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Folding@Home Removed from PS3 with 4.30 Update

By - Source: Sony | B 32 comments

Sony has announced the release of PS3 system update version 4.30, which will bring a few user interface changes and kick a prestigious project to the curb.

Stanford University's distributed computing project Folding@Home will no longer be supported as the Life with PlayStation application will no longer be offered with the latest update.

The PS3 supported protein folding simulations over the past five years as part of an effort to find cures for medical conditions such as Alzheimer's Disease, or Type II Diabetes. Back in 2007, when the program was introduced on PlayStation, the game console offered tremendous floating point processing power to drive Folding@Home simulations, but developments have given new GPUs the lead. Statistically, the PS3 is ranked well behind the performance capability of ATI and Nvidia graphics processors. At FAHcon 2012, scientists published some numbers showing just how far computing performance has come since the project's beginnings.

Given the long-standing partnership, the cutoff was rather quick and effective. Both Folding@Home and Sony restricted themselves to rather short statements with the usual thank you speech and a conclusion of achievements. Stanford's project leader Vijay Pande referred to "numerous successes in recent years" that could lead to drug development. Of course, the successes were not only due to Sony's participation and Pande was quick to remove references of Sony's support from the Folding@Home website.

The 4.30 system update also changes the way trophies are displayed in the XMB. The trophy level progress is now being displayed, along with trophies that have been earned when playing on the Vita.

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    zakaron , October 23, 2012 6:50 PM
    Not really surprised, this is just another casualty in scaling back the PS3 capabilities. For those keeping score, we lost:
    - PS2 backward compatibility (both hardware then software emulation)
    - Linux support / OtherOS
    - 2 USB ports
    - Card reader
    - and now Folding@Home

    I'm sure I probably missed some, but it's certainly not the same machine it was when it released in 2006. Granted, we did gain other functionality over the years, but still unfortunate to see features cut.
  • 18 Hide
    matt_b , October 23, 2012 6:42 PM
    So specifically removing support for F@H accomplishes what?
Other Comments
  • 18 Hide
    matt_b , October 23, 2012 6:42 PM
    So specifically removing support for F@H accomplishes what?
  • Display all 32 comments.
  • 20 Hide
    zakaron , October 23, 2012 6:50 PM
    Not really surprised, this is just another casualty in scaling back the PS3 capabilities. For those keeping score, we lost:
    - PS2 backward compatibility (both hardware then software emulation)
    - Linux support / OtherOS
    - 2 USB ports
    - Card reader
    - and now Folding@Home

    I'm sure I probably missed some, but it's certainly not the same machine it was when it released in 2006. Granted, we did gain other functionality over the years, but still unfortunate to see features cut.
  • 5 Hide
    warmon6 , October 23, 2012 6:51 PM
    A bit late on the draw there Tom's as i heard about it over 24 hours ago.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/page-268010_28_6450.html#t2671318

    As for why it was removed, there a few idea's floating around but to us folders, it's clear that in not just a Sony only move. If anything, it's looks more like it was at standfords end.

    Hear's is what im guessing that's currently going on based on other resent events.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/page-268010_28_6450.html#t2671796


    Quote:
    Well it probably has to do with something about the recent news about the gpu's quick return bonus.


    In there it said some stuff about that before you had to make WU's that could only run on UNI, another with smp, and then the gpu. Now we already have WU's able to work on both UNI and SMP and here soon, GPU's will be able to run the same WU's as SMP/UNI and vice-versa.

    If i had to guess why the PS3 is being let go, it's due too:

    1. What was once the strong point of the PS3 of having (at the time) nearly the speed of the gpu and the flexibility of the cpu is now being eliminated by gpu's and multi cores/processor computers that can do the same work.

    2. the PS3 been a static area in terms of performance over the years. (cpu not getting faster in them and amount of users been flat-lining lately)

    3. PS3 probably need a special WU made for it so it cant take these "one WU for all clients" approach.


    Basicly to simply put, for what there able to get out of it and the amount of work needed to keep the PS3 going is not worth the rewards anymore.

  • 5 Hide
    warmon6 , October 23, 2012 6:55 PM
    Also forgot to mention that there is a strong possibility (or hope) that the PS4 will support F@H.

    http://foldingforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=22766#p226826

    Quote:
    Re: Sony announces PS3 folding to end in November 2012
    by VijayPande » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:03 pm

    We've made an announcement as well. We're working on new technologies as well with new collaborations, including hopefully the PS4. We generally don't talk about things until they're released though.

  • 6 Hide
    warmon6 , October 23, 2012 7:02 PM
    lostmyclanF@H is the best thing in the world Why the sony put down that ? I hope The CEO of Sony have cancer!


    Without having all the info, you cant point out that it sony that's pulling the support. As you see in my comments above, there been quite a bit going at Stanford that make me believe that it's a joint decision or stanford thats pulling the support.
  • 1 Hide
    raytseng , October 23, 2012 7:02 PM
    "Back in 2007, when the program was introduced on PlayStation, the game console offered tremendous floating point processing power to drive Folding@Home simulations, but developments have given new GPUs the lead. "

    What are the numbers? in terms of PS3 contribution vs. GPU total. and speed? anybody?
  • 0 Hide
    warmon6 , October 23, 2012 7:22 PM
    raytseng"What are the numbers? in terms of PS3 contribution vs. GPU total. and speed? anybody?


    Sadly, im sure the exact info your looking for only Stanford would have. I can lead you these to sites and allow you to piece the info together your self but even then, you wont have everything

    http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/main.py?qtype=osstats
    http://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/user_summary.php?s=&u=207511

  • 0 Hide
    adipose , October 23, 2012 7:55 PM
    - PS2 backward compatibility (both hardware then software emulation)
    - Linux support / OtherOS
    - 2 USB ports
    - Card reader
    - and now Folding@Home

    I'm not sure I agree with the list. For example, my PS3 is a 20GB model. It never had more than two USB ports. It never had a card reader. So the feature wasn't really removed, it was a premium feature.

