Since the PS2's advent, Sony and Microsoft have talked up their console's processing power. Enterprising gearheads have taken this as a challenge, and have come up with all kinds of applications for PlayStation and Xbox hardware. Taking a cue from Seti@Home, Entropia and World Community Grid, Sony plans to harness the PS3's computing power and networkability in their software update at the end of this month.
The update will create a "Folding@home" icon onscreen that users can click, which will enable the network-connected PS3 to devote some of its idle processing power to a Stanford University grid networking project that will study "misfolded" proteins that may be at the root of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and some cancers. So the next time a skeptic asks why you waste your time with game consoles, tell them you're doing it for science.