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It seemed like a no-brainer for Microsoft: Use its massive software market share to win over game players to its Xbox console. It could sell a powerful, graphics-enhanced computer for about $180 and sit back as the dollars rolled in from royalties for every Xbox game sold. The plan to practically give away its Xbox hardware would be offset by all the money it would make on selling software games. What Microsoft didn't count on was the fervor of game fanatics intent on hacking the Xbox hardware to get a nearly free computer.
it isn't exactly trivial to put linux on a ps2. In fact, Sony endorses it.
For about $200 you can get (ver batem from http://playstation2-linux.com/ )
"*Internal hard disc drive (for PlayStation 2) (HDD) with a 40 GB capacity
*Network Adaptor (Ethernet) (for PlayStation 2) 10/100 Base-T Ethernet interface
*Computer Monitor Cable (for PlayStation 2) (with audio connectors)
*USB Keyboard and Mouse (for PlayStation 2)
*Linux (for PlayStation 2) version 1.0 software distribution on 2 DVD-ROM Discs
-DISC 1 contains the Runtime Environment and the PlayStation 2 System Manuals and is Sony Computer Entertainment Copyright material.
-DISC 2 contains the Software Packages to be installed. This is the main Linux distribution. Each software package has its own license. "
Additionally, the restrictions for distributing your work only must conform to the licenses of the software/libraries (which would most likely be GPL,LGPL,BSD or any versions of those) and the EULA (http://playstation2-linux.com/legal/eula.php).