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Rumor: PlayStation 4 (PS4) Developer Kits Shipping, AMD A10 Based


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91w ago - Following up on the previous PlayStation 4 rumors, today VG247 (linked above) reports that Sony's PlayStation 4 (PS4) developer kits are now shipping and utilize the AMD A10 series as a base.

Below are the details, to quote: "Developers are currently taking receipt of a new PlayStation 4 dev kit, VG247 has been told today, with a final version slated to appear in January. Yes, it'll have Blu-ray. No, it isn't being made in Japan.

Multiple sources have confirmed to VG247 today that a new version of the Orbis kit is now shipping to developers, and that it's housed in a normal PC case.

There are to be four versions of the dev kit, we were told. A previous version was essentially just a graphics card. The version shipping now is a "modified PC," and the third version, appearing in January, will be close to final spec. A final version will be delivered to developers "next summer".

Some US developers attended a "disclosure meeting" at Sony's offices this week, with a further meeting to take place in the coming weeks. The purpose of the meeting is for Sony to tell studios what the machine is designed to do, to detail hardware and to show a set of presentations.

Our source told us that Sony is only calling the machine Orbis, and is not using the words "PlayStation 4″ in these meetings at all.

Orbis, we were told today, is based on the AMD's A10 APU series. An APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) is a combined CPU and GPU.

PS4′s APU was described today as a "derivative" of existing A10 hardware. The hardware is "based on A10 system and base platform".

The "ultimate goal" for the hardware, we were told, is for it to be able to run 1080p60 games in 3D with "no problem," to create a machine that's powerful enough for "today and tomorrow's market".

The dev kits have "either 8Gb or 16Gb of RAM. Deduce from that what you will." The hardware is not being made in Japan, it was said.

When asked if PS4 will have an optical drive, specifically Blu-ray, our source responded: "Of course it has." We've been told the hard drive will be 256Gb "as standard," but it's not clear if it'll be a normal HDD or a solid state drive.

We were told that Sony's aim with Orbis is to avoid problems involved in launching PS3 by creating something "very affordable" but that "isn't a slouch".

The machine has WiFi and Ethernet connectivity and HDMI out. Our source said the was "no difference" between PlayStation 3 and Orbis input/output.

The UI, however, has been revamped. It was said today that players will now be able to press the PS button mid-game and travel "anywhere" on the system. An example given was buying DLC from the PS Store mid-game then seamlessly returning to play.

"They're trying to make it as fluid as possible," our source said.

We were also told that the machine will be designed to accept system and product updates in the background, and that it'll "always be in standby mode". When you set the console up, we were told, you'll be asked if you want to allow background downloads. You can, of course, disallow them.

No details have been given on the pad as yet. Confirmation is expected this month. Orbis is expected to be announced at an event "just before E3″ next year."




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kyokusanagi's Avatar
#60 - kyokusanagi - 80w ago
Let us hope the PS4 will be the flashship console , that can play ps1, ps2 ps3 and psp game! And easy to jailbreak it.

sorg's Avatar
#59 - sorg - 80w ago
Wii doesn't emulate GC, and WiiU doesn't emulate Wii. They simply use the same (well, 99% the same) hardware. So, the only N did is wrote different firmware to start GC/Wii mode. It's impossible with PS line where every generation use completely different hardware/architecture. And while it's easy to emulate PSOne, it's not so easy with PS2 and will be almost impossible to emulate PS3 on PS4. But i'm sure at 90% that most PS3 hits will be re-released on PS4.

PS3 News's Avatar
#58 - PS3 News - 80w ago
It's been just over a month since IGN confirmed PlayStation 4 developer kit updates surfaced, and today Sony VP of Home Entertainment Hiroshi Sakamoto has hinted that a PS4 (Orbis) announcement my arrive in May prior to E3 this year.

Below is the scoop, to quote: "He told [Register or Login to view links] in response to a question about "a new announcement related to the new PlayStation," that while the news is "still a big secret," the PlayStation side of Sony, "are getting ready for it."

He of course doesn't directly refer to a "PlayStation 4" or the rumored "Orbis" internal project name. Sakamoto adds that the PlayStation team are "focused on E3," but, "the announcement could take place at that time, or maybe even before, in May."

Sounds like Sony's toying with a pre-E3 event for its next-gen console - E3 takes place on June 11 - 13 - though Mr. Sakamoto's comments are still ambiguous enough that we can't be sure. This is a company that launched three different major hardware iterations of the PlayStation 3, so anything could happen.

When the interviewer follows up on Sakamoto's tease-y answer by asking, "But are you getting ready for a big announcement or something complementary?," Sakamoto continues speaking in ambiguities.

"Probably the former, on that date we hope to deliver big news, but we must wait until May at least," he says. We've followed up with Sony for more, but don't expect to hear much beyond a wink and a smile."

Below are some purported PS4 / Orbis specifications courtesy of [Register or Login to view links], to quote:

Here are the highlights:

• CPU.

Both the next generation PlayStation - and its Xbox competitor - feature eight-core CPUs clocked at 1.6GHz according to sources trusted by Digital Foundry.

