Sony PS4: What is Orbis and Why is it Generating So Much Buzz?

   on March 29 2012 11:21 AM

Earlier this year, the codename for the next-gen Xbox was revealed as Durango, according to a developer summit in London. And now, Sony's next-generation PlayStation console (PlayStation 4 or PS4) has apparently been codenamed Orbis.

The PlayStation 4 rumors have been quiet so far, while Microsoft came out publicly to say there would be no next-gen Xbox reveal this year. However, Kotaku's source, who revealed the codename, says that developer consoles are coming this year and full release will be in 2013.

Combine it [the codename, Orbis] with the name of Sony's new handheld system ... and you have the common term Orbis Vita, Kotaku speculates. Orbis Vita - or Orbis Vitae, if you're speaking Latin - translates to the circle of life. This could mean that the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation Vita, which launched this year in the western world, could be integrating. The Vita already offers trophy support, like the PlayStation 3.

[T]hose who buy second-hand titles may only be able to access a trial version of the content, with the option of paying for a full registration, The Guardian writes. However, as new games retail at expensive prices, the inability of Orbis to play older titles or used games could drive some consumers away. It would also be bad news for retailers, as money from used games goes directly to retailers.

And, with UK retailer GAME laying off 40 percent of its employees, other retailers could follow suit.

Michael Pachter has already chimed in with his thoughts on the Orbis rumours by saying that GameStop may ... refuse to carry Sony's new console ... if it does turn out that the system doesn't support used games, ProductReviews reveal. GameStop also recently revealed that they don't expect an anti-used games policy next generation, due to their strong relationship with the console manufacturers.

We're still not certain if this will be powerful enough for PlayStation users who are just begging for more power from the next-gen console, In Entertainment adds. The console is rumoured to be featuring AMD x64 CPU and a AMD Southern Islands GPU. High-end PCs are featuring those internals now.

Those chips will be powerful enough to support video games in 4096*2160 (4K) resolution, X-bit Labs adds. Those specs easily run 3D in 1080p and 720p.

The buzz is also being generated because, along with no support for used games, the PlayStation 4 will not offer backwards compatibility. Previous rumours suggested that the PlayStation 4 will be moving away from the PlayStation 3's Cell architecture, which has been more difficult to work with than the Xbox 360. [The] PlayStation 3's Cell processor would be a nightmare to emulate, The Inquisitr confirms.

Kotaku cautioned that Sony is confirming nothing at this point, Forbes added. The only thing to be expected at this point is that between now and 2013 there will be plenty of rumours, and no official confirmation, until the official reveal.

(reported by Jonathan Charles, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)

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