Sony might not be ready to talk PlayStation 4, but that doesn't mean the tech/gaming press isn't. Gaming blog Kotaku has the scoop on what could be a very bold change in gears for Sony's next game console.
Up until now, we've heard that the PS4 will drop the Cell processor in favor of AMD processors and graphics. Sony also threw in the official word that it was not showing off any new hardware at E3 this year.
In terms of hardware, developers have been told to prep Orbis games with AMD X64 CPU and AMD Southern Island GPUs (high-end PC guts). The GPU will be capable of cranking out 4K2K resolution games at 4096x2160 and 3D games at 1080p (current 3D PS3 games are downgraded to 720p).
The most shocking part of the report is that the Orbis will not support PlayStation 3 games (just like the slim PS3 has no PS2 BC) and there might be some kind of "anti-used games" security in place. Orbis games will be available on Blu-Ray or as a digital download on SEN (people, stop calling it PSN):
If you buy the disc, it must be locked to a single PSN account, after which you can play the game, save the whole thing to your HDD, or peg it as "downloaded" in your account history and be free to download it at a later date.
Don't think you can simply buy the disc and stay offline, though; like many PC games these days, you'll need to have a PSN account and be online to even get the thing started.
If you then decide to trade that disc in, the pre-owned customer picking it up will be limited in what they can do. While our sources were unclear on how exactly the pre-owned customer side of things would work, it's believed used games will be limited to a trial mode or some other form of content restriction, with consumers having to pay a fee to unlock/register the full game.
The next Xbox, code-named "Durango" is also reported to have some type of anti-used games measure, with early rumors even suggesting the Microsoft's next console might lose the optical drive.
More suspect is that Sony will reportedly launch the Orbis by holiday 2013. With no reveal at E3 planned, that leaves Sony with either the Tokyo Game Show or a private Sony event for a proper unveil. Typically, consoles are announced at least a year in advance to get third-party developers ready for the next-gen. But what if Sony is holding the Orbis cards closer to its chest in order to ensure quality launch titles are released?
As with all rumors, keep those brows raised. There might be some real info in this report, but it could all be BS tossed out to Kotaku to throw us all off. Tell us what you think of these new rumors in the comments section below.