Remember a while back when Sony revealed the [email protected] option within its PlayStation 3 consoles and everyone got warm fuzzies in their tummies and Phil Harrison visited all of our homes on a unicorn to give us each a puppy? As it turns out, that entire thing was some kind of elaborate Trojan Horse, designed to suck money from companies willing to exploit the spare cycles inherent in the always-on PS3.
According to this piece at MCV, Sony is in talks with companies interested in handing them fat bags o' cash in exchange for time with their distributed console network. The tremendous computing power of all those PSTriples is at super-computer levels, and, as you could probably guess, there are quite a few very wealthy companies who would love to be able to harness that kind of power for research, large-scale rendering and sexy, sexy porno.
While consumers were eager to donate their spare cycles to Stanford to aid in the fight against degenerating proteins, will they be as eager to donate their spare cycles to Monsanto to aid in their ongoing struggle to grow corn with realistic human genitalia?
[Addendum: Since it was mentioned in the comments that consumers ought to be given an incentive to assist companies with their consoles, I thought I should add this quote from the MCV piece:
The Financial Times reports that Sony is ‘studying’ whether it needs to offers incentives to gamers, such as free products, to get them to participate in a similar scheme for profit-seeking companies.
Happy now? The fact that they have to 'study' whether or not people would willingly give large corporations their computing power only proves that Sony is hopelessly out of touch with its average consumer.]