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Opinion

So, Who's Looking Forward To Seeing The PS4 Next Year?

Roughly six to eight months until the reveal.

A few months ago I’d gotten wind that some kind of meeting with Sony and developers was on the cards, what’s known as a ‘disclosure meeting’ where everyone signs non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) about upcoming hardware – in this case, it was to be for the PlayStation 4. Things had gone quiet since, until today, when news broke that the disclosure meeting did happen, and that some devs had already started to spill the beans under condition of anonymity.

From that report, we got our first (assumed) concrete information on what’s going to be behind Sony’s next console which, crucially, the platform holder isn’t using the phrase “PlayStation 4″. This is still codenamed Orbis, as it has been for well over six months, and it’s clear that that’s likely to remain the case until much nearer the big reveal.

That, according to the leak, is going to be next year, and before E3.

This nugget is of considerable importance, not least because now that that’s out in the wild, Microsoft have the chance to plan their attack accordingly. They’re unlikely to now wait until the big show in Los Angeles to show off the Xbox 360’s successor, for example – the 360’s lead in launching over the PS3 was hugely beneficial to the Redmond-based company and they’re now armed with information that they might not have had access to before, at least publicly.

But more importantly from the viewpoint of the gamer, we now have a date that’s likely to hold true, and even if Orbis is kept under wraps until the month of June 2013, we’ll know all about the console by next summer at the very latest.

Battlefield 3 running on an A10 APU, without any discrete GPU. The video owner says this is running at around 30fps at medium-high settings.
In terms of hardware, though, things aren’t quite as clear cut. VG247’s report mentions an APU (a combined GPU and CPU that handles graphics as well as all the computational stuff), AMD’s A10 to be precise. That’s a nifty chip (it’ll run the likes of Crysis 2 on maximum settings at 1080p and a decent framerate), but it’s not necessarily one that you’d associate with “next gen”, at least not on its own. We’d assume that the A10, if that’s the chip carried over to the final models, would be paired with a discrete GPU for added grunt, or even our old friend Cell.

Chances are that the A10’s just there in the current dev kits as a guide, and it’s something that’s likely to change over the coming months to a newer, more powerful model. The fact remains though that by choosing something off the shelf (albeit tech that’s likely to be modified for Sony’s needs) the cost to build the console will be substantially lower, at least in terms of the chipset that runs the show.

Equally of note are the comments in the report from developers who cite Sony’s goals for visual fidelity for the games. 1080p is an obvious one to mention – especially as the PS3 has struggled from day one (and continues to do so) with reaching that resolution on all but the simplest looking games. Likewise, 60fps and 3D would be a real treat, especially at that resolution. And that’s apparently Sony’s target – “1080p60 games in 3D” without breaking a sweat.

Then there’s the onboard storage – which is apparently currently a 256GB hard drive. That’s actually more likely to be a solid state device, especially if those numbers are correct – hard drives don’t come in 256GB varieties, but SSDs do, and after the latest PS3 revision’s water testing with a similar slice of technology Sony will be more than comfortable with throwing in the much faster, more reliable storage device onto their next gen machines.

The UI, too, seems to be moving in the right direction. Perhaps by virtue of the increased RAM (between 8GB and 16GB for the dev kits at the moment, so probably 4GB in the final PS4) or the boosted grunt of the processors, the next gen Sony console will allow for a smoother in-game menu system that’ll allow users to move around the various elements of the user interface freely. The example cited is that gamers could pause a game, jump into the PSN Store, buy some DLC and then immediately return to the action.

The Orbis will be “always on”, too, downloading and updating in the background.

However, the PS4 isn’t likely to carry backwards compatibility, even if there is a Cell in there somewhere. Buying patterns and publisher decisions of late have pointed to a new trend: HD remasters – and there’s every chance that rather than letting Uncharted 3 work on Orbis, Sony will push out re-releases for the new hardware. We’ve been lapping these up recently, so why wouldn’t next-gen continue this currently rather fashionable new business model and sales channel?

But with a pre-E3 2013 reveal and (presumably) a late 2013 release, what could we expect in terms of new games? Well, it’s clear that the major releases for PS3 start to dry up in the first half of the year – after God of War and The Last Of Us first party AAA stuff is looking a lot quieter than it has been for a while. We know the likes of Ready At Dawn are working on a next gen game, and it’s reasonable to assume Naughty Dog, Guerrilla and Polyphony are too, amongst others.

This generation’s really starting to show its age now, and although I still have fears that next-gen will be all about trying to get more and more money out of us for games that’ll ship with half the content, in terms of new hardware alone I’m desperate to see what’s around the corner. I’m hopeful that Sony get this right, that the PS4 (or whatever it’s called) is easy to develop for, isn’t wildly expensive (they can’t do another £425 launch, that’s for sure) and the games turn out great.

More leaks are likely, so hopefully we’ll find out more soon enough.

