Feeds

Sony's new PlayStation 4 and open source FreeBSD: The TRUTH

Unix fans whispered of daemonic beast lurking within gaming rig

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Sony has confirmed that its newgasmic game console the PlayStation 4 - on sale today in the US - uses a modified version of the open-source FreeBSD operating system.

In a license page on Sony's Japanese site the company lists the software used by the PEW-PEW-PEW machine, and Unix-derivative FreeBSD features prominently. The PS4's Orbis OS is based on the tech.

Speculation had surged in June that Sony had loaded a modified version of FreeBSD 9 onto its console after images leaked online of the console's development environment. Sony's no stranger to the open-source world: it's PlayStation 2 programming kits were Red Hat Linux machines, although it's infamous for dropping Linux support for the PS3.

The confirmation is arguably another win for the open-source world, and lines up with game vendor Valve's plan to bring a console into people's living rooms running a Linux-powered SteamOS.

Besides the daemon-logo'd FreeBSD kernel and related components, other open-source software used by Sony's entertainment box includes OpenSSL, Protocol Buffers, Webkit, jQuery, and Lua. The FreeBSD software license allows the OS's source code to be used freely by anyone provided acknowledge of the project's copyright is noted in the product's documentation along with the distribution terms and conditions.

Nintendo also uses open-source software in its Wii U games console alongside its proprietary Internal Operating System. Microsoft, on the other hand, appears to prefer purely its own home-grown code – namely the Xbox OS that was written from scratch for the original Xbox and the Xbox 360. The upcoming Xbox One will use the Windows kernel, Microsoft said. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?