We haven’t posted a rumour pertaining to next-next-gen hardware in at least 24 hours, so it’s a good thing this new batch of PlayStation 4 rumours just surfaced. Kotaku reports that it has the skinny on “important details” about Sony’s next console, which is supposedly called Orbis. The successor to the PlayStation 3 will hit during the holiday period in 2013, if Kotaku’s source is to be believed. Their source is, according to Kotaku, “not authorized to talk publicly about next-gen hardware but has shared correct information with us before.”
Apparently the name Orbis is important, and that’s thanks to Sony’s more recent hardware release, the PlayStation Vita. Putting the two names together gives you Orbis Vita which, as Kotaku points out, is Latin for “the circle of life”. Starting to have a slight conspiracy theory tone, isn’t it?
Names and supposed release dates aside, there are some concerning rumours that come bundled with this collection of “important details”. More specifically, rumours that claim things like the PlayStation 4 Orbis requiring an internet connection to activate games.
According to Kotaku’s source, all Orbis games will come on Blu-ray or will be available as full downloads via the PlayStation Store. Once you insert a game disc, you’ll be required to die that particular copy to your PSN account, thereby making the disc useless to anyone else. This is intended to counteract the used game market. This should come as no surprise, and in fact the oft-rumour Xbox Next/Durango is supposed to have a similar anti-used game system.
If this is true, it means that you will have to have an internet connection in order to play games on the Orbis. Whether or not that connection must remain constant throughout playing is not clear; it is possible that all games might simply require a once-off activation online.
Apparently second-hand Orbis games will still be possible, but people buying used titles or borrowing games from friends will only have access to a demo of the game. In order to unlock all content on the disc, an additional online purchase will be required via the PlayStation Store, which sounds similar to the One-Use codes that come with most console games these days. What exactly this second-hand activation will cost is anyone’s guess.
Further bad news is the rumour that there will be no backwards compatibility for PlayStation 3 games. This is probably our fault as consumers seeing as how Sony’s made a ton of money re-releasing PlayStation 2 games as “hi-def” editions for PlayStation 3 consoles. Our money is on “super-hi-def” PlayStation 3 games getting re-releases for the Orbis. Go Team Capitalism!
Speaking of “super-hi-def”, the Orbis is supposedly capable of spitting out games at a resolution of 4096×2160, which is obviously way higher than any current HD TV is capable of producing. This high resolution is thanks to the rumoured AMD X64 CPU and AMD Southern Islands GPU that make up the basic guts of the Orbis.
So there you have it; this is what is currently rumoured to be floating around Sony’s hardware development factories. Don’t forget that it’s all rumour, so no need to break into bouts of hysteria just yet.