PS3 @Home network could go commercial
While the Folding@Home distributed computing network (a research initiative into protein folding organised by Stanford University) may have been the ideal showcase for the power of the new PlayStation 3 console, a report from MCV today hints that Sony could be looking at commercial options available to take advantage of the thousands of networked consoles.
While research programs like this make use of the processing power of multiple systems linked together, Sony are looking at whether a similar service might appeal to the needs of other businesses, who could license Sony's distributed computing network for commercial activity. A Financial Times report suggests that 10,000 PS3's networked could do the work of 200,000 PCs, while Sony are also said to be looking into 'incentives' to get gamers to participate in such activities.
Gamers letting their PS3s take part could land free games and other products, though Sony's investigations are at an early stage.
"This kind of computing model could be used in a commercial application. For example, a start-up or a pharmaceutical company that lacks a super-computer could utilise this kind of infrastructure. We are discussing various options with companies and exploring commercial applications," Sony Computer Entertainment's Masa Chatani told the Financial Times.
"If there is a big problem to be solved, each computer is responsible for processing a small chunk of information, then by analysing it all together a big conclusion can be made. At any single moment, there are 11,000-12,000 PS3 users participating in Folding@Home. The number of contributors is far greater than we had anticipated."