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January 16, 2013 // 1:58 pm - It's been just over a month since IGN confirmed PlayStation 4 developer kit updates surfaced, and today Sony VP of Home Entertainment Hiroshi Sakamoto has hinted that a PS4 (Orbis) announcement my arrive in May prior to E3 this year.

Below is the scoop, to quote: "He told Emol in response to a question about "a new announcement related to the new PlayStation," that while the news is "still a big secret," the PlayStation side of Sony, "are getting ready for it."

He of course doesn't directly refer to a "PlayStation 4" or the rumored "Orbis" internal project name. Sakamoto adds that the PlayStation team are "focused on E3," but, "the announcement could take place at that time, or maybe even before, in May."

Sounds like Sony's toying with a pre-E3 event for its next-gen console - E3 takes place on June 11 - 13 - though Mr. Sakamoto's comments are still ambiguous enough that we can't be sure. This is a company that launched three different major hardware iterations of the PlayStation 3, so anything could happen.

When the interviewer follows up on Sakamoto's tease-y answer by asking, "But are you getting ready for a big announcement or something complementary?," Sakamoto continues speaking in ambiguities.

"Probably the former, on that date we hope to deliver big news, but we must wait until May at least," he says. We've followed up with Sony for more, but don't expect to hear much beyond a wink and a smile."

Below are some purported PS4 / Orbis specifications courtesy of EuroGamer, to quote:

Here are the highlights:

• CPU.

Both the next generation PlayStation - and its Xbox competitor - feature eight-core CPUs clocked at 1.6GHz according to sources trusted by Digital Foundry.

The main processor architecture driving both consoles is said to be derived the new "Jaguar" technology currently in development by Intel's arch-rival, AMD. These are low-power processor cores designed for the entry-level laptop and tablet market, offering an excellent ratio between power consumption and performance. The PC Jaguar products are set to ship later this year in a quad-core configuration - next-gen consoles see the core count double with some customisations added to the overall design.

• GPU.

Married to the eight-core processor, Orbis also features Radeon HD graphics hardware. We've previously suggested that AMD's mobile "Pitcairn" design - the Radeon 7970M - could be a strong basis for a next-gen console graphics core in terms of power consumption and die-size. Running at 850MHz and featuring 20 of AMD's "Graphics Core Next" compute units, our information suggests that Orbis shaves off 10 per cent of that number, offering up 18 CUs in total, and sees a mild downclock to 800MHz. Incorporated into a design dedicated to cutting-edge visuals and gameplay, this hardware has some serious potential.

However, there's a fair amount of "secret sauce" in Orbis and we can disclose details on one of the more interesting additions. Paired up with the eight AMD cores, we find a bespoke GPU-like "Compute" module, designed to ease the burden on certain operations - physics calculations are a good example of traditional CPU work that are often hived off to GPU cores. We're assured that this is bespoke hardware that is not a part of the main graphics pipeline but we remain rather mystified by its standalone inclusion, bearing in mind Compute functions could be run off the main graphics cores and that devs could have the option to utilise that power for additional graphical grunt, if they so chose.

• RAM.

We also have hard data on Orbis's memory set-up. It features 4GB of GDDR5 - the ultra-fast RAM that typically ships with the latest PC graphics cards - with 512MB reserved for the operating system. This is in stark contrast to the much slower DDR3 that Durango will almost certainly ship with. Microsoft looks set to be using an offshoot of eDRAM technology connected to the graphics core to offset the bandwidth issues the use of DDR3 incurs. Volume of RAM is the key element in Durango's favour - there'll be 8GB in total, with a significant amount (two sources we've spoken to suggest 3GB in total) reserved for the OS.

Finally, Sony is also expected to drop their popular DualShock design with PlayStation 4. Below are some excerpts from CVG and EuroGamer, as follows:

Apparently, the new system's controller has undergone a number of different designs, only a few of which resemble the DualShock.

This is what CVG reports:

A senior games studio source working on an upcoming Sony game says the new system's controller has undergone numerous iterations, few of which resemble the DualShock build that has become synonymous with PlayStation.

Experiments within Sony's R&D department are thought to have been extensive. Versions of the new PS4 pad include biometric sensors on the grips and an LCD touch screen, the development source claimed.

A second source, working in a separate part of the industry but still connected to Sony, said PlayStation engineers are "trying to emulate the same user interface philosophies as the PS Vita". This is likely a reference to the touch-screen capabilities of the PlayStation handheld, and a suggestion that Sony will tightly integrate its portable and home systems.

The new console - codenamed Orbis - will be revealed in a matter of weeks, not months.

Sony has declined to comment. And, what Eurogamer said matches with the above:

This information tallies with what Eurogamer has heard from our own sources. We understand that as of six months ago Sony was testing a controller that had an LCD touch-screen on the front and biometrics functionality on the back. These designs, we were told, have changed almost every month, but are for the controller for the next PlayStation.

Biometrics technology captures data from the player's body, such as temperature and heart rate. Half-Life developer Valve has been experimenting with the tech, trying to discover new game experiences that would benefit from it. Sony did not comment.


