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The games industry is always on the look-out for new, talented engineers and programmers who understand how the hardware works under the hood. However, it isn’t possible to buy a PlayStation development kit at your local computer store and development for the PlayStation has remained a mystery, even to very interested individuals. It gives me great pleasure to unveil the mystery and announce the PlayStation-edu program! We expect this program to be a great tool to teach students about the PlayStation platforms.

PlayStation-edu is a program for universities and colleges to get access to PS2 and PSP development kits…the same ones that professional developers use to make the games you love to play. You get the development software, the hardware, and the SDK to learn and experiment with. SCEA wants to make sure that students who are graduating from college are ready to program on PlayStation hardware and that means getting it into your hands.

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PlayStation-edu is not a general game creation program (sorry artists and designers). It is for computer science and engineering students who want to understand how the hardware works in the PlayStation consoles. Schools which teach game programming or computer architecture can use the development kits in their classes. Participants will get demo code and samples, as well as documentation about how things work. We want the dev kits used in the classroom! Students in PlayStation-edu will have access to our support web site where they can talk with other students in the program on our forums.

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Of course, there are a couple caveats (aren’t there always?): Yes, your school will need to sign some legal agreements with us and yes, “get access to” means that your school will need to purchase the hardware.

For more information and application information, educators may contact me (Mark Danks) at Only requests for applications from qualified school representatives will be responded to, so any students reading this should have their teacher submit the request. Also, this is only for universities and colleges, so high school students will need to wait a few years.

We are looking forward to hearing from you and seeing what you can create!

Comments are closed.


3 Author Replies

  • Wow this is actually a great idea! And since it’s for students it’s practically locking them into a career in developing for PlayStation consoles! I’m not above brainwashing.

    But seriously though, this looks to be a revolutionary tool for up and coming game designers. Great job Sony!


    It’s really quite simple. Develop it as a PC game first, submit it to the Independent Games Festival and blow everyone’s doors off with the incredible innovation of your implementation and then wait for Sony to invite you to develop for them.

    Jonathan Mak was courted, he didn’t need to ask for the equipment. (

  • It’s a good start but why would universities and colleges choose this program when there are tools like XNA and Visual HAM that can be used free of charge? What besides having the actual PS2 and PSP hardware available will set this apart from what’s already being used in classes? I see that a support forum is mentioned above.

  • “The same company that stifled homebrew PSP development with updates, lol.”

    No, they stifled PIRACY. Big difference.

    I’d love the oppurtunity to buy a PSP dev kit.

  • I’d love an XNA equivalent for PSP/PS3.

  • I posted this elsewhere but I think this would be a good opportunity to reiterate that it seems many indie developers would like to make or submit games for the PSN and don’t know where to start. Mark, could you possibly do a post explaining the process of getting a game like Novastrike on PSN? What do the devs need and what is involved? It would be great to get that information on this blog with maybe a permanent link.

  • I know microsoft has a similar program where you can do stuff with XNA in the classroom

  • VeryVERYInterestedINPSN-EDU

    Hey Mark,

    IF the students want to improve the PSP FW, will they have access to source codes and such along with SDK.

    Or should we be a programmer in SCE.

    Kindly answer this question. Oh and I will a student from this coming fall 2008.

    Thank you,

  • When will we find out more about the PhyreEngine tools. The XNA tools are awesome but personally I want to work more on PS tools.

  • Last Semester I took an “XNA Game Programming” at my university. I learned a lot. The game I made works on the PC or the Xbox360.

    I think it is mistake that SONY EDU-SDK
    only works for the PS2 and PSP only.
    Because SONY is “again” behind MicroSoft with releasing the SDK out for the public. Not only that, XNA is completely free (you just need a PC).

    Furthermore, SONY really need to allow the public (students & Engineeers) to work and try to understand their PS3 system.

    From what I hear, Professinal programmers currently still have a difficul time taking advantage of the PS3 HW. What result is every games that are ported to the XBOX360 and PS3— The XBOX360 is always ahead.

    This is probably due to that fact that the XBOX360 uses a simplier (older) programming architecture to commnicate and control the HW and SW. I am sure XNA helps Professional game Developers betetr understand the Xbox360 hardware from their Open-Forum with students and Hobbyists who frqeuent the XNA open-discussion .

    SONY rreally need to plan things out wisely. They are always one step behind Microsoft. And with every step SONY tries to match Microsoft they are doing it all wrong. If this continues to be the case SONY will be too far behind.

    that’s my 2 cent.

  • Mark, apart from the inclusion of PSP support, how does this differ to the Linux Dev Kits that have been available to the public for the past few years?

    Is this a re-release of the Linux kits (obviously the hardware may be different but is the software still the same?)

  • Hi all,

    A few answers to some of the questions.

    Re: indie games
    The purpose of the program is to expose students to low-level hardware, not necessarily to make an actual games. Of course, if a student does create a great game, then I am in close contact with Sony World Wide Studios and will let them know.

    Re: PSP Firmware
    You will have the underlying SDK, but not the source to the firmware. Even professional developers don’t have access to that.

