Last week, rumored tech details for Sony's next PlayStation, code named "Orbis," made the rounds. The system reportedly sports an AMD CPU and GPU and will lack backward compatibility.
Those tech rumors gain traction this week, as another source has stepped forward to confirm Sony's use of AMD processors for PlayStation 4. Furthermore, despite the admission by PlayStation France's Philippe Cardone that Sony "will probably be the last to announce something," the company apparently has every intention of beating Microsoft's next-gen hardware to market.
Rumors had been swirling for sometime that an AMD/Sony collaboration was underway, lending plausibility to last week's alleged PS4 tech details. Now, unnamed sources have confirmed those details and fleshed them out. IGN reports that PlayStation 4 will utilize AMD's A8-3850 APU and Radeon HD 7670 GPU. If accurate, these details bode poorly for the rumor that PS4 will be more powerful than Xbox 720. In a fascinating turn of events, the Radeon HD 7670 GPU is functionally identical to the Radeon HD 6670 that reportedly powers Microsoft's next console, which is estimated to offer six times the performance of current-gen hardware.
Apparently, "Orbis" and "Durango" will have more in common than (potential) anti-used game measures. At this stage, both are expected to support Blu-Ray, and Sony is believed to be using Microsoft's DirectX API for PlayStation 4. Utilizing the same GPU, media, and development environment means that there will likely be no discernible difference in graphical fidelity between the two systems. If the two really are that similar in terms of features and performance, what's to stop masses of gamers from simply adopting whichever console releases first?
Having been burned this generation by releasing so long after Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony is keen on getting PS4 out of the gate ahead of Xbox 720. With holiday 2013 is emerging as the likely release date for Xbox 360's successor, Sony is apparently gearing up to get there first. An unidentified source tells VG 24/7 that Sony is "confident" that PS4 will beat Xbox 720 to store shelves.
“Sony are completely in the belief that they have the jump on Microsoft this time. You should be watching the timing of next year’s E3 keynotes, and who’s going to go first.”
The question, though, is how much sooner will PS4 release than Xbox 720 -- days, weeks, months? It's not uncommon for gaming households to own more than one system, but if Sony and Microsoft release their new consoles even a month apart, they will be effectively forcing gamers into an "either/or" situation -- new consoles (and games, and controllers) don't come cheap.
For that matter, by holiday 2013, second-generation Wii U games should be ready to go, and may look a lot more compelling than the launch titles produced for either PS4 or Xbox 720. Plus, Nintendo will have had a full year to get manufacturing up to speed, and may even be prepared to cut Wii U's price. Could Nintendo be the real beneficiary of a system-launch showdown between Sony and Microsoft? What do you think?
Ranters, are you holding out for either the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox 720, or will you simply buy whichever console releases first? Let us know in the comments below.
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