[MUD-Dev] Linux gaming ( was [MUD-Dev] Apple WWDC? )

Kevin Mack kevinmack at earthlink.net
Thu May 23 01:37:33 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

On Wed, 22 May 2002, John A. Bertoglio wrote:

>> The use of Linux I anticipate above is as an embedded OS used in
>> a true appliance PC

I agree with you here - TiVo runs on an embedded Linux
implementation, as do a number of other purpose-designed devices.
(See <http://www.siliconpenguin.com/> for further info on the
topic.)  Its relevance to gaming, however, is tougher to establish.

I suspect we may see a hobbyist community arise around the
PlayStation 2 Linux distribution, but I agree with Matt that, in
general, it's far from ideal as a gaming platform - it's built to
perform a very different set of tasks.  As it currently stands, for
example, if I'd actually like to hear sounds from my personal Linux
install, I'll need to hit Sourceforge, download the driver code, and
compile it into my kernel.  That simply isn't going to fly with
entertainment software consumers.  Even the now comparatively stable
world of PC gaming is rapidly losing ground to the consoles in
general, and its last bastion, online gaming, is now heavily under
siege - nearly a third of the games at Sony's E3 booth today were
running online.  Consumers love the convenience and reliability of
console games - drop in the disc and start playing.  PC Linux sits,
to my mind, too far from that space to be viable.  The development
of a purpose-built embedded Linux gaming device, while it would
circumvent many of the difficulties of configuring an i386
implementation, is also unlikely, as it'd face the extremely
daunting task of attempting to divert consumer attention from the
PS2 and other consoles, and again, would be saddled with an
operating system that simply wasn't designed with games in mind.

- Kevin Mack

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