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Acer Labs' (ALI) Plans Box To Play PS2 Games, DVD 55

bemis writes: "Techweb has an article about Acer's plans to bring PC and PSX gaming to DVD players in China next year (and hopefully domestically here in the U.S.) ..they are also ramping up a chipset for 266MHz DDR SDRAM for Athlon systems to bring the bus speed up from a paltry 200MHz." Not much detail is given about the hinted-at game / video boxes, but the project sounds pretty ambitious. At this rate, DVD players will pass the $100 mark soon.
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Acer Labs' (ALI) Plans Box To Play PS2 Games, DVD

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  • by pb ( 1020 )
    It sounds great to me, but...

    I see a pissed-off Sony Corporation in their future.
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • by weeeee ( 196575 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @06:36PM (#678433) Homepage
    It doesn't do PS2, just the original PSX
  • Guys...

    first, no where in this article does it say PS2. It says this system will play playstation games.
    second, look at the hardware specs. i'm sorry, but i highly doubt an athlon can emulate a full ps2...

    let's put a little more thought into this stuff, eh?
  • Nowhere in the article does it mention that this project was cleared by Sony.

    Despite Connectix's legal wins regarding this matter, it's still on the books that reverse-engineering this stuff is illegal. Hmmm...
  • by discore ( 80674 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @06:44PM (#678436) Homepage
    What sort of controllers will be used? My experiance with PC "gamepads" has been moderate to poor.
    PC games are designed to use a mouse and a keyboard. Console games are designed for that systems control pad. It's how it is, and it's probably how it's going to stay.
    Will their controllers provide support for PS2's pressure sensative buttons? Will they be sleek and comfy? Will it provide enough buttons to satisfy an every-key-used-game like THPS? Will it still be simple enough to play Puzzle Fighter on?
    I think that the chip is an ok idea, but there is a fine line between PC games and Console games. Look at Quake* for example. On PC for a while, huge hit, great game. N64 (or whatever your favorite console gaming system is) version of it comes out and sure its fun to play for a little bit. But does it really compare to the PC version? I think not.
    The line must be drawn! All arrows point to this system failing or doing moderatly well.
  • I realize this article is speaking specifically of a chip, but the point of "lines between pc and computer games" is quite clear.
  • Yet Another Microprocessor... supposedly true RISC this time.

    I suppose the difference is they aren't targetting it at high end stuff at all at the moment. But playing PC games on an embedded device seems a bit fishy. Incidentally, the article says Playstation, not Playstation 2. That makes a lot more sense, because even if it was a high performance device, the PS2 uses RDRAM, which makes for a very different architecture that is based on a high bandwidth backbone, rather than large buffers made from cheaper memory.

    Anyway, it won't be replacing your P3 or Athlon anytime soon.

  • by ToLu the Happy Furby ( 63586 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @06:52PM (#678439)
    Way to read the article, folks. "And at its labs in China, the company is developing an embedded operating system and emulation software that would run PC and Sony Playstation games on the RISC chip"

    This is a general-purpose, 300MHz RISC chip. There is no way in hell it could emulate the special-purpose, 300MHz SIMD-based Emotion Engine, nor its dual-channel RDRAM memory.

    Nor is there any reason why ALi would ever want to do so. All gaming consoles, including the PS2, are sold at a loss. The only reason Sony wants to sell PS2s is that they make money on licensing fees for each game sold. The console is a loss leader. There is no way to make a PS2 for less than $300; if there was, Sony would sell them for less than $300. Therefore it is a very simple conclusion that this chip emulates the PS1--simple enough to be emulated without incurring additional cost--not the state-of-the-art PS2.

    Shame on /. once again.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    how much is a Playstation 1 going for on ebay? about $60 with a few games.. if we wanted to play playstation games on a computer, we already can do that no problem! more impressive would be to load Tao Group's Elate OS or some other spiffy OS on it. Gee, a brand new processor can keep up with a 386 at 33mhz! great news! this thing is just destined to be lost in the huge competition for embedded Internet(copyright Al Gore) devices, which no one is sure they want! Of course, throw this into a PDA and play MP4 movies on it!
  • Chinese officials are good about looking the other way when it comes to IP, especially if it is to the benefit of China. In any other country, whether this idea ultimately ends up being on the level or not, there would be a restraining order against the manufacture of these devices so fast that a small flotilla of Navy ships would have the shipment stopped in the middle of the Pacific.
    There is no K5 [] cabal.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    True. The headline mentioning the PS2 is misleading.

