The gaming world was set on fire today with rumors surfacing via Kotaku about the next PlayStation and there are some doozies in this one. The new PlayStation is called “Orbis” but at this time it’s not known whether that is actually the name of the console or just a working title. This new entry into the PlayStation family would apparently be available in time for the 2013 holiday season. The details that follow are apparently from a reliable source that isn’t authorized to discuss this publicly, but Kotaku has a high degree of confidence in this individual due to accurate information they have provided in the past. Sony has refused to comment on “rumors and speculations”.
The name sounds odd but I suppose it goes with the whole naming strategy that they are going with lately with the Vita and all. It seems the name isn’t without meaning, in Latin it means circle, ring, or even orbit. Alone it doesn’t mean much but when combined with the name of Sony’s latest handheld, you get Orbis Vita which is roughly translated into “The Circle Of Life”. Yeah its kind of corny but still slick in some respects.
The Dev Portal
If you type vita.scedevnet.com into a browser you arrive at Sony’s portal for Vita developers, but if you happened to type in orbis.scedev.net, you would get to a dev portal though at this tiem it’s not branded with any console specific information but it does exist and that has to mean something right?
The source provided a set of basic specs but noted that at the rate that technology is changing, these could still change. At the very least we can use this a minimum baseline.
- AMD x64 CPU
- AMD Southern Islands GPU
The AMD CPU isn’t that big of a surprise but the AMD GPU is a bit of a new twist. According to the source, the PS4 (Orbis) GPU will be capable of displaying its games at a stunning maximum resolution of 4096×2160 which most of today’s top quality HDTVs can’t even support. It will also be capable of playing 3D games in full 1080p compared to the PS3’s maximum 720p.
The Short Term
The source says that “select developers” started receiving development kits as early as the beginning of this year and were sent upgraded units around GDC. If the schedule holds they should get their hands on mostly finalized beta units by the end of this year. Sony hopes that this will give developer plenty of time to make sure they have a decent amount of launch titles available for the console’s release.
So far so good right and now the parts that we think are a little out there and will cause some major uproar from current PS3 owners.
No PS3 Backwards Compatibility
This isn’t completely off the wall if you remember how Sony quickly phased out PS2 backwards compatibility on PS3. According to this source, the new PlayStation won’t even offer it and just plain won’t support anything but its game from the jump. Honestly, to me I think that no backwards compatibility in the next-gen almost makes it dead on arrival. They can quickly phase out the availability of PS3 games in general, but to not support existing ones would basically leave a lot of people with a bunch of useless games all of a sudden.
Anti-Used Game Support
It’s no secret that publishers and developers despise the used game market, or more specifically all the money that they aren’t making because of it. According to the source, Sony has an interesting strategy on how to handle this. There will only two ways to get games for the new console, you can either get it on a Blu-Ray disc or download it from PSN. That doesn’t sound crazy right, but here’s the kicker. If you buy the disc based copy of the game, it must be locked to a single PSN account. After that you can play the game, save the entire game to your HDD, or save it as “downloaded” in your account history and come back and download it later. But wait there is more.
Just having the disc won’t be enough though, similar to what he have been seeing in a lot of PC games these days, you will need a PSN account and be online to even get the thing to load up. How they plan to address the large contingent of gamers that don’t have internet access we don’t know at this point. If at some point you decided to trade in your game like you normally do, the person coming behind you would have a significantly different experience than they do now. They weren’t clear on exactly how this would work but 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. In essence its an evolution of the current online pass system but taking it a step further and restricting all game content until some fee is paid so no matter what the developer/publishers get a cut. It’s actually a bit of compromise, it allows outlets such as Gamestop to remain relevant and viable while increasing revenue for the publishers and developers.
Well that’s all we got for now and keep in mind that at this point all of this is just speculation, perhaps from a reliable source but speculation none the less. So now that you have heard it, what do you think? Is everything you have read here reasonable to you or is some of it just too far-fetched? Hit up the comments and let us know.