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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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#15 - tilla - November 2, 2012 // 10:38 pm
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Quote Originally Posted by azrayl View Post
8-16 gb of ram compared to the current PS3's "256MB XDR Main RAM, 256MB GDDR3 VRAM" is a huge difference but the current A10 models (130$) are not powerful at all. They barely compete with intels i3 series. Also the integrated GPU can't really work as the main GPU in my opinion. It needs a dedicated GPU as well.

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.

#14 - G Sus - November 2, 2012 // 10:34 am
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hopefully due to the amd a10 architecture, devs can use standard pcs with blueray drives to find exploits etc. or at least lead to greater possibility of an acceptable working emulator.

i just cant wait to get my hands on one. (it sucks to be a tech junkie)

#13 - NTA - November 2, 2012 // 10:22 am
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Haha, why would Sony purposely include something that many users want

Hopefully, there will be another commercial about if they decide to though

#12 - G Sus - November 2, 2012 // 9:39 am
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looks like the ps4 (orbis) could be a pretty powerful piece of tech. the amd a10 architecture is pretty let down by pcs, since the operating systems are optimised for intel systems, and the inbuilt cpu/gpu isnt really totally catered for.

I assume Sony has worked alongside AMD to get the best performance from this technology. and since amd is a whole lot cheaper than current intel, or cell processors, i just hope were gonna get a lot of power for very little cash. as for the 8 to 16gb of ram , well we all know thats not going to happen, thats only whats in the dev. units, it is definitely not what will go into the retail units.

ive got to say im glad to hear it will have a bluray drive, since nothing better has come along yet and i was expecting them to produce a discless system with psn downloads only. The fact that the Blueray drive is there can only be a good sign.

It was also good to see that system updates would still be able to be optional through turning off background update downloads.
Looks like the Ps4 is going to be as much fun to play with as the ps3

#11 - azrayl - November 2, 2012 // 8:37 am
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8-16 gb of ram compared to the current PS3's "256MB XDR Main RAM, 256MB GDDR3 VRAM" is a huge difference but the current A10 models (130$) are not powerful at all. They barely compete with intels i3 series. Also the integrated GPU can't really work as the main GPU in my opinion. It needs a dedicated GPU as well.

I mean the console is going to cost at least 400-450$ upon release. A BluRay player costs about 50-80$ max. Let's say the mainboard costs 100$. And an SSD HDD could cost about 120$-200$ depending on the size. This would add up to about 400-510$.

Sony always produced products which were very innovative. When I think about the first release of the PS3 that console went for 699$.

I don't really believe any of these rumors are true or even if they are true the PS4 is still in planning phase meaning Sony still didn't decide on what kind of features it will have.

The current information states that the PS4 won't provide nothing more than a more powerful multicore CPU/GPU and more memory. The PSN/SEN has also been redesigned so there's nothing new here aswell. A BluRay player which is 10 years old technology.

I had hoped we'd have holo discs by now. Though this wouldn't work because of a 256 gb HDD limitation. Ah yea the newest thing and probably the most useful feature will be USB 3.0 ports.

I hope that at least we will have the option to store games on external drives but thinking of Sony's paranoia they won't do that.
And considering the lifetime of an SSD HDD they'll have to be changed in 3 year cycles.

I wonder if in future there'll be less porting issues when consoles become smaller "gaming/entertainment only computers".
Thought it'd actually be sad if Sony would sell a desktop computer and call it a console.

#10 - DoctorimiJ - November 2, 2012 // 7:34 am
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Quote Originally Posted by Brian10122 View Post
But I can't think of one reason to buy an xbox, Microsoft doesn't even have IPs, while Nintendo and Sony have games like Heavy Rain, LittleBigPlanet, Mario, Zelda, etc. What does Microsoft have? Uh.. Gears of War? Which is a terrible game anyways..

You forgot Halo, Forza, Crackdown, Fable, Alan Wake and Kinect titles, Brian

There are plenty of lesser known XBox360 exclusives, but I know you're interested in A-list titles.

-Erich

#9 - mistarz - November 2, 2012 // 7:12 am
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Lets hope there will be an Other OS function in PS4.

Kinda loved the effort sony was putting into PS3 i mean developing the CELL chip and the ability to daisy chain a couple of machines.
Oh and i really REALLY hope they box it together with their head-mounted 3D visor.

M

#8 - Brian10122 - November 2, 2012 // 4:40 am
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And the appalling way they treat their developers.. They pretty much killed Rare - they used to make fantastic, instant classics ("The Beatles of video games") such as Goldeneye 007, Perfect Dark, and Banjo Kazooie, and now Microsoft just has them making avatars, pfft. I'm no fanboy either as you are, I'm an all around gamer and love my 3DS, gaming PC, and Vita.

But I can't think of one reason to buy an xbox, Microsoft doesn't even have IPs, while Nintendo and Sony have games like Heavy Rain, LittleBigPlanet, Mario, Zelda, etc. What does Microsoft have? Uh.. Gears of War? Which is a terrible game anyways..

/rant over. Sorry about that, just had to agree with you there with a rant.. It needs to be known how much I hate Xbox/Microsoft.

#7 - elser1 - November 2, 2012 // 3:29 am
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all i can say is i am a sony fan boy never even touched xbox but they better have s damn fine product for me to buy it. the appauling way the treat there customers etc.

#6 - tilla - November 2, 2012 // 1:41 am
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Sounds like the rumors (are they even rumors? Seeing a LOT of coverage of this so I think it's definitely real) say the dev units are PC towers which makes plenty of sense to keep down costs (the final unit ALWAYS differs from the early dev units - remember the monstrosities that were the original PS3 dev units? Bigger than my desk!)