Since 2007, Playstation 3 owners have been able to take part in Stanford University’s Folding@home project through the Life with Playstation app. Unused processor cycles from the consoles of participants have led to the school acquiring massive amounts of data for use in the fight against Cancer, Huntington’s disease and a variety of other illnesses. According to the folks at Stanford in charge of the project, their data mining has led to a Alzheimer's Disease treatment they hope to soon turn into a "viable drug."
Via its European Playstation Blog, Sony revealed that support for the Life with Playstation app will end in November, therefore Folding@home will no longer work on the console. New participants will be unable to sign up for the project after tomorrow’s firmware update. Why is Sony ending the project now? That, my friends, is a mystery.
Approximately 15 million individuals access Folding@home through the PS3; it was the second most popular way to participate in the project.. Losing that user base along with access to the console’s Cell Processor will be a big setback for Stanford; however, Folding@home isn’t going anywhere. Those with either a PC or Mac will still be able to donate their unused processor cycles.
I’ve reached out to Sony Computer Entertainment for a quote on why the service will no longer be supported. If and when they get back to me, I’ll update this post.