March 20, 2007 6:35 AM PDT

PS3 upgrade gets a charitable boost

Sony Computer Entertainment America has announced that the next update for its PlayStation 3 console software will be available on Thursday and will include support for the Folding@home distributed computing project from Stanford University.

The PS3 update, classified by Sony as version 1.60, is considered a regular system-software upgrade. With the new functions, the console will now support the use of Bluetooth peripherals such as keyboards and mice. In addition, a full QWERTY keyboard will be displayed onscreen as an alternative to the current single-tap keyboard.

The update will also enhance the console's download power, making it possible for PS3 owners to queue up to six downloads at a time from the PlayStation Store. There's also a new menu for "Download Management," so that the progress of current downloads can be easily tracked.

Additionally, the new PS3 software will support Folding@home, a distributed computing project created by Stanford University in 2000 in order to better understand the process of protein folding and how it correlates to serious diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and various forms of cancer. Research into protein folding, however, requires an enormous amount of computing power. Similar to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence's famed SETI@home project, in which thousands of PC users are donating a slice of their computers' processing time to aid in the hunt for intelligent life in outer space, Folding@home has been relying on contributions from PC users around the world since its inception.

Now, with the Sony software upgrade, PS3 users will be able to donate their unused processor power to the Stanford research project, via the "Network" icon on the Xross Media Bar (XMB) feature.

See more CNET content tagged:
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., distributed computing, console, Sony Corp., Sony Playstation

22 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
So nice
PS3 looking better all the time.
Posted by solblack (276 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wow
So is that the real reason why people are buing ps3s? And here I thought people wanted to play games on it. Granted, there are about two games worth playing on the ps3, if you can find one.
Posted by thedreaming (573 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You must be a politician
Politicians have problems with math. Fuzzy or other wise.
When did:
MotorStorm
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
F.E.A.R.
Lair
Virtua Fighter 5
F1
Need for Speed: Carbon
Ridge Racer 7
Flow
Resistance: Fall of Man
Blazing Angels

Add up to only 2 games?
Posted by ibeetle (259 comments )
Link Flag
WOW stands for
Sony's moves are like tree branches, always giving users an ability to do other things. You cant seem to understand that.
Posted by theprof00 (50 comments )
Link Flag
No Xbox 360 folding?
I run F@H on my home and work PCs, I'd love to run it on my 360. Where's the 360 client?
Posted by badsponge (37 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You know what...
If XBL had Folding@Home, and you got 100 gamerscore points for every 5 hours of letting it run, people would leave their 360's on all the time, and Stanford would get to cure their cancer or whatnot.
Posted by KevinWI (1 comment )
Link Flag
why
why should we care?
Posted by sgmprime (1 comment )
Link Flag
Life expentancy
I'm curious if maxing out your processors 24/7 will shorten the life of any of the components.

PS3 (and XB360) already have to deal with heat issues without running at 100% 24/7/365, they have neither the cooling capacity of most PCs, and are often stuck inside an entertainment center on top of a VCR.

Personally I'd wait a few months to see what happens, though this will definitely be cool in the long run either way.
Posted by KTLA_knew (385 comments )
Reply Link Flag
maybe you can do in in your networked fridge
Well generally if it's built well it will shorten the life from about 30 years to 10 years so I guess if you want to bust your yout PS3 instead of playing your PS12 or whatever then that might be an issue. I'm sure it's also not running at 100% and there's probably a thermal probe in there that would shut the system down if the temp got too hot. Well I hope there would be safe guards in place like that for something so pricey unless they just let it lock up and hope that consumer would let it cool down.
Posted by chuchucuhi (233 comments )
Link Flag
Problem exsist between Keyboard and Chair
This is a line some computer technicians use to say, "User Error" Also known as the ID-10T error.

When you read the instruction manual of ANY electronic device. It says not to keep it in a confined area without proper circulation. Which sadly almost all entertainment centers qualify as being without proper circulation. When someone decides to forgo the instructional manual and place their devices inside said oven. It is on them and not the product itself for having a heat problem.
Posted by jburgessjr (2 comments )
Link Flag
Download Manager Question
Does this upgrade to the download manager mean that it will allow you to play a game while something is downloading like the XBox 360?

BTW the Folding@Home project is a great idea. They should def extend that to other systems.
Posted by tm0054 (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I wanna know this too
Damn downloads take so long and won't let you use it until you update. My PS3 is off most of the time so I go to start it up and play a game but no can do, gotta download.
Posted by Phil_Canyon (8 comments )
Link Flag
xbox lovers = politicians?
I think the earlier post got it right - lying, obfuscating, common to both.

