of games ready-to-run. Although they will need adjusting for PS3. But right now I can't really be doing anything altruistic - I've got absolutely no money and every effort I make has to be directly linked to making money for me, personally, right now, so though I'd love to help ... I'm just not rich enough any more.

Cas Smiley

I'm not asking for financial aid, just your ideas and goodwill.  I think that putting a case to Sony highlighting the market we believe is awaiting Sony if they open up a PS3 JVM is the way to go.  I think your products are a perfect example of that, so your input regarding strategy and endorsement is all I'm looking for.
Offline kaffiene
« Reply #14 - Posted 2008-09-29 23:01:42 »

Anything Puppygames, Tribal Trouble, Puzzle Pirates, Bang Howdy come to mind.
I'm not a commercial game developer, but if I could buy a low-cost java based PS3 SDK with OpenGL support, I'd go for it and make Hyper Blazer into a releasable state (for whatever it's worth...).

<snip!....>


Thanks for that feedback erik - those are just the kind of ideas I was looking for!

Anyone else?

Offline gouessej
« Reply #15 - Posted 2008-09-30 05:27:15 »

Portability
Grin I agree with you  Grin

Do you expect a PS3 JVM from Sony or from Sun then??

Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #16 - Posted 2008-09-30 09:55:18 »

Quote
Do you expect a PS3 JVM from Sony or from Sun then??

It doesn't have to come from Sun, and I don't think it will. It even doesn't have to come from Sony. An open source JVM would be good enough, and it can be ported to PS3 by the community if Sony endorses it.

I'm not sure though how interested the community is. Cas seems open to it but understandably can't afford to invest into it, I have no idea about Oddlabs, Three Rings, Jagex or anyone if they would be interested at all to target PS3.
Sure, if you ask anyone they'll say yes, but it will require some effort to get Java to PS3 no matter how. This effort mainly has to come from the community/game developers, and if we're lucky Sony might sponsor the idea with enough lobbying.

Quote
Or JOGL as there is already JOGL-ES and PSGL is a sort of derivative of OpenGL-ES 2.0, it would require less work to make it work  Grin You should speak about it to Kenneth Russell.
I don't know if it would require more work, or if so, how much more. The point is that as far as I know the most commercial games that seem well suited to PSN use LWJGL, so porting JOGL instead wouldn't make much sense.

Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #17 - Posted 2008-09-30 10:31:25 »

It even doesn't have to come from Sony.

Without Sony opening up the RSX the whole exercise is basically useless.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline gouessej
« Reply #18 - Posted 2008-09-30 10:54:46 »

Without Sony opening up the RSX the whole exercise is basically useless.
You're right, we need both the authorization and the technical help of Sony because nor an illegal JVM neither a JVM without hardware acceleration would be interesting for us.

Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #19 - Posted 2008-09-30 13:32:26 »

Without Sony opening up the RSX the whole exercise is basically useless.

The RSX is only closed on guest OS'es like Linux.
As far as I'm concerned, we're talking about really getting into the market of PSN on native PS3. Surely the RSX is open for use and well documented there, or else how would anyone make games on PS3 beyond tic-tac-toe?

Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #20 - Posted 2008-09-30 13:48:53 »

Make your mind up. Tongue Either you're suggesting a community-written VM on top of a guest OS (in which case the lack of RSX access cripples it), or you need Sony's backing and support to get a proper VM with RSX access which can be used for PSN titles.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #21 - Posted 2008-09-30 15:25:50 »

Make your mind up. Tongue Either you're suggesting a community-written VM on top of a guest OS (in which case the lack of RSX access cripples it), or you need Sony's backing and support to get a proper VM with RSX access which can be used for PSN titles.

Reread my posts Tongue I never suggested a guest OS.
Getting Sony's backing and support for an official low cost java/ogl based SDK for PSN titles is exactly what I'm suggesting.

My point is that I can see some compelling reasons for Sony to support the idea by collaborating with the community, IF and only IF there is a willing community that can deliver great content for PSN.
By 'community' I don't mean random java enthousiasts, but professional game developers that already have some great games that would do well on PSN.

