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Sony VP Hints of PlayStation 4 (PS4) Announcement in May, 2013


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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.






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SwordOfWar's Avatar
#70 - SwordOfWar - 78w ago
Even at 3.5GB shared over the system, that's considerably more than what the PS3 has and should allow developers to breathe a lot more than they have before on console games.

I'm expecting faster loading now, and higher quality textures. Hopefully the 500MB system reserved memory is enough to let us multitask like we wanted to do on the PS3 but never really got it due to RAM limitations (Think in-game XMB limitations and how long it took to even get it).

PC games are only going to look better on a high end gaming PC, not just your average PC. That means a PC costing at least $1,000 compared to a console that will cost around $500. People don't want to spend insane amounts of money on a closed system that can't be upgraded which will be overshadowed by the next generation system about 7 years later. The PS3 launch was evidence of that with it's $600 price tag.

Now I'm all for better hardware specs, but I don't think people are willing to pay enough to get what you are looking for in a console. People with money build a gaming PC, people with a lower upfront budget will probably be happy with a console. There are two different niches there, and it wouldn't really make sense for consoles to try to be a direct competitor to PC since PC would obviously win due to the nature of how consoles are (closed system, no upgrade path).

If you really want that premium experience, you're going to have to buy premium PC parts and build your own PC, and be willing to shell out a greater amount of upfront money (assuming you don't already own a gaming machine to upgrade just certain parts).

With all that said, just the fact the memory is unified and much larger than before should be heaven for developers coming from the PS3.

henkdejostie's Avatar
#69 - henkdejostie - 78w ago
i get your point, but the PS3/4 just wont so much RAM, the ps3 has 256 mb ram for games and 256 mb ram for the system, and you wont have any lagg, and the ps4 gonna have 500 mb to the system memory and 3.5 GB for game RAM, the ps3/4 uses their RAM way more efficient than a PC

JAYRIDER666's Avatar
#68 - JAYRIDER666 - 78w ago
Ps4 and jailbreak nice

StanSmith's Avatar
#67 - StanSmith - 78w ago
Dont forget Sony are good ar dropping specs before its released. They did it with the PS3 and keep doing it with every update of the PS3 and the Vita was first announced with twice the amount of memory its got now.

Just coz they say this is what it will have the final retail version wont have this. Some parts will be shrunk and some will just be missing. then with every update to the console more and more will be removed.

Thats why I'm going to boycott Sony for as long as I can, till they release a game I want to play and only if its not on another console will I get one.

And I dont understand why they make it with 4GB ram? The PC is using a lot more ram and struggling with some games. They really need to look at PCs and see what is needed for the latest games then add that or more so over the years its not looking crap or left behind like it is with the PC.

Oh it looks like 3.5GB ram for games and it looks like thats going to be shared ram between CPU and GPU. MOST PC games will crap out at those specs. So even when the PS4 is released the PC will still be better. I would've expected it to be better than the PC but with those specs it wont be.

myjunkhurts's Avatar
#66 - myjunkhurts - 78w ago
ummmm hurry sony plz

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