Saturday, 2 February 2013

Sony PlayStation 4 Destined for Christmas 2013 Release

Tech giant Sony has summoned the press to a New York City event on 20 February 2013. The company publicised the event on Thursday 31 January, tempting us to "see the future," giving a link to the website with few details.

For fans the important questions will be; when will the PS4 be on our shelves? What sort of hardware will it have?  Will it even be called the PlayStation 4?

There have been reports suggesting that Sony is calling the new PS4, 'Orbis'. This comes from a source speaking to Kotaku "who is not authorised to talk publicly about next-gen hardware but has shared correct information" with them before.

Supposing the Orbis name is in some way accurate, it's still uncertain whether the name is a codename like Durango or if the console will literally be called the Sony PlayStation.

The name does make some kind of sense if you combine it with the word 'Vitae' (or Vita). Orbis Vitae translates from Latin as 'circle of life' and hints at some serious synergy between the PS4 and the PS Vita.

Graphics and CPU

Kotaku had mentioned that the PS4 was penciled in as packing an AMD x64 CPU and 28nm AMD Southern Islands graphics power.

In November 2012 strong rumours have suggested that PS4 development kits have been delivered to devs packing an AMD A10 APU, between 8GB and 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and a Blu-ray drive.

The graphics part of the A10 APU is already quite dated. Those chips are not the best that AMD currently has to offer - so by the time the PS4 goes on sale it would be miserably lacking in power compared to the latest AMD technologies, let alone the most advanced chips from Intel and Nvidia. 

The latest rumours suggest that the PS4 will have more computing power than the Xbox 720 while packing less RAM.

It is suggested that the PS4 will launch in time for Christmas 2013, although Sony are remaining quiet on the issue. We have received strong hints from industry insiders that 2013 will be the year but nothing is confirmed and anything could yet happen.

One thing's for sure: Sony is currently losing billions every year and badly needs the cash injection that would come from a new console.

VG247 is quoting an anonymous source (always a bad start to a rumour) as saying that Sony believes it is in a position to get the PS4 out of the door before the launch of Microsoft's Xbox 720. The next Xbox is almost certain to hit the shelves in 2013 so maybe we expect them to arrive roughly together.

We remember, of course, how Microsoft managed to launch the 360 a full year before the PS3 went on sale and that enabled it to gain a huge headstart, despite all sorts of technical faults and expensive repair bills.

Meanwhile, Bethesda's Todd Howard, game director for the blockbuster Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, says that gamers should not expect follow-ups to the PS3 and Xbox 360 until 2014, at the very earliest.

Speaking to PSM3 magazine, the Bethesda exec said that gamers were happy with the current generation of console tech and that he didn't expect to see an Xbox 720 or a PS4 before 2014.

Backwards compatibility

When the original original PS3 unit shipped, it contained a chip that gave it the ability to play PS2 games. Subsequent iterations of hardware omitted this chip and so the backwards compatibility was condemned to death.
Current rumours suggests that the PS4 will completely ignore the possibility of backwards compatibility and focus firmly on the next generation.

No more second hand games?

More rumours suggest that Sony is going in the same direction as Microsoft in that it wants to kill off the second hand games market. Current industry suggests that future PS4 games might be tied to your Sony Entertainment Network account and will thus then have no resale value. That's a similar approach as used by PC developers using Steam so we reckon this is a likely development. Doesn't mean I am happy about it.


  1. Excellent Read! Keep up the good work!

    Tim Howley

  2. Excellent Read! Keep up the good work!

    Tim Howley


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