    Re: XNA
    PlayStation-edu is different. XNA is about making it easy to create games, which is great. However, I can tell you from lots of experience (I’ve made a few games in my days :-) that XNA is very far removed from programming a AAA game like Resistance or Uncharted. If you want to create the next renderer for a AAA game, you need to know all about how the actual hardware works. This is what PlayStation-edu is trying to help with.

    Re: PS3
    I mentioned in a previous comment why PlayStation-edu doesn’t include the PS3. If you want to play with the PS3, then you can install Linux on it and get full access to the Cell chip. There isn’t a hardware graphics driver for the RSX, but you can still learn a lot about how the PS3 actually works.


  • Oh yeah…

    Re: Linux Kits
    The PSP and PS2 dev kits are very different from PS2 and PS3 Linux. With Linux, you are just putting a different OS onto retail hardware. With the full dev kits, you have (basically) complete control of the hardware, as well as full debugging. In the professional studios, programmers code, compile, link, and debug on their PC remotely connected to the dev kits.


  • I have a feeling that Mark Danks
    is trying to overshadow my with is reposne on .June 7th, 2008 at 4:50 pm.

    Clearly he is also answering other peoples questions and Comment but XNA is not about creating a “AAA” FPS game.

    XNA is to help aide programmers in actualizing their imgination and game concepts. XNA is only going beocme more advance wit more direct ACCESS to the Vertex and haders availibe to the Xbox360 AS WELL As the ever-advancing PC.

    So when Mar Dank say, “XNA is very far removed from programming a AAA game like Resistance or Uncharted. If you want to create the next renderer for a AAA game”

    who is he kidding but just himself.

    Futher kiddng himself that by mastering programming the PS2 one will have an easier learning curve with teh PS3. That is absurd. Because every Game of the same title released for the XBOX360 and teh PS3. The Xbox360 outperforms teh PS3 in every category.

    Please do not pull the cloaks over our eyes.

    I hope SONY will work out their internal issues (marketing & descion-making) so that they may focus on producing quality products that us loyal FAN of the PS1 and PS2 have known for.

  • This is great! Try and get the PS3 kit out as soon as possible, even if at a high cost.

  • “Re: indie games
    The purpose of the program is to expose students to low-level hardware, not necessarily to make an actual games. Of course, if a student does create a great game, then I am in close contact with Sony World Wide Studios and will let them know.”

    I understand you are promoting the PlayStation-edu program but I think this topic needs a seperate blog post since it seems some indie devs are not sure of the process of getting their game on PSN.

  • “it would take a long time before a student could get some satisfying output.”

    This is rediculous assertion! Hello World is pretty satisfying on any platform, it doesn’t matter what the underlying hardware is.

    Its not about the hardware, its about the software tools that produce cross-platform code.. rather than developing in say, 6502 machine code, today we have device drivers, open standards like OpenGL, & open-source code libraries and frameworks to do much of the grunt work.

    Sure, you can optimize in assembly on different platforms, but if the tools aren’t available as building blocks, forget it.

    Also the “satisfying output” should involve an App Store.. Dear Sony, I’ve purchased the PS2 network adapter, how do I upload my masterpiece and let people download it (for free or otherwise) to their USB device / PS2 hard drive? Surely that was the point of putting the USB & HDD in the PS2 to begin with?!?!

    PS. You mentioned SCEA & SCEE.. how about Sony Japan? I’m sure theres a lot of japanese school students that can write “killer apps”!! Or are they already all working for Square Enix??

  • GrownManYoungBoy

    Thanks for the information Mark. Although, I’m a freshman in college I passed the article on to and administrator I know.

  • Am I the only one that finds this a little late?

    Sony, this would have need huge news three of four years ago, when the PS2 was the big kid on the block.

    – matthew|Granda

  • @Mark Danks

    About XNA :

    XNA is designed for remaking old games and make them on X360 – It doesn’t need to have extreme performance.

    No matter what you say .NET and C# are ALOT easier to use than C/C++, it remains unmatched in termes of development speed. So yes .NET is some kind of copy of Java but is the most productive language ever created.

    C/C++ are by far one of the most difficult programming language, because, among other thing, proper memory management and using pointers.

  • hope they haventhis i the next few years i’ve always wanted to help sony devolpe games and hardware

  • Dexter48 | June 9th, 2008 at 2:37 am wrote:

    About XNA :

    XNA is designed for remaking old games and make them on X360 – It doesn’t need to have extreme performance.

    What are you talking about Dexter? When you wrote, “XNA is designed for remaking old games and make them on X360”

    XNA is not just about ‘remaking old games’ nor is the framework specifyly for the Xbox360.

    With XNA hobbtisy are able to create games for the PC.

    Dexter you seriously do not know what you are talking about in regards to , “[XNA] doesn’t need to have extreme performance.”
    because you claim that is used to do remakes and Xbox360 games.

    My Friend in about 6-9 months the PC hardware might surpass both the Xbox360 and the PS3 hardware. And XNA has reached version 3.0 in its Beta stage.

