Report: PS4 Dev Kits Now Shipping, Unveiling Next Summer

It's a PC.

New PlayStation 4 development kits are currently winging their way to developers, according to a new report over on VG247. The story claims that the device, which is still being dubbed Orbis and which will feature a Blu-ray player, isn’t being developed in Japan as many might have assumed.

This obviously isn’t the first such dev kit, and it’s not the last (that’s expected early next year) but it does give us some scope in terms of the spec of the machine, which is apparently housed like a PC and features AMD’s A10 APU chipset.

The information comes, apparently, from a private ‘disclosure meeting’ in which developers were given the details of the new console, which is aiming for full 1080p games, in 3D, at sixty frames per second. Not 4K, as previous rumours suggested.

The console has “either 8GB or 16GB of RAM”* and will come with a 256GB hard drive as standard. 256GB suggests a solid state drive to us, given that it’s not exactly commonplace to get a hard drive at that capacity.

Although the inputs and outputs will be identical to the PS3, the UI will have something of makeover, and will allow gamers to press the PS button on the controller and “travel anywhere in the system”, which will allow things like seamless DLC purchases, of all things.

The report also claims that the PS4 will be revealed before E3 next year.

* We’re assuming VG247 meant GB, not Gb.

32 Comments

  1. I really hope those specs hold up. I’m most excited about being able to do anything on the system from the in game home menu, I was really disappointed that didn’t happen this generation. I also really hope that there is full backwards compatibility with ps3, ps2 and ps1

    • Think Gaikai…

      • I think you might be on the money there, backwards compatibility through some sort of streaming solution.

    • If it’s using aMD processor it won’t be backwards compatible – not a chance in hell.

      But what’s it really matter? You can still play the ps3 right? :D

      • With enough power they might be able to emulate PS1 and PS2 games but then they wouldn’t be able to sell them to you again so I doubt they will implement it.

  2. Cannot wait until E3 next year… or just before!

    • Yep, I bet there will be quite a few folk staying up late for Sony’s press conference.

  3. Still can’t see a console being barely able to run Uncharted-level graphics in 1080p60 3D (although that could mean 1080p & 30fps per eye) with all the post processing effects, anti-aliasing, lighting bells & whistles… 4K? Pah! Maybe in vector based graphics like Q-Games excellent Pixel-Junk titles.
    To pack that grunt and sufficient cooling it would be too big a form factor for a console, & would be expensive which would mean either slow sales or heavy subsidies and more losses.

    Although it means nothing to anyone remembering Sony spouting on about the PS3 being able to play 2 x 1080p60 games simultaneously when in affordable & timely game development cycles it barely does 1 x 720p30 without dropping frames.

    If any of this is true with dev kits not shipping until the summer and with the development time needed for games it surely makes this doubtful for Christmas 2013 and could be April-ish 2014 or beyond?
    Final version would also need to be in production in plenty of time to make sufficient quantity unless territories get left behind again with a staggered launch (which means EU)

    • I really can’t see Sony giving Nintendo two christmas holidays.

    • Studio’s will have been making games with older dev kits for ages now. This is just another updated version.

      It probably will launch before xmas 2013 in Japan maybe US.

      However considering Europe is Sony zone maybe give it to us Europeans first for once. I’d buy that for a dollar ($400) :)

    • Sony simply cannot miss the 2013 holiday season. They’d probably rather release the PS4 with a weaker line up than miss that timeframe.

  4. 8GB minimum of RAM and a 256Gb SSD, sounds pretty awesome. Screw building a PC now.

    • Dev kits have double the RAM though. My TEST PS3 has a GB, I think. This’ll probably have 4GB.

      • This is correct, development kits have twice the RAM. Although that maybe were the 8GB or 16GB comes from, maybe it has 16GB and someone has correctly speculated a retail version would have 8GB? Who knows, until I see it, I don’t believe it!!!!

    • Zero chance of 8GB RAM.

      Surely they’ll be going for GDRR5, if so the mass-production of them is in 256MB modules for the foorseable future so to get 8GB of RAM they’d have to be a ridiculous 32 modules… even if 512MB modules are in mass-production or Sony take a hit and expensively include it anyway it still would 16 modules… which isn’t going to happen.

      I’d say Sony & MS would take the hit and go for 8 x 512MB modules giving 4GB of RAM – and that’s already adding to potential subsidies, but it’s probably unrealistic for longevity’s sake to settle for less.

      I read this somewhere more technical than I, can’t remember where, probably Digital Foundry or Ars Technica.

      • if its like a PC then a 8gb should be fine.

      • Yes… the dev kit is like a PC.

        But for a retail release, a PC isn’t a console form factor to go under the tv or in a media centre, there isn’t a chance in hell for the sound technical reason I’ve said that it will be 8GB… If you think a console will have 16 memory banks in it, you’re mistaken… Even having 8 modules to get up to 4GB is really, really pushing it – and for the form factor and budget 2GB sounds much, much more likely. However, it wouldn’t have the longevity that taking a big subsidy hit and going for 4GB would have, which is why despite problems with GDDR5 memory in those size for the next couple of years it is most likely.

        PC memory is DDR3, GDDR5 has twice the bandwidth of the currently popular DDR3, it is unlikely DDR3 will be sufficient for a ’10 year lifespan’ of a new device which is why pushing the boat out for GDDR5 is likely (the current graphic card memory type)

  5. I’m more excited about the consoles, rather than the games themselves these days…

  6. If the PS4/Orbis can run nextgen games at 1080P at 60FPS I’m sold. I’m probably sold anyway since I love the exclusive games PlayStation gamers get. I just hope that it will be, if not a requirement, but common that the best games can run at 60FPS at 1080P, and that in-game-XMB or whatever the next menu is called, runs smooth. I don’t really need much better graphics than lets say Uncharted 3, but I want a much better overall experience with in-game-XMB as mentioned. Gonna be exiting when we start to hear more official news on this.

    • I wonder if Last of Us will be a dual format release game?

      I’d buy it on ps4 for definite. :)

      Being able to download stuff in the background whilst watching blu-rays/gaming etc will be cool.

  7. Seems like they are doing a complete change on the PS road map for the next few years. How well this will pay off is still a mystery, but it seems to me that it will be a good thing to get rid of my collection of PS3 games that won’t run on the PS4 and that none will care to buy at a later point. Or simply keep playing indie games on my PC, or $0.99 games on my phone, and forget about this whole mess that consoles became recently.

  8. Sounds like an upgraded ps3! The jump from PS2 to PS3 was huge and I don’t think we’ll be getting that again. But the ps3 does have issues that need sorting out, such as the frame-rate drops etc, so I look forward to this greatly :)

  9. Want new shiny now!

  10. 1080p, 60 fps…
    Means nothing. You could do that with a crappy looking game and it’ll still look crappy.

    I want to know how detailed it can render the gameworld, how many individual actions can a game carry on at once, that sort of thing.

    It’ll take more than 1080p at 60fps to convince me to shell out the big bucks for a new console.

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