    Further, I doubt the "chip" even emulates the PS1. The PS1 can be pretty well emulated in software with a good PC (certainly a system with basic 3D acceleration and Athlon or P4 -- which the article mentions can handle it). My guess is they are simply licensing bleem! or Connectix's VGS to handle the Playstation part.

  • the question also becomes one of licensing. is sony just going to roll over and say "go for it boys and girls, you can just take half of our hardware gaming market"

    although sony is purported to be allowing reverse engineering (am i correct here?) and they do, in point of fact, make the vast majority of their money off video game sales, not the console, this is still going to take a huge bite out of their wallet.

    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • The concept sounds interesting, to me it sounds reminiscent of the X-Box. But this has Playstation support too. Can't Acer get sued over this? I read the article, but I didn't see if the article meant that you could POTENTIALLY play Playstation games on this DVD player natively or if you had to install third party software (Bleem!). I know Sony took Bleem! to court (they haven't won a case yet). Isn't Acer in danger of butting heads with The Big Boys at Sony? I wonder if we could see a "universal" console system that supported every console in the market that used the same kind of media, like CDs. Interesting.
  • A remote for a controller. Not exactly the best setup on earth. I think they would have to include a playstation controller.

    Also, isn't this what the PS2 does? Plays PS1 games, and DVDs?
    This seems to be the wave of the future though, since the induhviduals at the top of corporations like to include a bunch of stuff in one. That's why M$ sucks so bad, they try to do everything. (as I'm writing from a win98 box...)
  • Hmm.. even though the article claims that its the Sony Playstation not the PS2 that this device will be able to play, its still mighty illegal in most places.
    The people behind it probably know that, and they've found the perfect market: Instead of the super-tech-savvy Japanese who A: wouldn't buy it because the extra features aren't really worth the extra money and B: Sony would slam them down oh so fast, they hit the Chinese, a bunch of people who in general are more likely to appreciate the product and MUCH less likely to cause a legal fiasco.

  • No, Playstation 1. Did anyone read the article, or are the editors just flaming idiots? =)
  • heh. that means the PS1 emulation hardware is going to be worthless in, what, 2 days now?

    fuck...right now i couldn't PAY a used game store to take my PSX off my hands.

    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • PSX eh?

    At least this is a step on the road to burying the xbox.

  • That's right! They never made an N64 emulator, either...

    Wait, one was made. Wake the fuck up.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I don't know who designed those ads with the two guys screaming "VI!" and "EMACS!", but I'll cut them some slack and not hold it against 'em if they'd please just withdraw these ads. I really don't need to see animated .gifs of these two guys who somehow appear to both be simultaneously taking it up the ass. If I want to see stuff like that, I'd check out the Geek Compound webcam feed.

  • Despite Connectix's legal wins regarding this matter, it's still on the books that reverse-engineering this stuff is illegal. Hmmm...

    "Illegal" in the USA does not mean it's illegal everywhere else in the world. It may upset our western ideals of IP bigtime, but how is it any different from Bleem! which by all accounts appears to be very much welcomed by those who want to play PSX games on their Mac/PC/Dreamcast hardware.

    Obviously Bleem! is a software-only solution. But at which point do you draw the line: actually producing their own hardware to run the emulation on is not very different from writing emulation software to run on someone elses hardware. My question here is that would this provoke the same reaction as an announcement that they were producing a PS emulator which was to run under [insert favourite OS here]?

    I'm by no means proposing that this is A Good Thing, or indeed that emulation of other peoples ideas is wrong. I just think valued discussion is called for (which is what we're all doing on Slashdot, isn't it? :-)

  • Sony take a loss on each PS/PS2 sold

    They make the money back on the games sold.

    This will create consoles they don't have to take a loss for. But they'll still get the money for the games sold.

    The concern should be whether this can provide reasonable performance. But that should be a market concern.

    Sony may pretend to be outraged but i don't think they'll mind much.

  • It sounds like this will compete with the Playstation and the X-Box, going after people who are too cheap to buy real PC's or real consoles.