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79 Comments
  1. Taylor Made
    Member
    Since: Oct 2011

    If its more than £300 they can keep that, I can wait for the slim version

    But am excited to see what they bring & from the sound of things it will play ps3 games after all it is blu ray

    Comment posted on 01/11/2012 at 22:49.
  2. sideshow
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    This looks really promising. All I want is for BF4 (assuming it waits for PS4, else BF5) to be identical in experience on PC and console. BF3 is amazing, but the split decision over target platform really impacted how good the maps are.

    Comment posted on 01/11/2012 at 22:52.
    • Ed the Penguin
      Member
      Since: Dec 2008

      At first, there’s no doubt the experience could be identical, but it wouldn’t take long for PC hardware to progress and out-do the PS4.

      Comment posted on 02/11/2012 at 10:26.
      • sideshow
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        For graphics, yes, but for the important stuff (like player count!), it won’t impact game design (for a few years at least).

        Comment posted on 02/11/2012 at 15:50.
      • Sevchenko
        Member
        Since: Mar 2009

        It doesn’t matter what hardware they’ve chosen for the PS4, because they have to commit to it during development, it’s already out of date.

        Comment posted on 02/11/2012 at 17:40.
    • Sevchenko
      Member
      Since: Mar 2009

      Console can’t ever have the same potential for games as the PC has because the PC can always (and does always) change, and quickly. On top of that, we can upgrade and add more GPUs, newer GPUs, more RAM, faster RAM. If you need an extreme exemplification of this, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_QDv7DFfxk It’s a developing PC game that shows what it can do. The polygon count on a console main character is about 10,000. The polygon count in This game for a main character will be about 100,000. That will be facilitated by the bleeding edge tech of the day, and that is already not the PS4.

      Comment posted on 02/11/2012 at 17:52.
  3. Erroneus
    Wanted "Trophy Hunter" but was too late.
    Since: May 2009

    I’m ready… kinda, my concerns are if Sony is ready. If they want to launch the PS4, they need to improve on PSN. That means a fully working fast store, a better backend for downloading, which today is way to slow.
    That means proper trophy support, proper online list with support for seeing all PSN members no matter the device, eg. Vita, PSM, PS3, PS4 and so on.

    And most of all, it means all of their regions need to be qualified to manage the store, release of games, advertisement, support and a high level of communication with it’s users, actually answering some of the many questions from the users and maybe restraining some of the trolls / kids starting flamewars.

    If they release PS4 without getting those basic “features” under control, it’s another half arsed hardware release from Sony, properly with great hardware, but with poor software / services support.

    Comment posted on 01/11/2012 at 22:53.
    • Erroneus
      Wanted "Trophy Hunter" but was too late.
      Since: May 2009

      And speaking of PSM, another half arsed project from Sony is their Playstation app (not PSM) for mobile phones. It was released, received a small update and since has not really been improved, even though their are room for tons of improvements. Sony clearly needs more focus on development and steady update/improvements of apps, not only for their own platforms like Vita and PS3, but also on regular Android phones.

      Comment posted on 01/11/2012 at 22:56.
  4. burtens
    Member
    Since: Forever

    Let the next console war begin.
    (Or just make a descent console we can enjoy..)

    Comment posted on 01/11/2012 at 22:53.
  5. Kivi95
    Member
    Since: Oct 2009

    Well i’m hyped for it! This console generation have been far to long.

    Comment posted on 01/11/2012 at 23:01.
  6. colmshan1990
    Member
    Since: Apr 2009

    I really want to know more about what the main additions to gaming will be.

    1080p 60fps is not it. Make the jump worthwhile or the console won’t last as long as PS3 has, never mind PS2.

    It’s time to bring the wow factor back. Things like the Killzone 2 reveal, Gran Turismo, even Assassin’s Creed 1. Make a game I never anticipated like Little Big Planet or Journey.

    Do something NEW.

    Comment posted on 01/11/2012 at 23:05.
    • damoxuk
      Member
      Since: May 2011

      Well 1080p 60fps is the holy grail atm.

      Current gen consoles struggle with sub 720p with under 30fps. so 1080p 60 will be a BIG improvement in game experience.

      Better graphics have always been the forefront of new consoles/PC iterations etc.

      This time we will finally get the use out of our Full HD TV’s :D
      And remember most publishers are working on next gen titles so you can be guaranteed a shit load of new IP.

      Comment posted on 01/11/2012 at 23:33.
    • heedbaw
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      Likewise, I don’t want another new machine if all that’s going to happen is slightly better looks.
      I don’t see how people can bitch about Nintendo with the Wii U, specifically that it’s the same old games again, when that’s likely what will happen with the next PS and Xbox. I don’t want a PS4 just to play Killzone 4, GT 6, Uncharted 4, etc.
      I don’t find anything wrong with how games look on the PS3 at the moment, and all the new will bring is slightly higher resolutions, some more polygons, a few more particles, and more layers of post-processing effects. Even if they can cram in things like realtime ray tracing it’s not really going to make a difference to any games.
      Although it’s hardly just the hardware manufactures that are at fault, in releasing the same old safe shite publishers won’t be helping to get the next gen off the ground for me.
      About the only thing that would entice me is if it actually had a dedicated AI processor, which is unlikely, and even then I’m sure it would take people a good while to get to grips with that.