Maybe it's not feasible for some reason, but i can't think of a reason why not except that maybe nobody from the java game world is interested at all?
After all, the java game dev world is who have to make it happen. Waiting for Sony or Sun to do it isn't going to work for sure.

Offline ChrisM

JGO Coder


Medals: 3
Projects: 1
Exp: 14 years


Luke...END OF LINE


« Reply #22 - Posted 2008-09-30 16:13:55 »

Well, it is about time I chimed in here.

For Sun's part, I can tell you, ABSOLUTELY, that my interest in Java on any console has not waned.  What you have are two big companies, with people in both who would like to see this happen, but circumstances have prevented it from moving forward despite some excellent initial progress.  In fact, if you knew how much effort has gone into this, you would be surprised.  Someday, I will have to write a book about CGO life.....

I can tell you two things.  First, the OP is moving in the right direction.  Secondly, this thread is being watched by people over at Sony. 

One last thing.  I have been told by some contacts that the OP stated the best strategy to catching Sony corp's attention.  Particularly items (a) and (b).

-Chris

Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #23 - Posted 2008-09-30 16:23:11 »

Woah, nice. I wasn't expecting that.  Shocked

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #24 - Posted 2008-09-30 16:57:19 »

Well, it is about time I chimed in here.

For Sun's part, I can tell you, ABSOLUTELY, that my interest in Java on any console has not waned.  What you have are two big companies, with people in both who would like to see this happen, but circumstances have prevented it from moving forward despite some excellent initial progress.  In fact, if you knew how much effort has gone into this, you would be surprised.  Someday, I will have to write a book about CGO life.....

I can tell you two things.  First, the OP is moving in the right direction.  Secondly, this thread is being watched by people over at Sony. 

One last thing.  I have been told by some contacts that the OP stated the best strategy to catching Sony corp's attention.  Particularly items (a) and (b).

-Chris
Same old same old. A bunch of vaugely worded comments with no actual verifiable content. We've heard the exact same thing for years now and never seen anything solid.

In a couple of years when someone digs this up you'll answer with something equally vauge like "there were tricky issues we couldn't address" and that'll be the last we'll ever hear of it.

I'd love a Java equivilent of XNA, especially if it was possible to write games for the PSN store, but until I see something in my hands that actually works it's all just hype and fluff.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #25 - Posted 2008-09-30 17:08:30 »

Thanks for the input, ChrisM

Okay, so everybody with a decent game, bring it on then: Answer the OP Cool

FWIW, to add to point a), something like JEmu2 that enables PSN to offer emulated classics for something cheap might do well. Wii and X360 have it, PS3 doesn't. I'd be willing and able to provide that.

Offline gouessej
« Reply #26 - Posted 2008-09-30 17:38:07 »

By 'community' I don't mean random java enthousiasts, but professional game developers that already have some great games that would do well on PSN.
You won't prevent non professional game developers from participating.

Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 386
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #27 - Posted 2008-09-30 18:20:44 »

Well, FWIW we already have Ultratron ready to go on XBLA - got it ported to C#. It was that simple to get our stuff running on a console after all. It'd be just peachy to get it on PSN too. In fact being part of a team involved in getting Java onto PS3 would be one of the few roles I'd consider doing fulltime instead of Puppygames or contracting.

Cas Smiley

Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #28 - Posted 2008-09-30 18:28:54 »

You won't prevent non professional game developers from participating.

That's not my intention at all, but having professionals on board with the intent of selling their actual games on PSN to get the ball rolling will make it more likely to be interesting to Sony.

Offline noblemaster

JGO Ninja


Medals: 20
Projects: 10


Age of Conquest makes your day!


« Reply #29 - Posted 2008-09-30 18:32:17 »

Sorry for joining in late - I think this is a great idea  Grin

In regards to development, I could probably help out, but my time is somewhat limited. I am definitely willing to put in a couple of hours or more. The question is, are we just talking about it or are we going to get this thing done? The same topics come and go and nothing gets implemented. Unless someone is going for it, this isn't happening. Neither Sony nor Sun will do anything.

There first things to do is to make sure (1) what we do is legal. We (2) need to obtain the development tools for the PS3. I am not so sure how much they cost or how we are going to get them, but it would probably nice to get Sony/Sun to contribute for free? Then (3) we program it...


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