Sony has been unsurprisingly silent about its foray into the next generation of gaming. Other than a few rumors pertaining to potential software development for PlayStation 4 that began making the rounds earlier this month, and reports that claim Naughty Dog is hiring staff for a next-gen project that uses 1,000,000 polygon character models, PS4 news has been hard to come by.
No longer. New PlayStation 4 rumors have surfaced that purport to reveal the console's name, release window, and lack of backwards compatibility with PS3 games.
According to Kotaku, a trusted inside source claims that the new console's current name is "Orbis." While some may be quick to dismiss this information as ridiculous, it should be noted that the codename actually works when you use it to access SCE DevNet (a site for developers working on games for Sony's console) — 'PS4,' on the other hand, does not. NGP (Vita's codename), along with Vita and PS3, all work to access the site, which makes these "Orbis" reports seem incredibly legitimate given the fact that the name has already been implemented into one of Sony's own sites.
"Orbis" is definitely an interesting name, but Kotaku's source provided even more information that'll definitely turn a few heads if it turns out to be accurate. First and foremost, the system is currently scheduled to release next year during the 2013 holiday season (roughly a year after the debut of the Wii U).
Currently, the system's specs include an AMD x64 CPU and an AMD Southern Island GPU. I'm far from a tech guy, and those combos of numbers/letters mean absolutely nothing to me, but it's my understanding that the AMD Southern Island GPU is the name given to this year's batch of high-end processors. The system will allegedly be able to run 3D games in full 1080p, as well as display titles at a stunning 4096x2160 resolution.
While all of this initially sounds like a console gamer's dream, there are a few other details that will immediately irritate the masses. Specifically, the next-gen hardware apparently won't be backward compatible whatsoever -- those with bookshelves filled with PS3 games will be out of luck. Furthermore, while PlayStation 4 won't be ditching brick-and-mortar retailers quite yet, and physical copies of games will still be sitting on store shelves come launch day, all PS4 titles will be available for download.
The last bit of info from the anonymous Kotaku source is that Sony will implement measures to stop the sale of used games. Those who purchase new copies of games from retailers will receive a code that locks the title to their PlayStation Network account. Once the process of "locking" the content from a Blu-Ray disc is completed, gamers are free to play or even download the software at a later date. Those who pick up a used copy of a PS4 title will receive a gimped version of the product, and will be asked to purchase a "season pass" of sorts in order to unlock the rest of a game's content.
Keep in mind that none of this information is confirmed, and it's certainly susceptible to change between now and the PlayStation 4's official reveal. If the console really will be launching next year, then expect some solid details during this year's E3 (despite Sony's oft repeated claims to the contrary). For now though, these are all just rumors that have come from an apparently solid source.
What do you think of these PlayStation 4 claims?
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