PlayStation 4 Rumoured, Codename “Orbis”

Kotaku has taken a moment out from its usual stream of semi-titillating photos of cosplayers, Japanese niche cultural trends and fashion advice to leak some information about the next generation of PlayStation hardware.

The information comes from an unnamed source so we’ll just lay it out here and let you decide how much you trust the source Kotaku clearly does.

It will be called “Orbis”, at least as a working title. This is backed up by the SCE subdomain being a thing. This is the portal that developers use to access resources for development. and both work, as does the PS3 equivalent but the PS4 version of that address goes nowhere.

It has an AMD x64 CPU and an AMD Southern Islands GPU making it roughly as powerful as some of the high end gaming PCs due out this year. AMD CPU is something that has been rumoured before and given the company’s possible involvement there, also supplying a GPU isn’t too much of a stretch.

Orbis will be out next year. Apparently it’s due in the holiday season of 2013. No word on whether this is worldwide or just in the US and Japan, as with the PlayStation 3’s 2006 launch. It won’t be backward compatible with PS3 games though, so you’ll have to clear some extra space under the TV because you’re going to want to keep your PS3 around.

There are some extremely disturbing rumours that there will be a restrictive DRM system in place which requires you to lock a newly purchased game (Blu-ray) to your PSN account, which will allow you to copy the whole thing to your hard disk but will also render any subsequent trade in practically useless. The idea seems to be that pre-owned purchasers will basically get a gimped version of the game like a trial which prompts them to pay a further fee to unlock the full thing.

There’s also warning that playing offline will not be an option to circumvent this DRM. Like some heavily criticised PC games recently, there could be plans to require a PSN connection before a game disc will work at all. Can’t see that being any sort of issue given the PSN’s history of maintenance, launch day server woes and periods of downtime…

As always, whether you choose to trust these rumours is up to you, nothing is certain until Sony takes to a stage somewhere and announces it. It’s interesting to speculate though, how believable do you think this batch of rumours is?

Source: Kotaku


  1. All of this seems absolutely hateful and rubbish

    which in Sony terms means that it sounds pretty truthful..

    • looks like some people wanted Sony to have a horrible DRM story in the wild as well. prefer the Sony statement then it is fact hoping they stick with NVIDIA as well.

      • I don’t know about you guys but I would prefer whatever comes up with the more powerful chip. If that turns out to be AMD then more power to them. I don’t care what brand makes the components in my next gaming device as long as it is capable.

  2. I am in no doubt whatsoever that there is a chance that this is unbelievably believable.

  3. Interesting, but I can’t see it being true about Locking games to a PSN id, seems ridiculous, mainly based on how many GB of memory people will go through per game.

    • Its also inconcievable that they require internet connection to play a game. There is still a huge market with people buying consoles that dont have internet and Sony would be silly to cut them off.

      • Around a year after PS3 was released I read somewhere that abou 8/10 people were playing online. I’d say about 9/10 are online now. Losing 10% of your customer base would be a big hit, but they could well justify it to themselves to limit piracy.

      • yeah, except that wouldn’t do anything to stop piracy.

        if people manage to mod their consoles to bypass the security it’ll be easy enough for them to bypass any online requirements.

        this would be about one thing if they do it.
        stopping the 100% legal preowned market.

        and no matter what dicks like Braben And Dyack say it’s still legal.

  4. The DRM thing, if it turns out to be true and if its rivals (mainly thinking Microsoft here) do not do the same, will be enough to switch me to that rival.

    Obviously it is a big if at this stage but for Pete’s sake Sony, do not go down that road.

    • I will be with you on that one.

      I have been with Sony since the PS1, but this would drive me away forever.

      • I don’t think it would stop me buying one at some point but very unlikely at launch and I definitely wouldn’t buy anywhere near the volume of games for it either.

      • Agreed, no back compatibility as well as forced online gaming and required psn for disk games, totally ludicrous and basically telling all their very loyal fans that tbhey will just have comply because its all that’s offered. well i for 1 won’t be buying the new orbis or anything else Sony brandedd if this rumor can be believed, i really hope its just rumor, cos some of the features would be good as an OPTION, not mandatory, like as some kind of warped punishment

    • Unfortunately this style of DRM was also mooted in the new xbox rumours so it’s possible they’ll both do it.. :(

      • If they both do it, I’m staying with my PC. I love my consoles, but FUCK. THAT.

      • steam, origin and sites like that all use drm don’t they?

      • Some games on Steam do but it’s very rare you need a constant net connection. For example, I can switch to offline mode to play my beloved Total War games if needed. Only problem is, I need to set it into offline mode before the net goes off.
        Anyway, around 80% of the games I play aren’t on Steam so I’ll be fine.

      • Just USB tether your PC through your phone’s 3G and set it to offline mode. Saved my ass the last time our internet connection went down. :)

    • Same here, I love Sony’s consoles and I’m not normally one to moan about restrictive DRM etc or even buy used games, but if these rumours turn out to be true, then I can’t see myself getting a PS4.

      The “lock game to your account to install” thing could be cool if it’s optional though.

      • Optional is fine. Giving me the choice to install and run from the HDD IF I forego the option to sell the game on is not a problem, but forcing me to lock it to my account, essentially killing both pre-owned AND rental? Not good

      • How could the lock in with account option be a good thing, even when optional? That’s a serious question. I can not come up with a scenario where I would want to lock a game to my account other than pissing off a sibling who you don’t want to play your games.

