PS3 Folding@home with 1.6 update

New firmware upgrade will link PlayStation 3s to Stanford-run distributed-computing project researching cancer, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's causes.

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At last year's Tokyo Game Show, Ken Kutaragi gave a keynote address that contained little new PlayStation 3 information. It did, however, outline how the PS3's massive computing power would be used for an altruistic endeavor called the Folding@home Project.

Organized by Stanford University, the Folding@home Project is similar to the University of California-Berkeley's SETI@home project. The latter effort uses idling PCs linked to the Web as a "virtual supercomputer" to help the SETI Project search for extraterrestrial life.

The Folding@home Project will do something similar. It will integrate idling, online PS3s into a distributed-computing project studying the causes of various diseases. Among the ailments under investigation are Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, cystic fibrosis, and various cancers.

"Millions of users have experienced the power of PS3 entertainment. Now they can utilize that exceptional computing power to help fight diseases," Masayuki Chatani, Sony Computer Entertainment's chief technical officer, said in a statement. "In order to study protein folding, researchers need more than just one supercomputer, but the massive processing power of thousands of networked computers. Previously, PCs have been the only option for scientists, but now, they have a new, more powerful tool--[the] PS3."

Folding@home Project functionality will be included in the 1.6 PS3 firmware update, which is due out at the end of the month. After installing the update, PS3 owners who wish to join the project will be able to find the Folding@home Project under the network menu of the PS3's XrossMediaBar (XMB). PS3s will only join the Folding@home Project network when in an idle state while connected to the Internet.

Discussion

505 comments
Crimson_xWolfx
Crimson_xWolfx

@Zigmond1 Yeah because being terminally ill or diagnosed with cancer is totally awesome, bro. Y'know I want some leukemia and tumors too, that'd be rad. No not really, your an idiot and your ignorance surpasses comprehension. In no way is Sony or any corporation asking consumers to find a cure for cancer or any disease, they're merely asking for them to support the cause to find the cure. Which the company who asked Sony to implement Folding@home onto the PS3 is the one who's asking, and Sony is merely supporting. Which they're not forcing you to do this, but it does help those who are stricken with some form of cancer or disease. Although it can't help your idiocy.. 'tis a sad thing is it not?

truantjohnny
truantjohnny

@YoZbaNaToR This wasn't really aimed at you, just people who dissed it because it was sony. I wasn't aware that this had been taken place on PCs.I could care less about the PC statement made because in the end they are both computers.

YoZbaNaToR
YoZbaNaToR

@truantjohnny: I have a feeling you're addressing me, and I believe you shouldn't be so aggressive about it. Ofcourse I aid Folding@home and believe it's a great project of great use and goal (Even though this may be a great way for corporations and the government to find their way into your private property). If you believe I'm "scoffing at the betterment of humanity for a brand name" you have completely misunderstood me. Folding@home was initially released on the PC. But to claim the PS3 is a more powerful tool than a PC is just bogus.

truantjohnny
truantjohnny

Fanboys should STFU. This is an amazing use of technology. Go cloud computing! This is an opt in deal for ps3 users. Why would anyone scoff at the betterment of humanity for a brand name. I'd support XBox too if they did this.

YoZbaNaToR
YoZbaNaToR

"Previously, PCs have been the only option for scientists, but now, they have a new, MORE POWERFUL tool--[the] PS3." This is one of the most absurd statements I've ever heard.

luke1889
luke1889

Wow, this is a great idea.

d33pak
d33pak

This is a really cool idea. I wonder what they do with the processing power and how?

Neon-Wingz
Neon-Wingz

Whether or not it is really to "make" people buy PS3's, at least they are doing something out of it. I dont care if they make gazzilions as long as they really do contribute into finding a cure for cancer. And note, they are not asking anyone to buy the PS3 and diss the 360, they're just letting u know what it can do, and support if you believe it.

Zigmond1
Zigmond1

so they want PS3 owners to find a cure for cancer?? thats kinda dumb

zero_snake99
zero_snake99

Wow...darendt...you're stupid...deny a cancer treatment just because its from Sony? And this is coming from a guy who has a Brian Fury avatar....

darendt69
darendt69

whgresiak whatever sony sux ----------- Well than if they do find a cure and by chance ever get it or anything else they help cure..........dont use the cure. Also since Sony sucks so much you may want to open up some of the electronics you have around your house. Chances ae there Sony chips in most of them.

Roxas_27
Roxas_27

Wow, amazing how shallow the people here are. First of all, the PS3 uses less power than the 360 when on stand-by mode, and secondly, Stanford University went to Sony and suggested their program. In other words, it wasn't Sony's idea. Oh, and no, this article isn't a lie. Nice try though. Glad to see a gaming company contributing to a worthy cause.

whgresiak
whgresiak

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

flexx55
flexx55

Solidsnakehd, agreed.

Splincir
Splincir

Ha ha. Finally one of Kutaragi's outregeous claims comes true. "PS3 Cures Cancer!" Now I wonder if it will travel through time!

Donari
Donari

Ditto, solidsnakehd.

kingpimp101
kingpimp101

Wow you're clearly misinformed. You really did escape from an asylum didn't u... Cancer is a genetic mutation causing cells to rapidly divide into tumours, they're just cells not concious beings. I'm sure if you had one of those babies lodged in your brain threatening them would seem such a bad idea. Anyway, sounds good. Don't have a PS3 though and I don't expect to have one for some time.