    But people always get upset about other systems playing their games, especially when they have protection built into the CD's to stop stuff just like this.

    Of course it's all just competition, but it starts to get unfair when one corporation gets significantly large...
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • Matsushita [] (the parent company of Panasonic []), who are providing Nintendo with their proprietary DVD drives and 8cm mini-DVDs, plan on intergrating the abiliy to play Gamecube games into their line of DVD players in Japan.

    These hybrid systems are currently only slated for a Japanese release, with no US release planned (where US release = anywhere outside Japan). At the moment, Nintendo is trying to go down the 'games only' road (which I personally believe in), so I doubt they'll make a big push for the hybrid to be released outside Japan.

    There are heaps of news stories around on Matsushita and their somewhat hazy Gamecube plans, and instead of me putting in heaps of effort and actully making heaps of links, I'll make you all a special link today ;)

    Google search for 'Matsushita Gamecube dvd movies'. []

    Heaps of articles there, enjoy. :)

    (Offtopic rant: The best thing happening in the gaming world in the next week is the US release of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Nothing else worthwhile is happening.)

  • So when are we going to see DVD players that play Dreamcast games (since Sega is officially licensing the technology). This is a shitty situation for people who already own older DVD players and payed more than 200$ for them yet see newer better faster ones come out all the time. Why should we buy this shit anymore? I got a DVD for the express purpose of being able to watch the Star Wars quadtology in widescreen with full DTS sound. Then I learned that this isn't going to happen until 2372 because George Lucas in a cry baby. Should I ditch my current DVD player and get a PS2 so I can play games whilst waiting for SW on DVD? The hardware is in my living room, where the fuck is my fucking content?
  • by Why Should I ( 247317 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @08:30PM (#678457) Homepage
    Isn't there some law about licencing CSS on machines with software and DVD capabilities as opposed to DVD players with CSS in hardware. Won't this decision place the DVD player in the computer category and hence void the CSS licence?
  • a dvd player for under a hundred bucks? where? seriously, a decent one costs about $150 - $200.

  • Are you kidding? I work at a game store. We are still actively taking in PSX's, and usually get a call a day about the ORIGINAL PSX. Normally, once weve bought a used one, we can't keep in on our shelves for more than 24 hours!
  • i do think that they won't mind so much... seeing as how a wider user base means more software developers will pay sony money to make games for their system... just make sense to me...

  • I totally disagree with you on this issue. Chinese officials do not turn the other way when concerning these issues. I was in China all summer, and in fact, just recently, 86 internet cafe's were shut down in Shanghai alone due to software piracy. The problem is not that Chinese officials are looking the other way, the problem is the massive amounts of people who are pirating. I guarantee that this instance will not be overlooked by Chinese officials.
  • This is a shitty situation for people who already own older DVD players and payed more than 200$ for them yet see newer better faster ones come out all the time

    So you don't actually own a home computer then? Otherwise you'll be shaking your fists in anger at those pesky kids down at AMD and Intel every time they up the MHz rating, or sticking your fingers down your throat when the new distro of SuSE comes out.

    Get real! Your DVD player isn't a white-box item like a fridge, it's a computer in a box. Things move on... if you don't like it, don't subscribe to the bandwagon!

    I got a DVD for the express purpose of being able to watch the Star Wars quadtology in widescreen with full DTS sound. Then I learned that this isn't going to happen until 2372 because George Lucas in a cry baby.

    So now you're getting upset because you made the decision to buy the product based on either a) vapourware from Lucasarts, or b) false promises.
    Surely it would have been better to wait till the DVDs you wanted came out and then bought the hardware!

    Anway: as to where's the content, I suggest you sit on your butt watching sh*tty films like U571, where the yanks cracked/stole the Enigma device while we British sat drinking Gin or something hahahahahahahaahah!!


  • There exists a PC game controller that looks and acts exactly like the PSX (non-analog) controller. It's quite popular with the Bleem! crowd, or so I hear.

  • If a machine can do PC games, it can probably also do PS/2 games with something like MoSlo.
  • Sig11, TrollMastah, Patrick Bateman, OOG - you've all said good-bye and now it's my turn to go to that great place we
    go to when we realize how fatally flawed /. really is and that Rob really doesn't give a damn.

