Sony's next generation PlayStation 4 release rumors are spreading like wildfire even though the company hasn't stated any official word for the gaming console launch.

The latest reports suggest that Sony will launch the PS4, codenamed the Orbis, in time for Christmas 2013. However, very little is known about the next-gen console.

According to a report on gaming website Kotaku, a prototype of the console is already being shipped to select developers and the game lovers will be seeing its launch in 18 months' time. However, it is supposed that Sony may also unveil it at the games trade show E3 in June 2013.

Here is a roundup of all the rumored features, specs and release date of PlayStation 4.

Features and Specs Updates

  • According to the website's source, the PlayStation Orbis will have both a CPU and a GPU made by AMD, with the graphics being based on the recently released Southern Islands cards for the PC.
  • This improved hardware will allow the console to display graphics at a resolution of up to 4096 x 2160 and 3D images at a full HD 1080p resolution.
  • The report also mentioned that more and more prototypes of the console are being sent to selected developers across the world so that they can start working on games for the new home console.
  • Projects surround the PlayStation 4 have been in development for quite some time now. Game design news site Develop reported in October that preliminary work on titles for the upcoming console was underway in Sony studios. The source told Develop that these projects were in very early stages.
  • Unfortunately for existing PS3 owners, the Orbis would not have any sort of backwards compatibility with games for the current device, which means early adopters would not have lots of things to play on it. According to a Slashgear report, the Orbis will not be working with any games from previous consoles at all, depending solely on games that are release after the console itself.
  • Just like with a previous rumor concerning the next generation Xbox console, it seems that the Orbis will have a system in place to prevent used gaming, similar to the one seen with current PC games.
  • Games for the console will arrive either on a Blu-ray disc or as digital downloads. Once the user gete a retail game and place it into their console, they would need to activate it online and tie it to their PlayStation Network account, which means the user would be able to download it from the PS Store in case something happens to the Blu-ray disc.
  • Those who buy used copies of a game might be served with a trial version or be forced to pay a certain amount of money in order to unlock the full title, but actual details aren't clear just yet.

Release Date

Sony's Orbis is purportedly scheduled to be launched before the 2013 holiday season and beta consoles could be in developer's hands by the end of 2012, according to Kotaku. The company's current console, the PlayStation 3, debuted in the US in late 2006.