Sony VP Hints of PlayStation 4 (PS4) Announcement in May, 2013

Sony VP Hints of PlayStation 4 (PS4) Announcement in May, 2013

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#25 - ca3d00 - November 17, 2012 // 4:22 pm
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They'll have fun trying to ban the use of "Used Games" in the EU where it's illegal to prevent software re-sale.

If they do prevent people playing games they've bought 2nd hand they'll be up before a judge before you can sneeze and that'll be all she wrote.

#24 - NTA - November 17, 2012 // 4:03 pm
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7. The PS4 will not be backwards compatible with PS3 games.
8. Games need to be registered to PlayStation Network account

At least wii u has bc for wii games

#23 - DoctorimiJ - November 17, 2012 // 2:21 pm
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With all the stuff they have planned to bog it down with, I tend to agree with you.

#22 - Transient - November 17, 2012 // 1:30 pm
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I don't know about the rest of you, but I think PlayStation Death has a nice ring to it!

#21 - Prince Valiant - November 17, 2012 // 11:03 am
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I think the only reason Intel even has CPU integrated GPUs is because 'AMD has them'. CPUs are still very important, even for games. I'm curious to see how the system handles 4k video, which is a space hog (and sure to be a CPU hog)

#20 - PS4 News - November 17, 2012 // 9:37 am
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A few weeks ago we reported that on the rumor that PlayStation 4 developer kits were shipping and based on the AMD A10, and now PSM3's German edition (via TheGNet) has shared some new PS4 (Orbis) rumor details below.

To quote from Gameranx.com (linked above): "First off, the magazine states that the PS4 won't even be named the PS4. While it will still have the "PlayStation" name attached to it, there won't be a number 4 next to it.

The reason is that the number 4 is pronounced "Shi" in Japan and in Chinese. "Shi" also has the same sound as "death" so that makes it a very unlucky number for a lot of people in the world. It's so reviled that "many hospitals in Japan have therefore no room with the number 4 or even a fourth floor - similar to a few high-rise buildings in the West no 13th Floor have."

The PS4's codename, which is now known as Orbis, could even be part of the final name. For the rest of the details, read on below (via NeoGAF).

Second Games of the first generation will look like the high-end PC demos on watchdogs and Star Wars 1313 or Square Enix's Luminous tech demo.

  • PS4 demos to be shown by Sony at E3 2013th
  • PS4 games will not run well at 4K 'Ultra HD' resolution.
  • The standard resolution of the PS4 should be at 1080p and 60 fps.
  • If 4k can be used, then probably only for videos.
  • Used games are not readily run on the PS4.
  • Sony is planning certain protections in the PS4, including perhaps an online pass or something similar.
  • The memory should be at 4GB to 8GB
  • The PS4 will probably have 4GB of memory, but in the end could have 8GB: If the Microsoft Xbox 360 successor have 8GB memory, then Sony would be put under pressure and should follow suit.
  • 16GB flash memory are planned.
  • The PS4 will not be backwards compatible with PS3 games.
  • Games need to be registered to PlayStation Network account.
  • The paid premium service PlayStation Plus will be an important pillar of the PS4.
  • Every PS4 should be shipped with a PS Move compatible controller and camera.
  • Classic games will be available via cloud gaming (Gaikai).
  • "In-Game" Advertising is to keep on the PS4 collection.
  • The console will use an AMD Accelerated Processor (4 cores). The chip carries the code name "Liverpool" and is produced in a 28-nanometer process.
  • The PS4 will cost about EUR 400 to EUR 500 in Europe, where Sony has here probably expect to lose.

According to the post, Sony has not commented, denied or confirmed the info listed above."

From Gsak (via neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=500106) comes another translation as follows:

Forecast: Details about PS4 from PSM3 Magazine

16.11.12 - The British magazine PSM3 has published in its latest issue a report on the PS4. In it, the magazine has compiled all relevant notifications to next generation console from Sony and talked to developers and other sources.

1. The console does not mean PS4

  • The PlayStation brand will be present in the device name, but not the 4th
  • The number 4 in Japan is pronounced "shi". "Shi" also means death. Many hospitals in Japan have therefore no room with the number 4 or even a fourth floor - similar to a few high-rise buildings in the West no 13th Floor have.
  • The code name of the console is - as reported - currently Orbis and could perhaps later be part of the final name.

2. Games of the first generation will look like the high-end PC demos on watchdogs and Star Wars 1313 or Square Enix's Luminous tech demo.

  • PS4 demos to be shown by Sony at E3 2013th

3. PS4 games will not run well at 4K 'Ultra HD' resolution.

  • The standard resolution of the PS4 should be at 1080p and 60 fps.
  • If 4k can be used, then probably only for videos.

4. Used games are not readily run on the PS4.

  • Sony is planning certain protections in the PS4, including perhaps an online pass or something similar.

