The Next PlayStation is Called Orbis, Sources Say. Here are the Details.

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The Next PlayStation is Called Orbis, Sources Say. Here are the Details.






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

BACK IN DECEMBER... A post left on Pastebin back in December also referred to the PlayStation 4 as Orbis, calling it a codename in the same vein as Microsoft's Durango. The system specs in that post differ significantly from what Kotaku has heard, and the lack of a hard drive by default goes against the idea of downloading full games to the system.

The Pastebin post also mentions that big name developers like EA were disappointed by an Orbis much less powerful than Microsoft's next machine, so there's a chance that it's the story of an earlier prototype that didn't make the grade. We've reached out to EA for comment.

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. UPDATE - Since some people seem to have taken this to mean the console requires an "always on" intenet connection, we've heard nothing about that. All we've heard is that you need to authenticate a new game online via the PSN.

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".


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The Next PlayStation is Called Orbis, Sources Say. Here are the Details. :: Comments

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Post on March 29th 2012, 11:57 am by Suede

I am not liking how this is sounding. Not one bit. I mean, Sony has always been the most powerful out of all the game consoles, right from the PS1. I would have expected this thing to be a massive powerhouse of a console. I know these are just leaked specs, but I don't doubt we'll see an unveiling around this time next year.

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Post on March 29th 2012, 7:48 pm by DanWhoElse

xbox>gamecube>ps2

The ps2 wasn't that great performance wise but it had one hell of a 3rd party support. Also it doesn't sound like a cheap upgrade to me, 4096x2160, 1080p 3D, this thing should be epic but I do agree abit with you that it should be more then it sounds.

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Post on March 29th 2012, 10:58 pm by Suede

LOL! There is no way on this earth that the Gamecube had more power then the PS2. Xbox definitely, but that was created well after the PS2 was. And it does sound pretty beast, I was just talking about the chatter from EA. And having a built in DRM? So no one without an internet connection can play games? Seems rather unreasonable. These are just rumours though.

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Post on March 30th 2012, 7:16 am by DanWhoElse

I dunno the gamecube was allot better are smoothing games out then PS2 games, also it had a better cpu if I remember right. Also the whole no used games thing is going to be gay but if no one can afford the games they should come down in price quickly lol

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