      • The install to HDD option. Some games I know I will never sell on so I might install those to the HDD to make life easier.

    • To the Wii U you go!

      • if a sequel to Xenoblade comes to the wii-u, then i’ll get one. ^_^

      • Not necessarily. There is OnLive, PC gaming and Microsoft (unless they do the same).
        I’m not averse to the Wii U anyway, always a Nintendo fan and if the Wii U offers some more ‘serious’ gaming then it is an option.

  5. That’d be a huge coup for AMD to get this deal. Supplying both CPU and GPU together, presumably with a lot of the rest of the system architecture alongside will help them increase their finances considerably, as well as to put some of the development for the console back into their PC chips, and help them close the development gap they have to Intel.

    Still, all forms of speculation like this are stupid, in my opinion.

    • Yep, I’m not keen on speculation. Wish folk would just report the facts.

      • “report the facts” would essentially mean “reprint official statements”, wouldn’t it? Since nothing like this can be considered “fact” until it’s confirmed by the only people who know for sure – the people who own it. That’s PR’s job.
        A journalist’s job is to dig around and try to uncover the truths – confirmed or not – like Kotaku seem to have done here. And believe me, I’m the last person who would defend anything Kotaku does without them deserving it!
        For my part, I just like thinking about new shiny electronic stuff and thought people would like to have a look and a bit of a chat about how likely all of this is.

      • My post was meant to read ‘wild speculation’ and ‘wish those folk’. I normally read through what I’ve typed before posting but was on the phone at the time so was distracted.
        Nothing against speculation if it’s based on some truth, it’s the ‘PS4 will have a gamma-ray drive or 60TB HDD’ that I get sick of reading.

      • The problem I have with these things is that there’s very few sources I really trust when it comes to rumours, particularly with Apple. There’s a constant stream of speculation, when really it ends up largely being way off the mark or plain common sense, which could be applied months out.

        In this particular instance, “Orbis” could also be a long forgotten codename for the PS Move which features… a big glowing orb on the end of the controller. Tadaaa!

        The rest of the stuff just sounds like a mix of common sense and general speculation. Tired of this kind of thing.

        Tuffcub’s truly investigative journalism over Resi 5, the iPad prototype parts, the leaked PSPgo video… I’ll pay attention again when it’s stuff like that.

        Right, I’m off to have a bit of a huff and kick over a chair. ;-)

  6. I buy the majority of my games new anyway so wouldn’t be too bad but when funds are a bit tight I do like the option to trade in if needed.

    • The option to trade would pretty much be non-existent, as if the above is to be believed all you are effectively trading is a trial. So you are likely to get a lot less in trade value for it.

      50p for a brand new game maybe?

      • “50p for a brand new game maybe?”

        But… *thinks of a Game joke as they seem popular*… that’s 50p more than you can get for trading in brand new games at Game these days….. :P

      • And what about rentals?!

  7. Some of the facts here seem pretty believable. I just hope Sony don’t use DRM to the extent that is being said in this rumour. I wonder if we will see anything at E3 this year about it?

    • I’d think they won’t show it off until E3 next year, because they have said recently enough that they are sticking to the PS3’s 10 year life span. That said, if they want to get a head start on the new Xbox, showing it off this year would be there option.

      Either way, this rumour just makes me more excited for E3 this year xD

      • People throw around that “10 year lifespan” thing a lot but when have they ever said that it’s 10 years without another console on the scene? The PS3 could quite easily have a 10 year life span and have a PS4 out for the last few years of it. They were still making PS2 games when the PS3 was out after all (and it’s still selling!)

  8. Sounds very drastic. Sony couldn’t possibly release 3 consoles in a row without backwards compatibility, could they?

    • 3??

      I can only think of the slim PS3’s at the moment – With you referring to this being the 3rd, what would the 2nd be?

      • I think he meant 2, ps3 & vita probably a typo

      • Ah, that would make sense actually & Vita could be number 2 in that respect, as i don’t consider the Vita a console.

      • The Vita has backwards compatibility. You can play all your PSP games that you bought from the PSN store.

      • In that case then, i am back to square one with not knowing what the 2nd one was!

    • it doesnt make financial sense for them to do that though, i for one would love BC on the PS4 but why would they give us that option when they can force us to buy a “Classics” range in the future?


      • it is the cell that would make it a problem.

      • although i agree with it making financial sense, i don’t see how they could get away with it a 2nd time, as the ps2 classics are just upscaled into HD and widescreen to look good on HD TV’s with Trophy sets and don’t otherwise get touched. Other than re-relesing ps3 games as they are, theres nothing new to offer on ‘ps3 classics’ range, so less people would buy them and it probably wouldn’t be worth the hassle of conversion.

  9. If this is all true, then i will flat out refuse to get a PS4 as i hate the stupid must be online or game won’t work DRM. Plus, PSN is not excalty 100% reliable. Also, why no BC? Didn’t they learn from the massive backleash when BC was dropped from the PS3?

    This kind of stuff nearly killed the PC market and i think it’s still recovering.

    Sony, you risk losing a ton of customers. I’ve been with you seen the PS1, but i don’t want to be treated like a pirate for daring to by preowned.

    • i think your post mirrors the entire internets response to this rumor, it would be a horrible disaster for them.

      • you don’t think that would stop them do you?

    • I would honestly think twice about buying a PS4 if this was the case. The reasons being obvious, I hope.

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