Helios could turn Sony’s PlayStation 3 (PS3) into a business tool, after figuring out how to install its media asset management software on the console.

The company has customised a version of Linux to allow its server suite to run on the PS3 hardware, and will release a free installer (which uses the Yellow Dog Linux distribution) through UK distributor, JPY's website on 1 June.

The installer includes a test drive version of Helios UB, the enterprise client server solution which customarily works on a more expensive IBM Blade Server or Xserve. Helios reckons using a PS3 cuts the cost of deploying such solutions to under £500.

The bundle included on the disc image will run for four hours at a time, allowing users to see what the software can do.

Helios managing director, Dr John Yardley said: "It might seem like a crazy idea, but pound for pound the PS3 offers amazing power. I expect plenty of Linux enthusiasts will find good uses for the installation, which includes powerful tools like EtherShare and WebShare. Getting Helios running on the platform is akin to cramming a Spitfire engine into a Mini!"

The PS3 uses a 64-bit Cell processor that runs at 3.2GHz, is PowerPC-compatible with 256MB of main memory, and has performance comparable to a single processor G5 Power Mac.