When looking at #consoles such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One systems they are just PCs. Now some #hardware console-hacking group Fail0verflow have cracked the PlayStation 4 and loaded it up with a version of Linux, turning the PS4 into a real PC. Sony took on the PC-style architecture for the PS4 after some experimenting with exotic chips. And now that has come around, to the point where the console is running a desktop operating system, Gentoo.
Fail0verflow have also booted a Game Boy Advance emulator and a modded copy of Pokémon, entitled the “PlayStation Version.”
Check out the full demonstration below:
What is really interesting about the Game Boy emulator, Fail0verflow connected an actual Game Boy Advance to the PlayStation 4 to serve as the controller. Probably not the best way to play old portable games but it does shows that the hacking group has control over the PS4 system.
Getting this deep integration with the PS4 means that Fail0verflow have gathered a solid understanding of the consoles functionality. The group pointed out that any differences between the PS4 and a PC are “crazy”, are even “batshit crazy.” Going on to say that the engineers of semiconductor company Marvell Technology Group were “smoking some real good stuff” when designing the PlayStation 4’s southbridge chip.
Linux on a PlayStation is not really that crazy. Gamers will likely remember the PlayStation 3 launched with a feature called “OtherOS” that enabled anyone to load the system with Linux or another operating system. Sony later removed that feature, but there is community of homebrewers that kept it alive on their own.
What does this mean for Linux and gaming, further capability. Not only does this open doors for the community at large, it shows a further capability for Linux as a gaming OS. Believe it or not we see the direction Valve is aiming for and the possibilities using a stable operating system. And now with the coming of the Vulkan API, this will mark a further advance in the market, giving gamers the potential of having their own custom build, or rather, homebrew Steam Machines. Or custom built super consoles? It’s your choice.