With 2012 well underway Sony has sent the rumour mill spinning at top speed. News of their next generation PlayStation 4, code name Orbis, the cause of the stir.
Capturing much attention is the talk of 4k gaming, gaming at the screen shattering resolution of 4096*2160. All signs are pointing to a Q4 2013 release of the console, with word from developers indicating dev kits have already been made available to some developers.
The draconian measures planned to stop second hand games re-sales are highly controversial, Sony refusing to comment on unreleased products, the decision still not set in stone we believe. As always won’t someone think of the children.
The war of the next generation consoles is heating up already, and they haven’t even been released yet. While Microsoft kept the rumour mill spinning with tales of its X-Box 720 or ‘Durango’, it is now Sony’s turn at the wheel. Kotaku are reporting sources close to Sony revealing some juicy details regarding the Sony’s next generation PlayStation 4, codename ‘Orbis’.
Orbis is a Latin term meaning circle or ring. Being an internal name for the console it will obviously change once the marketing types have done their job. The console is planned for a Q4 2013 launch with both Blu-Ray and downloadable content available at launch.
Select developers received development kits just after Christmas, with finalized beta versions of the console expected by the end of the year. This should give developers ample time to get a good back catalogue of games available for day one. They will need it as the PS4 will have zero compatibility with previous consoles, at launch. Something that may change over time with some clever emulation programming but at launch zero compatibility.
Internally the PS4 Orbis will utilize AMD for both the CPU and GPU. Rumours are suggesting the CPU will be an AMD x86-64 FX and the GPU will be from the latest Southern Island family of video cards, as used by the HD 7970.
Enough power will be available from the AMD chipset to provide 4k gaming. 4k gaming will allow the console to drive the next generation TV’s at up to 4096*2160 – 4K – or provide proper hi-def 3D using the stereo 3D mode in 1920*1080 – 1080p -. While only a limited number of display options exists for 4k display at the moment, projectors and LCD, at the very least Sony has future proofed the next generation console. OLED TV’s hold much promise for the 4k revolution, the ability to easily go ultra-high definition being one of their major advantages. Not dis-similar to the revolution being experienced in the tablet world due to the new iPad Retina display. 4k gaming will bring new levels of detail and realism to the games we love.
Second hand game sales may be handicapped by Sony’s decision to lock the game disks into a single network account. Locking down second hand game sales is something being discussed for both next generation consoles, a controversial option that could still be dropped before the final release. How game rentals will be affected is still being considered.
Sony may have perfected the art of drip feeding the rumour mill but will the PS4 live up to the hype. 4k gaming is a mighty promise if it can be kept, this will take gaming a number of steps past photo-realistic, gaming in incredible detail. Throw in top notch media services and the PlayStation 4 is shaping up as a full blown next generation entertainment system.