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 orbis.scedev.net being a thing. This is the portal that developers use to access resources for development. vita.scedev.net and ngp.scedev.net 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?