We mentioned the new Sony Playstation-edu initiative when it was announced; now, Senior Manager of Developer Support at SCEA Mark Danks explains a bit more about the program and it's goals (and the cost). If colleges and universities enter into this sort of relationship with Sony, they will have lovely legal language to follow, but can get access to PS2 and PSP dev kits for $2,000 and $1,500 a pop, respectively:
Danks introduced the concept for PlayStation-edu — "It's mostly about getting schools hardware, to learn how the actual platform works. Not for research and development, for computer science and engineering, and not for art. The goal is to reach the people who care about the metal — engine level coders who like to write in assembly."
"Consoles and multi-core are here to stay," continued Danks. "Beyond that all things change and you need to learn the basics at the low level. So Assembly is here to stay!"
"A lot of schools are treating game education like trade school," argued Danks. "Too many students can't explain a pointer, can't explain memory caches, can't explain bus contention, can't explain how a complier works, cant explain a software rasterizer, can't explain a race condition…"
He goes on to talk about the legal agreements that will be required and the three tier structure of the program. Sounds like a promising idea, but academia is very hard to change — and slow to come around in many cases. We'll see how long it takes this idea to take root.
Sony's Danks Details PlayStation-edu Initiative [Gamasutra]