PS4 Speculation Points To No 4K For Gaming, Restrictions On Used Games And No Backwards Compatibility

[drop2]The worst part about being on the cusp of a new generation is the crazy conspiracy theories and rampant rumour-mongering.

And today it’s the turn of PSM3 magazine, Future’s print mag that will see its latest issue on the shelves shortly as the publisher moves to reduce the number of magazines and focus on its formidable online portfolio.


It’s going out with a bang, though, as reports the latest issue is primed with a big pile of PlayStation 4 rumours.

The first one being that it’s not going to be called the PlayStation 4, due to the number 4’s superstitious connotations in Japan. 4 is considered unlucky, and has an alternative pronunciation related to death.

Other aspects from the report say that the rumoured 4K resolution won’t be for games, just for movies. Good, if the next gen aims for 1080p at a decent frame rate that’ll be absolutely fine.

What else is in there? Sony will show demos at E3 next year, they’ll look like Watch Dogs and Star Wars 1313 did on PC this year, and everyone will be rather excited. Except those that like used games, because the rumour is that games will be registered with a PSN account and it won’t be easy to play pre-owned titles. Remember this is just speculation, there’s no confirmation that any of this will actually happen.

Onwards? How about between 4GB and 8GB of RAM? No backwards compatibility with PS3 and PS2, oddly, although that’s likely to be covered by the Gaikai deal as we’ve said in the past. The mag points to Move being important (and possibly bundled) although that’s again just guesswork and most likely not going to end up the case.

The price? 400€-500€. We’ll see.

The PS4 – or whatever it’ll end up being called – is heavily rumoured to be coming next year. We’ve written plenty about it, including this discussion piece which picks up on most of the consolidated chat and technical guesswork.



  1. Surely number 4 is considered UNlucky…


  2. Ps4 should live to the saying ‘it only does everything’ just not pre owned lol but isn’t physical copy seeing a decline in sales, I maybe wrong but soon or later pre owned will become a dead thing. If publishers can prove their software right rather than 49.99 for a half baked game then people won’t buy pre owned.

    But again this can also depends on Internet speeds & most countries don’t have good Internet so I don’t know. Virgin rules though

  3. I believe in Cantonese, it’s pronounced something like saaay, which apparently means death too. Never though of that as an influence, but they are rather superstitious over there.

    • In mandarin it is pronounced Si as is the number four. Only they have different tones attached to them. I didn’t realise Japanese was the same.

  4. As EU court ruling forces the ability to resell used games, this speculation would mean the PS4/Orbis/whatever will not be allowed on the EU market, and I don’t see that happening.

    • It’ll be allowed but trouble will soon follow.

      • As most new games cost between £40 – £50 no pre-owned market could put a lot of people buying the next gen playstation.

  5. Can’t wait! I almost always buy new (if you wait a few months games become a lot cheaper), so don’t really care about possible restrictions.

    • Same, however everyone else’s purchasing habits can have an effect on us. If people can’t trade in, they might be less likely to buy new IPs or make impulse purchases, which could damage new or smaller developer, which could hurt us all!

  6. Oh, and no backwards compatibility would mean my huge PS Plus collection would not be transferrable to the PS4, which would also mean I (and most PS Plus users) will remain on the PS3 for a length of time.

    So far, I’m pretty underwhelmed by what the ‘next generation’ is going to offer. I hope all rumors are false, and Sony/MS will dish out a beast of a new console.

    Major essential feature: full integration between the Vita and PS4, making ALL new games playable via remote-play.

    • The digital collection of games becomes more and more important which is why Steam feels so good when I upgrade a machine.

      I’ve ploughed quite a bit into my PSN collection and will be disappointed to see such a restriction on the PS4 when it comes out. Bugger.

  7. No backwards compability will piss me off, but I’ve never had it before (except on pc) , so I guess I’ll be alright.

  8. no preowned, no sale here.

    honestly, i expected to hear rumours about this kind of thing long before now.

    i’ve said this is the way the industry was heading, so i’m hedging my bets on the accuracy of that rumour.

    as for no 4K, meh, be a long time before i could afford a 4K tv so no loss for me.
    or most people i expect.

  9. In Japanese, 4 can be either “shi” or “yon”. Shi is for “death”, so that’s why it’s unlucky, because it all depends on how each person reads it. But at the same time, every PS3 japanese commercial I’ve seen never refers to it as “san”, but rather “three”. They could still go with “four”.

    • even if they do change it for Japan because of that, i’d expect it’ll just be called the PS4 to the rest of the world.

      • If not, it will turn into an iPad thing, where 3 and 4 were never named that why but we just called them that anyway ;)

      • Well the Vita is the “PSP2”, the Xbox 360 is the “Xbox2” and so on.

        If giving the Vita a name rather than a number is indicative of anything, it’s that Sony won’t shy away from giving their next home console a name, should they want to.

      • I prefer names than numbers, quite like Orbis.

  10. backwards compatibility is only useful until the number of games reaches a certain level, and why charge/pay more for hardware that allows it, when you already have a PS3.

    RAM is needed and is dirt cheap for 4GB or 8GB
    4GB is as low as £12 retail, so manufacturing should be pennies
    8GB is £26, so probably no more than £1-£2

    so 4x4GB should be cheap enough, no need to cripple a system, but saying that 512mb is still being squeezed and pushed to the max and the results aren’t too bad.

    I agree with Mithrandir about the re-sale of games though, not a good idea if the EU says you SHOULD be able to sell old games, both physical and digital. Any idea when this comes into force?

    • With backwards compability on more powerful hardware, you might be able to play games with improved performance. Allowing you to make room on your TV-bench by removing the PS3. I’d pay a lot of extra money for a model with BC.

    • DDR3 is cheap, but the high performance GDDR5 which would be used is expensive.

      DDR3 is commonly used at between 1066Mhz and 1600Mhz, these days, but even 8 years down the line, this is only up to 2/3rds as fast as the GDDR3 RAM which was used in the 360 and PS3. (The PS3 also has 256MB of XDR, which is 1.5x the speed of GDDR3 again).

      GDDDR5, though, is 2.5x the speed of GDDR3 even, and roughly 4x as fast as DDR3 at 1600Mhz. With a shared pool of memory, as seen in the 360, and as you might expect in next generation consoles, all the RAM needs to be at the standards required by the GPU to maximise performance. So they have to use this more expensive RAM to not bottleneck the system.

      • Which provides an interesting choice for Microsoft & Sony because GDDR5 might not be in required module sizes in high-volume production in time for next summer’s likely production run.

        Current high volume (cheaper) production of GDDR5 is in 256MB modules, meaning 16 chips to reach 4GB… that’s an impossible scenario in a console’s form factor, so MS & Sony will need to take a hit on non-mass produced 512MB modules of GDDR5 if 4GB and not 2-3GB is the aim.

        People talking about 8GB & 16GB are smoking something.

      • It also needs to be remembered that consoles have far lower overheads than PCs, so massive amounts of RAM aren’t *necessarily* required.

      • @Para: This is historically true, but the 360 and PS3 started a trend of having deeper, always available OS overlays. The WiiU has 2GB of RAM, but half of that is supposed to be reserved for the OS to run on… 1GB in total!

        Add on top of that how limiting the 512MB of RAM is in both systems (more so on the PS3, granted), and it’s important that they don’t underestimate the RAM required to offer the best long term staying power.

        Ideally they would get 4GB of RAM. I would be concerned, were they to go with 2GB of RAM about whether they wouldn’t be limited by this again in 3 or 4 years time.

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