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Sony to expand Linux for PlayStation 2

The company says it will release a Linux-enabled version of its PS2 video game console for Europe and other markets following a Japanese launch over the summer.

By Matthew Broersma

Sony Computer Entertainment announced it will release a Linux-enabled version of its PlayStation 2 video game console for worldwide release following a Japanese launch over the summer.

SCEI's chief technical officer, Shin'ichi Okamoto, said at a presentation at the Rambus Developer Forum in San Jose, Calif., that the company was planning to make an announcement about a "worldwide" version of the kit "soon," although he did not give a release date.

Sony launched Linux for the PS2 in Japan in June, in response to customer demand, but that kit only operates on Japanese machines. At the conference, Sony demonstrated several Linux applications running on the console.

The Linux operating system has gained wide support among software developers because its source code is available and can be freely altered. It is seen as a competitor to Microsoft's Windows in several markets including servers and ultimately the desktop.

Sony conducted a poll earlier this year to gauge Linux interest among American PlayStation 2 owners.

Staff writer Matthew Broersma reported from London.