Let us ignore the fact tht xbox lovers have come into a discussion on Sony enabling the PS3 being used for a noble purpose (funny, M$ didnt think of that) and tried to turn this into flamebait

Let us ignore for the time being the 10% defect rate in 360, lack of key features or hard drive space or HDMI, or the noisy drive or the killer aps Sony has in Home or the free multiplyer in PS3

Let us consider the basic statement: PS3 doesnt have games

Comparison of great games after 4 months:
PS3:4-5 VF5, R:FOM, Motorstorm, Oblivion, GRAW2 (soon)
360: (1) GRAW
Comparison of great exclusives in 1st year
PS3: The above + Lair, Heavenly, Warhawk, MGS4, FF13, Killzone
360: Gears, Dead Rising..and thats it
Comparison of Backward compatible games
PS3: 1800
360: 300
Posted by msamik_cnet (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
"fanboi" defined
You just defined exatly why the term exists.

This article is supossed to be about using your console for worthwhile distributed computing purposes, something that's been widely discussed for YEARS. Neither Sony nor M"$" (as you say, which marks you as fanboi defined) came up with this idea.

Discuss potential heat issues (the most interesting one to me for both the 360 and PS3), discuss potential other uses, discuss why the Wii didn't do it, discuss if it's worth a $600 console to do it.

Or just go away if you can't do that.
Posted by KTLA_knew (385 comments )
Link Flag
Now wait just a darn minute
Your analysis isn't anywhere near being accurate, nor is it objective.

[i]Comparison of great games after 4 months:
PS3:4-5 VF5, R:FOM, Motorstorm, Oblivion, GRAW2 (soon)
360: (1) GRAW[/i]
You credit PS3 as having TESIV:Oblivion within four months, which is a flat-out lie. Xbox 360 launched in the US on 22 November, 2005. Plus 120 days (assumed) for four months would land the date at 22 March, 2006. Oblivion for the Xbox360 launched on 21 March, 2006, putting it within the four-month launch window you established. The PlayStation 3, on the other hand, launched on 17 November, 2006. Plus 120 days for four months would land on 17 March, 2007 which, if you're keeping score at home, is three days short of the launch day for Oblivion. It's slated to launch on the 20th of this month. Given roundoff, the very least you can hand in this category is a tie, not a win.

Your assignment of the rating of "great" to the games you list is also puzzling. While I will give you that VF5 and R:FoM are indeed great games, GRAW2 is neither out presently for PS3 nor exclusive [b]nor[/b] does it fall within your 4 month launch window. Further, Motorstorm? Come on.

Your assertion that the 360 got off to a slow start is an accurate one, and I will give you that. But if the PS3 launched on time, back when Sony initially said it would, you'd have seen the exact same thing. Pushing the launch window forward doesn't make MGS4 and FF13 ready any faster, just as it didn't make Gears of War or Halo 3 ready any faster for the Xbox360.

For all those considerations, your post has surprisingly little useful information. Great use of "$" as an "S" in "MS", though. That's original. ::rollseyes::
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Link Flag
I won both and PS3 is way better
I have owned the original Xbox, which I liked better than the PS2, because it had eithernet live service, but the PS3 rocks!!!

I can use a regular mouse and keyboard, no more f-ing around using the built in button, and a browser and the games a cool! and the PS3 is quiet. I owe the Xbox 360 - and the only game that I like is Halo 2 and maybe 1 or 2 others, but I spend the most time playing that online.

PS3 rocks compared to Xbox 360, keep in mind that I woed it over a year and had plenty time to review it and play it.

Xbox is super load on newer demanding games like Rainboxsix Vegas, the machine is super load, the fans run in overdrive, I have to turn up my stereo just to enjoy the game, I am thinking about putting that into my bathroom, and keeping it in a different space, so not to hear the noise, not the same with the PS3, I can bearly hear it, offf and now Blue Ray Drive is not outselling the HD 3 to 1, to take dat you bunch of rats!

I am of course awaiting the Halo 3, that is going to be an awesome game, got to give Bungie credit where it is, ex-Mac developers.

Take Dat!
Posted by RompStar_420 (772 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And the winner is --Your Utlity Company
Reading the comments of The Sony Fanboys here is hilarious. If you really care about this folding home project you would do better to run it on your "Green PC" than on the PS3 or XBOX 360. Both units aren't Energystar rated so leaving them on 24x7 will impact your utility bills. This folding home project maybe just part of SONY's hype machine to promote the PS3 as a super computer. Of course the PS3 isn't a supercomputer by any stretch of the imagination. It's an entertainment appliance designed to play BLURAY movies and then games. It would make a horrible PC if it had to run spread sheets word processors or any of the things you routinely do with your PC. The low end CELERON or AMD SEMPRON based PC's would eat it's lunch. This is also true of the 360 and wii. Of course the XBOX 360 eats the PS3 lunch when it comes game processing but thats a debate for another topic.
Posted by Captain-Atari (80 comments )
Reply Link Flag
True... ish
Indeed; both the XBOX 360 and the PS3 are unsuitable as PCs. They both have too little memory. As for what one is the best, I will reserve my judgement for another year. Opening titles are frequently underwhelming.
Posted by Siegfried Schtauffen (269 comments )
Link Flag
Word Processing and Spread Sheets
If you can surf the web with your system (Check) You can use both a high power word processing tool and spread sheet tool. No need for a Full OS. I give you. Google Office.
Posted by jburgessjr (2 comments )
Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.