The next PlayStation is codenamed “Orbis” and will be released in time for the 2013 holiday season, according to a Kotaku source “not authorized to talk publicly about next-gen hardware, but [who] has shared correct information” before.
Kotaku notes that when combined with the name of Sony’s latest handheld, PlayStation Vita – thus making “Orbis Vita” – the meaning in latin translates to “the circle of life.”
Accessing Sony’s PlayStation developer site with the URL Orbis.SCEDev.net redirects you to the site’s main page. However, accessing the site via a URL such as PS4.SCEDev.net returns a 404. Considering its connection with the Vita’s name, it may suggest Orbis is the next PlayStation’s final name. Though, that’s only speculation, of course.
Inside the beast.
Developers are currently being told the system will boast an AMD x64 CPU and a AMD Southern Islands GPU, according to the source. Its GPU will be able to display games up to a resolution of 4096×2160. It will also be able to games in 3D in 1080p, whereas PlayStation 3 could only manage 720p.
“Select” developers have received development kits starting early this year. Around the Game Developers Conference early this month, improved versions of those kits were sent out. Toward the end of the year, finalized beta units will be shipped.
Going forward, not backwards (compatible).
Orbis apparently will not support backwards compatibility with PlayStation 3 games. According to the source, Sony has no plans to offer backwards compatibility.
Buy it new, or buy a trial.
Just as rumored with the next Xbox, “multiple sources” have said Orbis will block pre-owned games. New games will reportedly be available on either Blu-ray or PlayStation Network (full retail titles included). Discs must be locked to single PlayStation Network accounts, after which you can either play the game off disc, save it to your hard-drive, or download it free at a later date. Apparently, to play the game, you’ll need to be online the entire time.
So what of used games then? The source reports used game consumers will be limited to a trial mode or restrict content, and ask them to pay to unlock the full game.