After the story of “Orbis” broke at Kotaku, we shook the bushes to see what we could find out about the codename of the new PlayStation 4.
It would seem that Sony is definitely working with AMD on the PlayStation 4 project; and from deep in the shadows we hear that the rumors of Sony moving away from Cell and to an X64 CPU by AMD seem to be true. If accurate, that would mean that backwards compatibility is off the table for the PlayStation 4.
For graphics, we are hearing that it will use a variation of the Southern Islands GPU. It is difficult to say whether or not this will be some sort of Fusion chip that will combine CPU and GPU into one chip. If it is true that it is using some variation of the Southern Islands GPU, then it would be a generation ahead of the GPU said to be destined for the Xbox Next. Orbis will still be Blu-ray-based, using a newer and somewhat faster Blu-ray drive; but the console will still get a hard drive, as there is no talk of moving to solid state by Sony.
It seems that Sony, too, is considering some sort of digital locking using the player’s PSN account to cut down on second hand sales. The Sony system would require players to be online to boot the games up so it can be verified against the player’s PSN account for ownership. Used buyers would have to pay an additional unlock fee to gain full access to used or second-hand games. Of course, after the backlash of this as the possible Microsoft plan, it would seem very disruptive to the current gaming ecosystem to try this; but we expect it will meet with strong resistance from consumers.
A number of sources have confirmed that AMD will be supplying the GPU for the PlayStation 4, but again we hear rumors of Sony abandoning the Cell processor for something new. The word is that selected developers have already received a PS4 development kit, and one update to it already seems to suggest that the latest rumors of a late 2013 holiday launch are at least plausible. Our sources are not sure about the idea that Sony could launch in late 2013, as the company has suggested that they are targeting 2014 for a launch; and our sources still think this is correct.
Read the story at Kotaku that started the latest round of rumors right here.