Linux enthusiasts in the U.S. and Europe had urged Sony to make the PS2 Linux kit available beyond Japan and Sony complied. Sony Computer Entertainment begun shipping the kit, which in fact turns the PlayStation 2 into a Linux console. The package offers a combination of hardware and software, including a 40GB hard disk, 10/100Mbps network adapter, USB keyboard and mouse, monitor cable and a Linux installation DVD-ROM, which transforms the PS2 into a Linux PC.
At the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in January, Sony had announced their decision to make these kits available in the U.S. and Europe and by shipping them now they have met the deadline which they had set then.
In the U.S. Sony had been taking orders for the kit since March and its price has been set at US$199. In the U.K. the kit will cost 182 Pounds while in the rest of Europe it will be available for 249 Euros.
The 9,000 signatures on the petition requesting that Sony release the Linux kit in the U.S and Europe were adequate for Sony to comply but are by no means an indication that the kit will become a commercial success. It is not however, Sony's intention to succeed commercially. Rather, they are hoping that they will broaden the PS2's appeal and reach the hobbyists and Linux enthusiasts and possibly get some of the users to begin developing for the platform.
In the future, we hope an army of PlayStation developers takes hold, said, in a January interview, Dominic Mallinson, director of technology for Sony's North American research and development group. We are doing this largely for noncommercial reasons. If it just pays for itself as an operating cost, that's fine with us.
The PS2 Linux Kit will be made available mostly through the internet since according to Sony By distributing the kit via this Web site, we hope to avoid any confusion about what it is, and who it is suitable for, and thus save disappointing those individuals who might buy it in error.
The kit is now available through Sony's European Site, the U.S. Site, the Australian Site and the New Zealand Site.