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Rumor: PlayStation 4 (PS4) to Debut in 2013, Codenamed Orbis?


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131w ago - Today Kotaku (linked above) reports that Sony is rumored to debut the PlayStation 4 (PS4) next-generation console in 2013 which is currently assumed to be codenamed as Orbis.

While PS4.SCEDev.net does not currently work, the URL Orbis.SCEDev.net currently resolves to Sony's developer network Web site.

To quote: "While the official reveal of Sony's next home console could still be months away, if not longer, Kotaku has today learned some important details concerning the PlayStation 3's successor.

For one, the console's name- or at least its codename/working title- is apparently Orbis. And it's being planned for release in time for the 2013 holiday season.

The details in this story come from a reliable source who is not authorized to talk publicly about next-gen hardware but has shared correct information with us before. What they're telling us in specifics matches much of what we've heard and reported in generalities in recent weeks.

A Sony spokesperson declined to comment about these details, citing the company's policy not to comment on "rumors or speculation."

WHAT'S IN A NAME

Orbis. Say it out loud. Sounds a little like the word "four", doesn't it? Only it doesn't make the next PlayStation sound like a bad horror movie sequel.

It's also a name loaded with meaning. The word "Orbis" itself, from Latin, means circle, or ring, or even orbit. Not terribly helpful. Combine it with the name of Sony's new handheld system, though, and you have the common term Orbis Vita (or, in strict Latin, Orbis Vitae). Which means "The circle of life". Could the Vita be playing a very important role in the development and use of the next PlayStation home console? Maybe!

Such symbolism also suggests that rather than being a codename, like most companies employ when still developing a console (think NGP, or Durango), this might actually be the machine's final name. We don't know that, though, so keep an open mind about things.

CURRENT SPECS

Our main source supplied some basic specs for the console, but as the future is always in motion, bear in mind these could easily change between now and the Orbis' retail release. Still, if you'd like to know what developers are being told to plan for now, here you go.

  • AMD x64 CPU
  • AMD Southern Islands GPU

The former, that's largely something we've heard before, but the latter is interesting. That's the name given to many of AMD's 2012 roster of high-end PC cards. The PS4's GPU in particular, we're told, will be capable of displaying Orbis games at a resolution of up to 4096x2160, which is far in excess of the needs of most current HDTV sets. It'll also be capable of playing 3D games in 1080p (the PS3 could only safely manage 3D at 720p).

NEXT YEAR

Our main source tell us that "select developers" have been receiving dev kits for the new console since the beginning of this year. Revised and improved versions of these kits were sent out around GDC, while more finalised beta units will be shipped to developers towards the end of 2012.

That should hopefully give developers plenty of time to have launch games ready for the Orbis' retail release, which will be in time for the 2013 holiday season. If you can remember the PS3 launch- it's OK if you can't, it was a while ago- that too was in time for the holiday shopping season (November 2006 for Japan and North America).

SO LONG, PS3 GAMES

Remember how the PlayStation 3 swiftly dropped the ability to play PS2 games? Well, our main source tell us the Orbis won't even bother, and that Sony has no plans to offer backwards compatibility for its existing catalogue of PS3 games.

SO LONG, USED GAMES

Just like the next Xbox/Durango, we've heard from multiple sources that the Orbis will likewise have some kind of anti-used games measures built into the console. Here's how our main source says it's currently shaping up: new games for the system will be available one of two ways, either on a Blu-Ray disc or as a PSN download (yes, even full retail titles). If you buy the disc, it must be locked to a single PSN account, after which you can play the game, save the whole thing to your HDD, or peg it as "downloaded" in your account history and be free to download it at a later date.

Don't think you can simply buy the disc and stay offline, though; like many PC games these days, you'll need to have a PSN account and be online to even get the thing started.

If you then decide to trade that disc in, the pre-owned customer picking it up will be limited in what they can do. While our sources were unclear on how exactly the pre-owned customer side of things would work, it's believed used games will be limited to a trial mode or some other form of content restriction, with consumers having to pay a fee to unlock/register the full game.

This would allow used games to continue to be sold at outlets such as GameStop, while also appeasing major publishers who would no longer have to implement their own haphazard approaches to "online passes"."

Finally, as a follow-up from [Register or Login to view links] to quote:

"The design firm Coque Design may have worked on illustrations for certain features of the next PlayStation, according to pictures a tipster spotted on its website today.

The pictures, which have since been removed from the site, were labeled "Illustrations & Sketches for new PlayStation Orbis features." Orbis is the codename for Sony's next gaming console, as Kotaku revealed today.