      Comment posted on 01/11/2012 at 23:47.
      • Kreisash
        Member
        Since: May 2010

        My god how dare you make sense! :p

        Similarly I feel that gaming is hitting a point where it’s not just enough to have an increase in number and shinier graphics.
        That’s not to say the next generation doesn’t need more power, but that it needs to be used for more enhancing experiences. For instance more complex engines that allow for more flexibility and choice in how games are played. AI is also a prime example.

        Unfortunately we also need someone to actually build it too and until we get more efficient and established libraries and engines, it’s just too much work for the return gained.

        Comment posted on 02/11/2012 at 12:04.
  7. DJ Judas
    Epic
    Since: Aug 2008

    Sounds like PS4 will be cheap-ish. Cheaper than the PS3 was anyway, I’d guess for £299-£350 with varying storage capacity.

    Of course it all comes down to the games, and Sony need to allow their stable of first party developers to do their thing. I also sincerely hope Sony don’t go down the route of shoehorning bloated elements into the system UI like Facebook integration etc and advertisements.

    Improvements to the PSN service wouldn’t go amiss, although I’ve been pretty happy with PSN over the years and it does everything I’d want of it.

    I’m ready for PS4, I’ve been using consoles less and less over the past year or so and they need a spark after The Last of Us has been and gone.

    Comment posted on 01/11/2012 at 23:24.
  8. Foxhound_Solid
    Is a smart cookie.
    Since: Dec 2009

    Ps4….cannot effing wait yo! ^_^ I am probably the most excited playstationist ever!!

    Comment posted on 01/11/2012 at 23:25.
  9. cc_star
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Forever

    All down to the price… I can’t see it though unless it has an ‘upgrader’s feature’ that might get removed to save costs, like PS2 compatibility in the PS3.

    I went through 3 phats so I promised myself I’d never have a first SKU again, not just reliability but also they’re more expensive & only have a tiny selection of games.

    Indie gaming is what I mainly enjoy now, purer experiences where gameplay rather than pixels & advanced lighting techniques are key… It’s going to have to be something very special indeed to get me to become an early adopting guinea pig again

    Comment posted on 01/11/2012 at 23:26.
    • Bilbo_bobbins
      Member
      Since: Jun 2009

      I’ve still got my launch phat ps3, I probably don’t play it as much as you but I’m normally on it every night for a few hours at least.

      I definitely agree with what you are saying though. Gameplay over pixels any day for me.

      Comment posted on 02/11/2012 at 09:18.
      • frailfury
        Member
        Since: Apr 2009

        If it doesn’t allow playback of PS3 discs and all my PSN content, then they can forget it!

        Comment posted on 02/11/2012 at 11:18.
      • Bilbo_bobbins
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        why would you want to play old games on a new system? I would want to play the new games I buy on it anyway.

        If you want to play your old games, just put them in your ps3.

        Comment posted on 02/11/2012 at 11:47.
      • leeroye
        Member
        Since: May 2012

        @ Bilbo, probably because he doesnt want two consoles sitting under his TV which is perfectly understandable.

        Comment posted on 02/11/2012 at 15:10.
      • shrek9
        Member
        Since: Apr 2010

        you do relise that the new games for ps4 will be remakes of ps3 games SO WE WILL HAVE TO BUY GAMES WE ALREADY HAVE AGAIN

        Comment posted on 02/11/2012 at 17:06.
      • shrek9
        Member
        Since: Apr 2010

        old games on a new system!!!!!! thats all there talking about as those stupid minis games and old ps1 &ps2 games why play those on ps3, i think ide rather play a ps3 game on ps4 than playing a 20 year or 30 year old game any day.

        Comment posted on 02/11/2012 at 17:21.
    • leon
      Member
      Since: Nov 2010

      Still using my launch PS3 60gb now with a 640gb HDD in it

      Comment posted on 06/11/2012 at 20:31.
  10. damoxuk
    Member
    Since: May 2011

    The day it’s up for pre-order i’ll order it no questions asked. Same for nextgen xbox.

    Wii-U however couldn’t care less tbh. In my eyes it’s nothing but a catch-up/hold over to the real meat. And the fact it’s high price with no HDD/DVD/Blu-ray means it has to complement your other stuff unlike the ps3 which can replace dVD/Blu-ray/media box.

    Comment posted on 01/11/2012 at 23:36.
    • MadBoJangles
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      Agreed :)

      Comment posted on 02/11/2012 at 10:48.
      • damoxuk
        Member
        Since: May 2011

        Hey mad you stalking me :D muhahaha

        Comment posted on 02/11/2012 at 18:48.

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