PS4 revealed as Orbis, released in 2013

March 28, 2012

The Playstation 4 is codenamed Orbis, will be out by the end of 2013, and have anti-used games measures similar to the Xbox 720. So, good and bad news in one big hit then.

We all know Microsoft and Sony are working on new hardware, and we’ve known for some time. But it’s only really been this year that any solid rumors have emerged as to what each company is preparing to release and when. We have already heard quite a bit about the next Xbox, codenamed Durango, but now it’s the turn of the next Playstation, codename newly revealed as Orbis.

According to Kotaku, which throughout the report makes clear that things could change over the next 18 months, the PS4 is taking shape. Dev kits have gone out to “select developers,” with others receiving theirs by the end of this year. Sony is planning on releasing the console in time for the 2013 holidays, which looks likely to put it on a crash course with the successor to the Xbox 360.

The name Orbis is Latin for circle or ring. While codenames rarely survive to the final product, they can give clues as to the product in question. Orbis Vita is a common term which means, “The circle of life.” This could imply the two devices linking up in an as-yet-unspecified way. Kind of like the tablet Nintendo is shipping with the Wii U, perhaps.

In terms of hardware the PS4 will likely have an AMD x64 CPU and an AMD Southern Islands GPU. In layman’s terms this means we’re looking at a powerful machine on a par with high-end PCs.

lastly we come to the rumored plans to kill the used games market. Unlike the anti-used games measures Microsoft is supposedly planning to incorporate into the Xbox 720, we actually have some detail on Sony’s plans to keep developers and publishers sweet.

All games will be available to buy in physical or digital formats, but a PSN account will be needed to even get the disc spinning. The game will then be locked to that PSN account and anyone buying a used copy will be limited in what they can do without paying extra. This means Gamestop can stay in business but the whole business of buying and selling used games becomes a lot less attractive.

These are still rumors but they seem to come from legitimate sources. The question now is whether either Microsoft, Sony, or both will reveal anything at E3 2012 in June. With this many leaks springing up perhaps they should do.

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