PlayStation 4 could release as early as Holiday Season 2013, but may sport anti pre-owned measures
by Ben Abbott at 5:22 pm on Thursday, 29 March 2012

Holiday season 2013 could see a new, next-generation PlayStation console hit store shelves if a rumour published yesterday on Kotaku is to be believed. What’s more, this PS3 successor could even sport some anti pre-owned measures and may disregard backwards compatibility entirely.

Apparently codenamed ‘Orbis’ (derived from the Latin word, which means anything from ‘circle’ and ‘orbit’ to ‘world’), the system will potentially boast an AMD x64 CPU and an AMD Southern Islands GPU - a powerful combination echoing AMD’s high end PC range for this year that could display a resolution of 4096x2160, far beyond what current HDTVs can manage. It will also be able to display 3D in 1080p according to the tip-off, as apposed to the standard 720p users currently enjoy on their PS3 systems.

Claiming that the rumour originates from a “reliable source” who has shared information with the site before, their report additionally revealed that “select developers” have been receiving dev kits since the beginning of this year, whilst more finalised beta units will be released to others toward the end of 2012.

However, the system will reportedly not be backwards compatible with PS3 titles, and games will be specifically linked to a PSN account to counter the pre-owned market - a practice within the industry that many developers are openly critical about, highlighted by the comments of Silicon Knight’s Denis Dyack yesterday in an interview with Gamesindustry International. This would make Sony the second major company to follow such a route if all goes according to chatter from the rumour mill, following talk that the next Xbox system would also block the use of second-hand products.

Elsewhere, Kotaku’s source revealed that - whilst it would still be possible to resell games - customers purchasing said pre-owned content would only be able to access a limited experience. This could end up being anything from a trial version of the game to something rather similar to modern online passes, where users have to pay to get all the content of the title in question if they don’t purchase it new.

In an intriguing link to the recently released PS Vita handheld, Kotaku is quick to point out a possible link built upon the PS4’s codename; ‘Orbis Vita’ (or Orbis Vitae, to be precise) means “circle of life” in Latin, suggesting a greater deal of crossover between the two machines than the handheld experiences with the PS3.

As always, it’s worth taking this sort of rumour with a hefty pinch of salt; Sony has answered that they do not comment on rumour and speculation, and there is as of yet little to ground it in fact. More on this as it comes.

Source: Kotaku
- Ben Abbott

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