    Moderation / Metamoderation all failed so Rob started taking trolls into his own hands. Bitchslapping and
    changes to the Slashcode have only brought about more abuses to the system. Additions like the time limit
    between posts and the Lameness filter have hurt it's users while /. still ran rampant with penis birds and vulgar,
    racist remarks that outnumbered the useful posts.

    So now, I know noone cares, but I'm going too. I follow in the paths of some truly great people that truly cared about
    the Free Software community. But now, that "community" has evolved into an entity called
    and anyone that still has the notions of being a part of a community is silenced.

    Good bye all. I really can't say I'll be missing you.

  • by zaugg ( 87876 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @09:24PM (#678466)
    I bought a Saitek P2000 Tilt Pad three weeks ago. One day later, I bought another one.

    I was very impressed. It has an analog stick very like the Playstation pad, 2-axis tilt (okay, I don't use it much but feels damn cool in GP3), throttle, d-pad, 4 shoulder buttons, 4 regular buttons and some funky software.

    The buttons don't quite have the same satisfying "push me" quality as those on a N64 or PSX pad, but they're close.

    All this for AU$65.

    Game pads are a must-have for multi-player sports games. A keyboard is pretty cramped even with one player :)


  • Yes, it's cool, but do we really need another box that does nothing that the PC already does?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Don't forget, considering that China is on the verge of joining the WTO, they will have to follow the same rules that we do, thus if Sony even bats an eyebrow, Acer is in it pretty deep.
  • Actually, Microsoft is a pretty bad example. Though the operating systems leave much to be desired, many of Microsoft's other products are rather good. Their Office Suite is certainly one of the best out there. And some of their video games aren't half bad either. Microsoft's introduction of the optical mouse into mainstream seems to have reverbed throughout the industry. Logitech and other mouse manufacturers have each come out with their own offerings and Apples are now coming with optical mice as part of the standard setups. I bought a Microsoft Intellitype Internet Keyboard to replace my old IBM keyboard. (I loved that thing. Heavy, easy to clean, loud clicky keys, and a cord that looks like it came off of a telephone -- a perfect tool in its day.) I found the angled keys very comfortable and actually noticed a 10WPM increase in my typing speed, though it took some getting used to. The internet keys are useful, as are the My Computer and Calculator buttons. I recently also purchased a Microsoft USB Gamepad Pro. I have to say that it is one of the best controllers I have ever purchased. Though Gravis has one that better simulates a PSX controller, I would never give up my Microsoft Gamepad. The D-pad is extra smooth, and it is built in such a way that different styles (and there are lots) of holding the controller are all conveniently done. I'm not saying that Microsoft is a great corporation. I'm not saying that I condone their business ethics. But I am saying that they make some damned good USB devices, which kinda refutes what you were saying.
  • Actually, I wasn't referring so much to the actual hardware, which is above average. I was merely mentioning their practice of packaging everything in the OS, which KINDA, just SORTA MAYBE limits my choice of what to use. I'd rather have a choice. I really did like netscape.
  • I just hook PSX controllers directly to my PC via the parallel port - I still haven't found a PC gamepad that comes close. [] has schematics for the lead (very simple for the PSX and most others, a nightmare for the N64!) and the software to use it. Under Windows, it's got a driver that makes it a generic 10-button joystick and you can even use the analogue sticks. Source for the joystick-scanning bit is available if you want to develop something for another OS.

    Get hold of a controller extension lead and you don't even need to chop up the original - I'm planning to mount the controller port on the front of my PC when I get round to it..

    If you've already got the controllers, it's a lot cheaper than buying new ones :)


  • Linux has support for this, actually; there are diagrams for it in the Documentation section, and drivers in the Joystick section of the kernel configuration.

    I haven't tried it, mind you, because that's a hardware problem. :)
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • by Anonymous Coward
    1. There's no law concerning CSS.

    2. What exactly are you implying? They're voiding the CSS license (which you haven't even read) because they're implementing it in software instead of hardware? Software players do exist you know.
  • ... it will probably break down in about 3 months... :(

    Has anyone else here had problems with Acer products? I've resolved never to buy from them again.
  • We'll all miss you man *Sniffle* *Sniffle*
  • There's no way that a current PC is going to be emulating a PS2 at anything approaching playable speeds in the near future. Dreamcast emulation isn't really feasible yet, and that's a system that's much close to the PC in architecture and spec.