    And as you will soon find out. With each new version there will be new improvements and new Features added to XNA to access Hardwares PC or XBOx360. Soon enough XNA shall be more powerful than XBOX360 and the PS3 as well as more easily accessible for hobbyist and programmers alike.

    I wasn’t here to advertise for XNA but I think some visual support will show you the capabilties of XNA.

    With 1-3 programmers ad XNA version2.o these are some of the games. Look at them.

    XNA 2.0 3D Racing Game

    XNA 2.0 2d Action Scroller

    XNA2.0 Isometric Game (by 3 Programmers)

    Please show me some PS2 or PSP games create by SONY-EDU.

  • I wonder why this blog has refused to allow me to Submit my opinion and response.

    If this blog is trying to just Filter in positive and “nice” comment for its agenda. Then definitely I can see how The company is in the condition that it is in.

    Mark Danks nice one.

    I’ll try another blog where they’ll accept open-minded discussion.

  • Hi, Mark!

    Here at Image Campus, we’re very excited with the idea. Please, make sure we can meet during your next trip to Buenos Aires to discuss how could we engage in the program.

  • sorry lease remove my comments on
    pip820 | June 9th, 2008 at 11:03 am

    No idea why the post previous this “request-for-deletion post” did not appear when I pressed [Submit]

    sorry for multiple posts

  • Hey, where in canada is Playstation Edu offered? Plus i have a question. I basically want to study 3D programming/Game design including undergoing a special FX designer course. Where in canada will that be possible?

  • This is what I Think is going to happen. PS4 is going to be a wireless small box that steams PS4 games and the super IBM CELL MONSTER MACHINES is going to help with PS4 power like Folding at home AKA Cell NETWORK it will cheep but, no backwardscapability for PS4 just stream games at home or psp connect the PS3 ethernet to PS4 we have access to a wireless CELL NETWORK, or PS4 WILL BE THE CELL NETWORK and no new hardware but THE PS3

  • This is what I Think is going to happen.THE PS4 will be a wireless small box that steams PS4 games and connect to a wireless CELL NETWORK help power by IBM CELL MONSTER MACHINES like Folding at home by it being a wireless network stream your PS4 games to your PSP just attaching something to it that contains 2 SPEs or this will be cheep because PS4 is only streaming connect to the PS3 ethernet and its a CELL MODEM FEB 2009 digi no MORE ANOLOG AIR WAVES THERE WILL BE A CELL SATELLITE just playing about satellite BUT IT CAN happen USA HAVE THE SOFTWARE JAPAN HAVE THE TECH

  • It’s all about the Steam and Flare…

    In Today’s News:

    “There are ongoing discussions with Sony about what its decisions and strategies are, how they are going to go forward.

    “Certainly, we still see it as a viable format. But we’re not developing too many games on it until we get some direction. They’ve got to decide what they want to do with it, and come out clearly and say, ‘this is our strategy, this is our process and this is how publishers can get behind it’.”

    “At the moment they are in no man’s land[…”

    Read on:

  • Trying to get an answer. I am new to PS3, and I was wondering if anyone can tell me what thiese updates are about and how to do it. Getting messages that I need to update this and that, like latest on firmware of something, how do I do this, THANKS

  • Mark Danks, Re: Indie games

    Then what is the point of releasing a PS2 dev kit at all? It’s great that college students get a chance to hack on a unique architecture, but what does this bring to the industry? How does this help development studios of any size when students are learning an aging platform that fewer studios are developing for to begin with?

    This is *exactly* as if Sony announced they were funding a project to introduce students to the PDP-11 – decades after the architectural *design* has been abandoned. The PS2 has about as much in common with the PS3 as an old Irix workstation has with modern PCs. This move makes no sense to me.

    And what of students who create something truly spectacular on their school’s PS2 kit? They sure can’t share it. They can’t show the world what they’ve accomplished. All they can hope for is that a studio recognizes their talent and hires them – to work on a *different* platform they know nothing about! And how often would that happen anyway?

    Re: Linux

    I love the fact that I can run Linux on my PS3 and develop for the cell processor. That was a good move, I think. But what of me? With no access to RSX, (or, really, any hardware-accelerated OpenGL interface) how can I prepare my engine for any non-trivial project?

    I don’t know if you’ve paid any attention, but Mesa is unreasonably *slow* without driver help.

    Re: XNA

    Why doesn’t Sony do something like this? Microsoft is probably making a killing by encouraging developers to create for and distribute on XBL. They’re bringing in programmers by the truckload because they’re actually *encouraging* it.

    All Sony does is give indies the finger and tell them to go work for a studio. How can I create *my* games the way *I* want to if I have to go through a dim-witted publisher just to get *permission* to discuss the *possibility* of distributing my stuff? How does Sony risk anything if they allow people to actually develop and distribute games for the PS3?

    Everything you’ve said sounds like excuses and closed-minded drivel.

  • How are negotiations going to have Playstation-edu in Central America? I can’t wait to get my hands on the Dev Kit.

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