I seem to recall something about this a few years ago, but it never materialised. It occured to me today that the open nature of Linux would make an ideal "open games console". Let me try to explain what I mean: I think gaming on the PC is dying. Most games now come out on consoles with the PC still being very strong on FPS and MMORPG's. But how long will this last? I see the PC being pushed further and further back in games shops. The reason for this is a lack of a standard. Games can't be written for the very latest machines because most people have moderate hardware and the latest, cutting edge, systems are so expensive people often don't keep pace. Therefore consoles provide a an ideal platform for games: developers know exactly what hardware their game will be running on and can optimise for that. But, what if there were a "standard" Linux based PC. The standard could be updated every couple of years. For arguments sake, let's call the machine the L Box . In 2003 a hardware specification is written down. Games developers could target this and know it would not change. But as new hardware is developed a new standard could be published. So, in 2005 a new L Box standard is targetted. The important point is that the standard is set in stone for a period of time and only changes at a known point in time. It does not increment constantly like most PC's. Example Hardware For example, the 2003 L Box could be: AMD Athlon XP1800 GF4 Ti 4200 256Mb RAM 5.1 sound card Running a modified Linux distro (don't know much about Linux yet so hard for me to comment) The hardware would deliberately be middle of the road, rather than cutting edge. This keeps it affordable and therefore attainable by a wider audience. However it should still compete with consoles (admittedly at a higher price). This box would not be made by any company (to start with), but anyone who wanted one would build it themself. So the hard drive size, the network card, the modem/broadband and case etc are entirely up to the builder. But the important point is that the software company knows exactly what CPU, graphics, memory and sound that the machine will have. How To Get Software Houses Onboard Clearly no software house will develop for such a machine at the outset. It simply wouldn't compete in numbers against a Windows based machine. So, for the first couple of years it would be down to freelance people like ourselves: people who would write stuff just for the fun of it. This happened a bit with the Sony PS1 Yaruzo project I seem to recall. Just as an idea... Anyone for MAME. Gradually, this could build up into a cult area, just like people in the early Spectrum and C64 days played around with writing games. But Why? I can see several advantages of this: 1) MS donimance in the PC world includes gamers. If you want to run games then you must have Windows (ok I know some will disagree, but for Mr Average this is true). This breaks that hold. Once that is broken then there is no need to run Windows at all. 2) There is no easily accessible machine for beginners to cut their teeth with writing games... this, at least in the early days would provide that platform. 3) The machine is buillt by the user so is customisable by them... as long as the core specification is adhered to (cpu, gfx, memory, sound). 4) Eventually hardware developers may try building them, reducing cost. This will only happen if software companies have jumped on board, so will be a little way into the future. 5) It would be fun 6) It would be a strong incentive for software companies to start making Linux ports (full marks to companies like Id for Quake). Ok, maybe there are some glaringly big holes in that idea, or maybe even it exists already (as I said, I am new to Linux - got the RH8 distro here but not installed quite yet - waiting for new hard drive). But feel free to comment (or shoot me down in flames).