Lab392
Lab392

AsylumEscapee: "Did anyone stop to think that cancer is a living creature and shouldn't be threatened like this? Also, sure the PS3 has a good CPU, but with the 360s GPU the cancer cells would look 100x more lifelike, not to mention it would have better online play. The 360 also has more exclusives and a brighter future meaning more money for god, the creator of cancer." This'd better be a joke :P. a tumor is just an overgrown cluster of white blood cells. so technically, it is a group of living creatures that went terribly wrong and should be "put down" automatically.

willauqs
willauqs

why don't we all all just send in our old ps2's for a discount on ps3 and then sony could use all the ps2's power 24/7 at their own expense of electricity. Im sure they would have more power from all the ps2 trade in's than from the 10 guy out there with ps3's right now.

gimmesum29
gimmesum29

wow i am surprise of how many stupid people on gamespot. well idling ur ps3 could help people or maybe its supporting Terrorism. so that would mean we are all terrorist . nooooooo!!! it can't be true nooooo.....

j0na8aca
j0na8aca

Hmm. I hope they are letting scientists use it for free. Because the PS3 is pretty expensive. That's why I don't have one yet.

AsylumEscapee
AsylumEscapee

Did anyone stop to think that cancer is a living creature and shouldn't be threatened like this? Also, sure the PS3 has a good CPU, but with the 360s GPU the cancer cells would look 100x more lifelike, not to mention it would have better online play. The 360 also has more exclusives and a brighter future meaning more money for god, the creator of cancer.

racerx737
racerx737

Dtaylorusc "Does this mean buying a PS3 can be a tax deductible charity donation?" hmmm good point, makes sense to me, I don't see why not lol.

mrwaliwali
mrwaliwali

for those that are sceptical: from standford 'According to the statistics page, there are currently 159198 Windows PCs that are actively participating in the project, and those combined processors have reached a total of 151 TFLOPS. By comparison, the number of active PS3 machines totals only 14971, but the combined power of PS3 consoles is already contributing more than half of the 616 total TFLOPS that are currently being devoted to the project. "

Family_Jewels
Family_Jewels

Even if you slam the PS3, or this Project, at least you can give Sony brownie points for cooking up a creative feature or two.

topraman517
topraman517

It's a great idea! I might very well do that myself with my PC, if anyone is allowed to participate.

Alexmon
Alexmon

I'm not against finding a cure for cancer and all (my Dad even had cancer), but we have to worry about overheating, electric bill, and the environment overall, because you waste tons of electricity doing this.

tomazborges11
tomazborges11

excellent move by sony, but a hardware with heating problems isnt the best platform to distribute computing. however, any help here at folding, is welcome

AL13NK1LL3R
AL13NK1LL3R

wow... that very stupid and well all they saing is lyin and all their tryin to do make u buy ps3

ElSatanno
ElSatanno

Sure it's hard to believe that any major corporation is capable of any acts of altruism, but let's not mince words. The gesture is noble enough to be worthy of praise. Hats off to Sony.

Rev06
Rev06

Um, I like the cause, but that still isn't going to make me buy a PS3 anytime soon.

MB_E102
MB_E102

Smackimus.... LMFAO!!!! THATS F'CKING HILARIOUS!!!

Smackimus
Smackimus

I'm going to laugh when we all find out Sony is just using this to research ways to enlarge their dicks.

Dojotigers
Dojotigers

its a good feature and that is that quit arguing

Turisman4
Turisman4

If you've seen the results of SETI and that particle-collider thing that also used software like this, you'd be surprised. It works.

voidshadow
voidshadow

What a dumb idea...just another way for the government and corporations worm their way into your private property.

PandaOps
PandaOps

As they said in the article, they were previously only able to do this on the computer. I was a participant in the computer Folding@home Project for quite a long time. You were able to track your computers progress on that certain protein or whatever with graphs and little numbers. Good idea, but think of all that money you might be saving by turning your PS3 off and just donating that money you save from your power bill to an organization....humm... What an idea...

sailingmanuel
sailingmanuel

I got my PS3 doing this right now and you can join teams. I did not know anyone who had one so I made one if any one wants to join. Walking Dead team#56285 I plan on leaving it on all the time.

Draconis89
Draconis89

Very nice idea, I'm glad Sony is doing this I hope wii and XBox 360 follow in sony foot steps. This is for a good cause.

FstBrk342
FstBrk342

lol well if it ends up failing as a console why not use it for somthing positive?

Rickiej
Rickiej

Dude this is like totally a really good idea, my mom had cancer and now i'm going to buy that thing even if its sucks. lol im going to have it all night conected to the internet :D

creep93
creep93

That's... interesting.

tidyspidey
tidyspidey

cool idea, although it would be interesting to know how much of your electricity supply this feature uses up whilst the PS3 is supposedly "idle"..... With the western world all too concerned about power consumption and carbon footprints etc at the moment, this is the sort of thing that is really important to consumers. When I get a PS3 eventually, it would be great to take part in the scheme and know I'm helping something bigger, but not at the expense of my electricity bill and the environment. I imagine the PS3 will use quite a lot of juice, right?

Tekirai
Tekirai

*opens mouth and raises finger* ... ... I don't know what to think of that. o_0;

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

"PS3s will only join the Folding@home Project network when in an idle state while connected to the Internet." ??????? Its a start Sony but its not nearly enough, donate a small portion of profits or set up a foundation !