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PlayStation Mystery: Hobbyist Game Development

I want to post a about a few PlayStation “mysteries”. By mystery, I mean some long standing questions that many PlayStation fans want to know the answer to that never get answered or even asked in interviews.

Starting with…

Hobbyist Game Development

Linux is great and Flash support is great. I don’t want to downplay that. Heck, Flash is the biggest hobbyist game dev platform ever made. But beyond that: why aren’t there better tools for making C/C++ games or even game builder type tools (like Torque) that run on the PS3 OS and the PSP OS and take full advantage of the hardware? I bet the answer involves copyright infringement issues. While I completely support any efforts to stop emulators and copyright infringement, there must be a dozen ways to allow legitimate hobbyist development while stopping the bad. Even if it’s a tightly controlled system like Microsoft’s where hobbyists can only run in development mode with a dev PC attached and can only distribute to regular console owners after going through a manual review process where copyright infringing content can be blocked.

However, what about gray area content like emulators? 99% of the people using ROM emulators use them for blatantly copyright infringing purposes, but emulators can potentially be completely legit. And that guise may make them hard to ban.

I also wonder how much PSP/PS3 piracy potential full hobbyist developer access would pose? It wasn’t hard to pirate PS2 content, but it required hardware modifications, and that was enough of a barrier to prevent all but a few people from doing it. However, if some free software download made PS3 piracy fairly simple, that would be a disaster and could single handedly destroy the Playstation.

However, I’m still not convinced that there aren’t safe solutions to legality and copyright concerns. What’s the real answer?

(On a related note that isn’t 100% PlayStation or Sony related, why aren’t there any publically available Java development tools for Blu-Ray interactivity?)

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