Details on Sony’s forthcoming console are slowly coming into focus. Though widely referred to as PlayStation 4, Sony is apparently consistent in addressing the system as Orbis. The hardware is now said to be based on AMD’s A10 APU (Accelerated Processing Unit), a solution that promises a powerful console that will, nonetheless, retail at an affordable price.

The latest Orbis details have been gleaned from new development kits that are currently being shipped out – the second iteration in a series of four. A revised kit is due early next year, with the final version slated to arrive next Summer. According to VG 24/7, “multiple sources” have confirmed a number of specifications for the new console, including the AMD APU, Blu-ray support, and a 256GB standard hard drive.

Orbis’ alleged APU, which combines a multi-core CPU (Central Processing Unit) and discrete-level GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) on a single chip, is said to be “derivative” of current AMD A10 models. Sony intends the hardware to be capable of effortlessly rendering  3D, 1080P visuals at 60 frames-per-second. The system’s RAM, however, remains an open question. The current Orbis development kits contain either 8GB or 16GB, suggesting that Sony is indeed focused on keeping the system’s price as low as possible, so long as its performance is deemed acceptable. For comparison, Wii U features 1GB of RAM for games, while an Xbox 720 development kit examined at the end of July contained 8GB.

For some time now, gamers have operated on the assumption that both Sony and Microsoft will release new consoles at the tail end of 2013. If the Orbis development kit schedule described above is accurate, it appears that Sony is on track to do just that. The revised kits due in January are said to be near final spec, offering developers ample time to get their launch games in shape. Final Wii U development kits weren’t released until May of this year, and the console itself is launching November 18th.

Still, questions remain. How important a role will Gaikai play in Orbis? Will Sony’s Kinect-like camera be released alongside – or potentially be included with – the new console? For that matter, with Sony promising PlayStation 3 support through 2015, how committed is the company to launching its new system next year?

Ranters, based on these specs, what do you think of Orbis? How will it compare to Xbox 720? Are you ready for a new Sony console, or are you still happy with PlayStation 3? Let us know in the comments below.

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Source: VG 24/7

tags: PS4, Sony