The photos depict several people moving around in front of some sort of Kinect-like motion-sensing device that rests on top of a television. (As a commenter points out, this device also resembles the PlayStation Eye accessory.) One person is using what appears to be an iPhone or iPod to control music that may be linked to the game system as well.

We've reached out to Coques Design and we will update should we hear any further information."






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protoassn's Avatar
#30 - protoassn - 130w ago
Quote Originally Posted by Neo Cyrus View Post
Well... I should have said they're as close as it gets to being proper PC games anyway.

Agreed

inginear's Avatar
#29 - inginear - 130w ago
the multi-platform games are almost always designed and engineered for 360 first and foremost then the code is hacked together to work on the ps3. the 360 versions are developed first because it is an easier architecture on which to develop. almost every multi-platform game that is given to the press to review is the 360 version.

while the press is reviewing the 360 copy the ps3 port is being thrown together in a short time frame to be released alongside the 360 version. due to the shortened time frame, most companies do not feel the need to code the ps3 version properly so they make something that works enough that they can sell and push updates for later.

re: bayonetta - you (frogman) must not remember the uproar and major update for the ps3 version that fixed the horrendous load times and lagging problems. i did complete bayonetta a few times (on the ps3), but my first completion did not happen until after the update.

Neo Cyrus's Avatar
#28 - Neo Cyrus - 130w ago
I can't tell if you're serious or just trying to annoy me. Bringing up Bayonetta is like poking me with a stick to the eye. Bayonetta is the absolute worst port I have ever seen and I've commented on it repeatedly. It ran so badly on the PS3 I never bothered finish it. This comparison will give you a rough idea: lensoftruth.com/head2head-bayonetta/

But that's off as well, the videos are capped at 30fps and they use those in the comparison. The PS3 version in reality can lag to under 10 frames a second, that's so bad that they programmed the game to go into slow motion so it seems playable, no game should do that. While in the same scenes the 360 version would run at over 50fps. The 360 version has 1280x720 res, I guarantee you the PS3 version's true internal resolution is 960x540. The textures are horrendous as an added bonus.

Look through that site and you'll see that multiplatform games were almost always inferior on the PS3, only as of late they've started to become more even such as L.A. Noire, they look about the same. Look at any of the older head2heads they have. TES games have proper PC versions and half the experience of those is the modding, I can't imagine playing those on a console.

Well... I should have said they're as close as it gets to being proper PC games anyway.

Frogman7's Avatar
#27 - Frogman7 - 131w ago
In response to Neo Cyrus there are a number of multiplatform games that look better on PS3 like Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, LA Noire, Bayonetta, and number of others ( too lazy to look it up right now ). Depends on what's being developed but on average the 360 is easier to develop on.

Also to comment on what CJPC said about upgrading your computer isn't that bad or expensive if you plan well. I originally built my current pc back in May 2007 for a fair budget of around $1400. Two years later I upgraded the processor (about $250) and a year after that I doubled my ram (about $100). Last October I got picked up a Nvidia 560 ti card for less than $200.

I play all the latest games with my machine and they look great far exceeding anything on my PS3 or 360. That's 3 upgrades over a course of almost 5 years and I don't see myself upgrading for probably another 2 years.

Neo Cyrus's Avatar
#26 - Neo Cyrus - 131w ago
For multiplatform games the PS3 actually ends up being the lowest common denominator... it takes a drop of resources to do some basic anti aliasing, the PS3 doesn't have a drop of RAM to spare, it has 256MB and 256MB split while the 360 has 512MB shared and an embedded chip specifically for AA.

That explains why so few games on the PS3 have any AA. But beyond that the RSX, a custom/crippled 7800, is weaker than the 360's Xenos which was the first available GPU to have unified shaders. The only only multiplatform game that looks really worse on the 360 is Final Fantasy 13 and to me that just looks like the sabotaged it, whether because it was due to the disc limit they set or otherwise, it was on purpose regardless. That entire game was sabotaged though, don't get me started on it.

I forgot to add in that in the cases where a drop of RAM is available for AA, the GPU resources could be (and most likely always is) limited as well. Games like GoW3 have shown that it is possible to pull off a proper job on the PS3 though, it's just insanely difficult.

They put a preposterous amount of effort into it and the only reason I think it turned out so well at 720p is because their original goal was 1080p/60fps. They ended up with something closer to 720p/30, but with MLAA that uses the available vector units for processing rather than the RSX which has nothing left to spare.

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