    Right now the only way to get PS2 functionality in a DVD player is to license the chips from Sony, and with their problems supplying enough for their own launch I doubt that's a real possibility.

  • The PS/2 is not the PS2.
  • Er well no, and yes.

    Depends on who you believe about the ownership of Taiwan, the Americans, the Taiwanese or the Chinese.
    China refuses to recognise Taiwan as an independant country.

    The Taiwanese think they are an independant country.

    The Americans, who are always right, think that China is silly, and that Taiwan definately is a new sta.. erm.. its own country.

    Check yr facts 2, matey.

  • At this rate, DVD players will pass the $100 mark soon.

    They have already broken this mark. I saw a DVD player yesterday at best buy for $99. The manufacturer was KLH, and at that price, I wouldn't expect much. Nonetheless, the fact that prices have dropped this far is fairly impressive.
  • Nope. never have - I currently have an Acer Power 8400 and it's a rock solid computer. Definetely the best I've had in ages - and I've tried it all, including building several PCs of my own.

    As someone that will be marrying an Acer employee in 2 weeks (she works at headquarters, in Taiwan) I also know a lot of "insider" information. You'd be suprised who Acer OEMs for. In other words, just because you don't see an Acer sticker doesn't mean it's not Acer anyway :) And nobody seem to have anything bad to say about these brands...
  • There's no way that a current PC is going to be emulating a PS2

    1. I didn't say PS2 (PlayStation 2). I said PS/2 (IBM Personal System/2).

    at anything approaching playable speeds in the near future

    Most PC games designed to run at PS/2 CPU clock speeds are already unplayable; this is why I suggested MoSlo.

  • I have a gamepad pro, and I hate it.

    Hear me out: I like the similar button layout to the playstation pad, but the directional pad leaves a LOT to be desired. When playing in mame or a SNES emu of SF2 (or any other game with "combos"), you tend to not get the exact directions you want, and in other cases (mame32+contra arcade) it's nearly impossible to use (try to push down without wavering to a sse or ssw position... it's frustrating!)

    I had a roomate that built an adapter for the PS pad --> computer, and it worked well.. Methinks I'll go pick up an extension cable and a parallel port cable :)
  • I'm somewhat sure that the piracy in China is at least ignored by the officials. Sure there may be a bust or two, but it is the benefit of China that piracy occurs. After all, how do you expect a nation that has the economy of a third world country to afford a $400 copy of Microsoft Office 2000. Of course, that is one of the reasons why China endorsed Linux, cheaper software.
  • Reminds me of Sharp's Super Famicom-compatible TVs (with amazing monaural sound system! =), Pioneer's Mega Drive/PC Engine-compatible laserdisc player, Sega & Aiwa's (or was it Sony?) boombox/Mega Drive hybrid, and Sega's never-released i286-based PC/Mega Drive hybrid.

    Makes me wish I had some extra cash to spend, just to collect all this stuff we'd never see in the U.S. (except for the Pioneer LD player).

    I dunno about Majora's Mask being the _only_ interesting thing happening on the 26th (though dammit if I'm not excited). I've heard random mumbling about some other fringe game-related thingy going on in the U.S. at around that time. Apparently some guys calling themselves "Sony" are releasing the vehicle for the next dozen Final Fantasies or so.

    < tofuhead >

  • All these people PsyKe-d about PS2 emulation are full of Bleem! I feel so MAMED by the RAINE of Callus comments that it provokes me to RAGE. The IMPACT of this MESS is giving me a Genecyst on my NESticle...

    In the face of Nightmare, pray for shall guide you through the DarcNES...

  • What do you mean newbie? kwsNI is not a newbie, he is a slashdot grandpa. We have been on /. since before Redhat was trying to take Microsoft's place as most hated developer by Linux users.

    Before you go off spouting your mouth, you might want to stop being a troll for 1 minute and take something seriously for a change. kwsNI has a point, as does Sig11. /. is hurt. Rob has messed up the system to try to optomize usage for VA Linux. It's not an OSS site anymore, the news sucks and the posts come from people, who quite honestly, are mostly idiots.

    -MunKy_v2 []

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.