The main processor architecture driving both consoles is said to be derived the new "Jaguar" technology currently in development by Intel's arch-rival, AMD. These are low-power processor cores designed for the entry-level laptop and tablet market, offering an excellent ratio between power consumption and performance. The PC Jaguar products are set to ship later this year in a quad-core configuration - next-gen consoles see the core count double with some customisations added to the overall design.

• GPU.

Married to the eight-core processor, Orbis also features Radeon HD graphics hardware. We've previously suggested that AMD's mobile "Pitcairn" design - the Radeon 7970M - could be a strong basis for a next-gen console graphics core in terms of power consumption and die-size. Running at 850MHz and featuring 20 of AMD's "Graphics Core Next" compute units, our information suggests that Orbis shaves off 10 per cent of that number, offering up 18 CUs in total, and sees a mild downclock to 800MHz. Incorporated into a design dedicated to cutting-edge visuals and gameplay, this hardware has some serious potential.

However, there's a fair amount of "secret sauce" in Orbis and we can disclose details on one of the more interesting additions. Paired up with the eight AMD cores, we find a bespoke GPU-like "Compute" module, designed to ease the burden on certain operations - physics calculations are a good example of traditional CPU work that are often hived off to GPU cores. We're assured that this is bespoke hardware that is not a part of the main graphics pipeline but we remain rather mystified by its standalone inclusion, bearing in mind Compute functions could be run off the main graphics cores and that devs could have the option to utilise that power for additional graphical grunt, if they so chose.

• RAM.

We also have hard data on Orbis's memory set-up. It features 4GB of GDDR5 - the ultra-fast RAM that typically ships with the latest PC graphics cards - with 512MB reserved for the operating system. This is in stark contrast to the much slower DDR3 that Durango will almost certainly ship with. Microsoft looks set to be using an offshoot of eDRAM technology connected to the graphics core to offset the bandwidth issues the use of DDR3 incurs. Volume of RAM is the key element in Durango's favour - there'll be 8GB in total, with a significant amount (two sources we've spoken to suggest 3GB in total) reserved for the OS.

Finally, Sony is also expected to drop their popular DualShock design with PlayStation 4. Below are some excerpts from [Register or Login to view links] and [Register or Login to view links], as follows:

Apparently, the new system's controller has undergone a number of different designs, only a few of which resemble the DualShock.

This is what CVG reports:

A senior games studio source working on an upcoming Sony game says the new system's controller has undergone numerous iterations, few of which resemble the DualShock build that has become synonymous with PlayStation.

Experiments within Sony's R&D department are thought to have been extensive. Versions of the new PS4 pad include biometric sensors on the grips and an LCD touch screen, the development source claimed.

A second source, working in a separate part of the industry but still connected to Sony, said PlayStation engineers are "trying to emulate the same user interface philosophies as the PS Vita". This is likely a reference to the touch-screen capabilities of the PlayStation handheld, and a suggestion that Sony will tightly integrate its portable and home systems.

The new console - codenamed Orbis - will be revealed in a matter of weeks, not months.

Sony has declined to comment. And, what Eurogamer said matches with the above:

This information tallies with what Eurogamer has heard from our own sources. We understand that as of six months ago Sony was testing a controller that had an LCD touch-screen on the front and biometrics functionality on the back. These designs, we were told, have changed almost every month, but are for the controller for the next PlayStation.

Biometrics technology captures data from the player's body, such as temperature and heart rate. Half-Life developer Valve has been experimenting with the tech, trying to discover new game experiences that would benefit from it. Sony did not comment.

More PlayStation 3 News...

BluRay's Avatar
#57 - BluRay - 86w ago
PS3 can run PS1 games decently but not PS2, why not? PS1 games are lighter and simple, ps2 games are way more complex, as for PS3, even more. The further the console generation, the harder It will be to emulate the games and the more expensive It will be to have backwards compatibility.

It's kinda like how you can run windows XP decently on virtual with like 200MB RAM and 512MB total PC RAM, but you can't do the same for Windows 8, which requires way more RAM, probably at least 1GB just for the virtual machine, but then you'll also require more RAM for the rest of the computer.

That's not exactly how It works, It doesn't depend only on RAM, but that's a good enough for you to understand It. For a perfect PS2 emulation PS3 would probably be more expensive, and for a perfect PS3 emulation PS4 would be WAY more expensive and I dunno, perhaps by PS6 the additional costs to have BC for PS5 games would be more expensive than PS5 itself.

DemonoidMaster's Avatar
#56 - DemonoidMaster - 86w ago
Just because the original PS3 /w BC failed to emu ps2 games doesnt mean the ps4 will fail at playing ps3 titles (heck, nintendo wii could emu gc games, and xbox 360 can run xbox games too... So i dont see how sony cant pull this of). Even though i simply dont understand how a powerful console like a ps3 can run ps1 games yet "supposedly" fail at runnin ps2 games.... Its all a lie, its sonys fault for not testing more instead of ditching it like idiots.

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