    PS3 backwards compatibility wasn't removed. It just wasn't kept around in newer models. My PS3 is still 100% backwards compatible. I only used it for the first 2 years anyway. Now there is no way I would play PS2 games, with all the PS3 titles available.

    Linux support and Folding@home are legitimate examples. But of the two, only Linux really matters to end users (and that only affects a tiny portion of users).

    While I would love to see backwards compatibility come back to the PS3 in a future model (or PS4), in reality it doesn't make sense. When the PS3 came out, it was necessary, but that time has passed. Now it's a luxury those of us who bought FAT PS3s have, but rarely take advantage of.

    If people are still on the fence over whether to buy a PS3 at this late date, they aren't the customers Sony is interested in. Those customers won't be happy until they have a PS3 with all the original features for $100. But it was the drive to create a cheaper device for the cheaper gamers out there, that led to the removal of the cool features like backwards compatibility and memory card readers.

    As for Linux and Folding...meh.
  • -4 Hide
    thillntn , October 23, 2012 8:12 PM
    I hope they hurry up and remove themselves from the gaming industry, small number of users or not $ony should not have removed linux. I used to have 5 of these running f@h before I port blocked them to local only. I ran them in the winter mostly...free heat LOL.
  • -5 Hide
    nameon , October 23, 2012 8:16 PM
    zakaronNot really surprised, this is just another casualty in scaling back the PS3 capabilities. For those keeping score, we lost:- PS2 backward compatibility (both hardware then software emulation)- Linux support / OtherOS- 2 USB ports- Card reader- and now Folding@HomeI'm sure I probably missed some, but it's certainly not the same machine it was when it released in 2006. Granted, we did gain other functionality over the years, but still unfortunate to see features cut.


    You sir are almost right in evri thing you said, except one piece, What functionality did the PS3 gain over the years becoz really i didnt notice any improvements, just hearing more news of less features resulting from updates...
    ...Meanwhile at least the 360 had built in hardware for the long run, the updates keep making the platfrom stronger (and yes, i have owned 2 ps3s, that are now dead)
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , October 23, 2012 8:35 PM
    Maybe the PS3 isn't as fuel efficient as newer GPUs so it's the green thing to do? I think users should still have an option to use it on the PS3
  • -1 Hide
    billgatez , October 23, 2012 9:12 PM
    Why remove this? What gains does Sony get from doing this. All i see is loss of compute power for a good cause. Sure there no longer the fastest but every bit count's.

    Well MS keeps improving the xbox, making it better with wireless-N, Knect, Smaller cooler running. You have striped back the PS3 to a flimsy cheap plastic box. with a loading tray like that of a 90's CD player.
  • 0 Hide
    v90k , October 23, 2012 9:18 PM
    adipose- my PS3 is a 20GB model. It never had more than two USB ports. It never had a card reader.


    All the models before the release of the 20GB savers model came standard with 4 USB ports and card reader. So really they were not premium features. Sony just cut them out to cut costs.

    adipose-PS3 backwards compatibility wasn't removed. It just wasn't kept around in newer models.


    That means the same thing as removed.

    adipose-While I would love to see backwards compatibility come back to the PS3 in a future model (or PS4), in reality it doesn't make sense.


    Makes perfect sense to those who have purchased tons of games and would still like to play them for various reasons without having to use a different console each time.
  • -1 Hide
    jhansonxi , October 23, 2012 9:35 PM
    Just add it back yourself (and anything else you want):
    http://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2012/10/23/ps3-lv0-keys-leaked-cfw-released-security-hole-reportedly-unpatchable/
  • -2 Hide
    elekko , October 23, 2012 9:38 PM
    Soon they will remove the support for playing PS3 games
  • 1 Hide
    adipose , October 23, 2012 10:11 PM
    v90k:

    Sorry for the confusion. I have a 20GB model (original $499 model, not saver's). You are right, it did have 4 USB, but it did not have a memory card reader. It also did not have WIFI.

    My mistake on the 4 USB, but I consider the memory card reader a "luxury" item, since on day 1, the 20GB model (a very popular model in the beginning), did not have it.

    > That means the same thing as removed.

    What I mean is, it wasn't removed from consoles that already had it (unlike Linux support). There's a difference in taking a feature from a customer who purchased that feature, and just not selling a feature anymore.

    But I agree, it sucks that it's gone, if only for occasional nostalgia. But honestly, I have it and never use it. I do hope they bring it back on the PS4, but at that point I will care more about PS3 backwards compat...
  • 2 Hide
    bryonhowley , October 23, 2012 10:19 PM
    Well since I have not or never will use my PS3 for Folding@Home it is of no great loss. I use my PS3 as a Media Server and that is all it is good for to me.
  • 2 Hide
    festerovic , October 23, 2012 10:21 PM
    possibly removed due to people folding 24/7 and overheating and causing defective units....Although I don't think Ive seen any of my friends folding in years...
  • 1 Hide
    UVB076 , October 23, 2012 10:37 PM
    Backwards compatibility is useful because I for one, like to play actual Ace Combat games, not "Press triangle for 'murrica"
  • 0 Hide
    adipose , October 23, 2012 10:50 PM
    I wasn't saying backwards compatibility isn't useful, but that it doesn't make sense for Sony to include it anymore. By removing it, they save money and most buyers don't care. The time for that was when the PS3 was new, not when it is near the end of its life.

    I do wish they would sell it in the form of a $50 addon, so in case my PS3 FAT dies, there will at least be options if I want to play something from my PS2 library.
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