5. The memory should be at 4GB to 8GB

  • The PS4 will probably have 4GB of memory, but in the end could have 8GB: If the Microsoft Xbox 360 successor have 8GB memory, then Sony would be put under pressure and should follow suit.

6. 16GB flash memory are planned.
7. The PS4 will not be backwards compatible with PS3 games.
8. Games need to be registered to PlayStation Network account.
9. The paid premium service PlayStation Plus will be an important pillar of the PS4.
10. Every PS4 should be shipped with a PS Move compatible controller and camera.
11. Classic games will be available via cloud gaming (Gaikai).
12. "In-Game" Advertising is to keep on the PS4 collection.
13. The console will use an AMD Accelerated Processor (4 cores). The chip carries the code name "Liverpool" and is produced in a 28-nanometer process.
14. The PS4 will cost about EUR 400 to EUR 500 in Europe, where Sony has here probably expect to lose.

Sony has not commented or confirmed the information.

Finally, from VGLeaks to quote: Hi everybody and Happy New Year !!! We expect many great things for the new year.

To inaugurate the new year we have some new info about the next generation console manufactured by Sony: Orbis.

In this case we have the earlier roadmap.

  • 2011 June/July - PC with Win7 64-bit and a "jailbroken" ATI r9 graphics card
  • 2011 Sept/Oct - PC with Win7 64-bit and a "jailbroken" ATI r10 graphics card
  • 2012 Q1 - disclosure to more developers
  • 2012 E3 - potential unveiling window start
  • 2012 Jul - devkits for engineers writing OS
  • 2012 Q3 - first true hardware prototype devkits
  • 2013 E3 - potential unveiling window end
  • 2013 Q4 - launch

More PlayStation 3 News...

#19 - Brian10122 - November 6, 2012 // 4:11 am
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Well played. I personally hate Halo as well, Fable and Alan Wake are pretty great games however, but you can find those on Steam and play them on a gaming PC or really just a plain old computer. The Kinect games aren't really what I would consider exclusives but, eh, I guess they count. Most of the exclusives you probably mean though are also available on PC, and they're not even first party titles.

I just think Microsoft needs to step there game up - but why should they when they're making tons of money sponsoring Call of Duty and such that everyone wastes away their money on? Long story short, I'm ranting because Microsoft isn't very original but makes endless amounts of money while Sony is probably the most creative of the three and they're making the least amount of money because of it.

Quote Originally Posted by tilla View Post
A lot of your assumptions are false. A bluray player will cost Sony at MOST $20 They haven't said they're using an SSD at all and I doubt they are because 250 GB is way expensive in that format, but dirt cheap in regular HDs. Like, $20 again. Keep bulk/direct purchase prices and not retail.

He's also wrong about the A10's power - the "integrated" GPU performs about on par with a Radeon HD 7670 and is much, much more powerful then the intel i3's integrated GPU - and, remember, we're talking about a gaming console here.

We're not going to be multitasking like crazy and rendering videos - part of why I think the 8-16GB of RAM is completely unneeded but also the CPU isn't used for much in gaming, especially considering how powerful CPU's are today and the fact that games are using them less and less as GPU's advance even more. Oh, and here's a video comparing the A10 and i3's performance in some games and benchmark applications (Actual video starts at 0:40):



#18 - kuronodono - November 4, 2012 // 6:40 pm
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Hooo! super powerful stuff, damn I just got a ps3 in my life and already a ps4 is coming. For some is good, for some is bad, but something tells me that is gonna be expensive as hell!

#17 - dinzy - November 4, 2012 // 11:05 am
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The OS is not optimized for Intel CPUS, it's optimized for x86/x64. The A10 is using Intel IP in it for the x86 and all Intel CPUS use AMD's x64. AMD's chips are simply not as good as Intel's and have not been as good for several generations. The A series are really low end units. I suppose they are reasonable for a console, but they need to be tweaked for tech savvy people to get excited about them.

What happened to the Cell chip? Are they dumping the whole thing? I am very skeptical of this. I don't really doubt the 8gb ram too much. Dram is cheap and console ram is going to be a cheap variety of dram. Though consoles designers do split nickels when spec'ing the unit out so I could see them dropping it once the whole thing is optimized.

If this is the best they can do, I would like to see them wait a year or two more. The Ps3 sucks compared to the gaming PC I have hooked up to my TV. As it should because my ~ 1.5 yr old GPU cost more than a PS3. But it doesn't suck so much that I never use it, because I am playing AC3 now on it, when I could be playing the PC version in a few weeks.

There isn't much of a wow going between the 2 systems. It's 1080p with better AA,AF and draw distance vs. 720p. I notice the difference, but how is the mass market gamer going to notice this? What is going to make him or her want to plop down several hundred dollars on a new console? And what is going to make them pick PS4 over WiiU and Xbox1080?

#16 - dbjj12088 - November 3, 2012 // 6:22 pm
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I'm skeptical if only because it's VG 247. They seem to pull these supposedly "huge rumors" out of their rears, if only to rake in a ton of pageviews and back links. If this is false, they'll totally get away with it because no one will go back to them and point out how what they said was BS.