News Article

Rumour: PS4 Codenamed "Orbis", Due Christmas 2013

Posted by James Newton


Here we go ladies and gentlemen: Kotaku claims to have the skinny on the next PlayStation.

The site claims the upcoming machine is currently codenamed Orbis — Latin for "circle", naturally — and will launch in time for holiday 2013. Supposedly it won't play PS3 games, will lock all new games to a single PSN account to limit the pre-owned market and can output at resolutions up to 4096x2160 — far more than the PS3's current 1920x1080.

As always, the source is anonymous and Sony has declined the opportunity to comment, so take all this with as much salt as you can get your hands on. Then grab some more — it is Kotaku after all.

We recently asked do we need PlayStation 4 yet?


User Comments (25)



Kayoss said:

There goes our backward compatibility dreams. Soon I will have 4 different playstation consoles sitting on my entertainment center.



Play_It_Loud said:

to quote gob bluth.. COME ON!! I hope all this is just a bunch BS and spin.

I should also point out these very same ruomors where going around last cycle when PS3 was in development, and nothing came of it...fingers crossed



NathanUC said:

I'm not interested in backwards compatibility or pre-owned games personally; however, if it doesn't make good use of my Vita WITHIN PS4 titles, I'll hold off until 4096x2160 is the norm.



James said:

@Kayoss Why four? Surely you could get away with three as PS3/PS2 both play PSone games!

@Play_It_Loud Good point! Though at the time I thought it was unthinkable PS3 wouldn't play games from the biggest-selling console ever, and look what happened there..!



get2sammyb said:

Are there televisions that even display that resolution?

The lack of backwards compatibility is not a surprise though — it sounds like they're dropping the CELL and if they do it's going to be difficult to emulate.



ThomasBW84 said:

@get2sammyb I think there are some TVs on the way this year that pump out that sort of resolution, though they'll cost between £6000-10000, naturally. If devs find HD projects expensive, they won't even bother with those resolutions.

I do believe that Kotaku is talking a load of nonsense



James said:

@get2sammyb In Japan of course! Wouldn't surprise me for PS4 to output a currently non-standard resolution as a look to the future — we would have said the same about 1080p seven years ago and now even Nintendo's doing it Interesting stuff though!



rjejr said:

Ild rather they drop BC up front rather than use it as a selling point for a year over their rival and THEN drop it. That was a scummy move, which of course then went on to allow them to make plenty of money on HD versions.

And theyre probably going to up the resolution to sell more of their own displays, PC monitors are getting bigger and have higher resolution. At some point the tv/monitor difference is going to be hard to see. I wouldn't be surprised if iTV or whatever Apple calls it has higher resolution.



omgitsbounce said:

Some of this is very concerning. I have such an extensive PS3 library...
And I buy a lot of used games. A lot. Or rent (gamefly/redbox)

The specs are nice, but I want AI and environment tech over graphics right now. Idk. We'll see.



Savino said:

Seriously.... not even a high-end PC can play games in QHD... this rumour is a joke!



Slapshot said:

I heard that the PS4 can even play UMD's, insta-link with the Hubble Telescope and the entire console hovers in the air. I just hope it''ll pass its greenhouse emmissions test.



JamieO said:

I do not care the slightest little bit about a 4096x2160 resolution, if the games that actually utilise the power of PS4 can achieve 60FPS and still output at full 1080p, I will be impressed.

Obviously I don't know how powerful PS4 will be, but based upon Sony's track record of pushing each new hardware release to impress on a technical level, it is not too presumptuous to expect PS4 to be a tech-spec impressing monster. I doubt its tech pushing games will be 60FPS at a resolution of 1920x1080, I do not have my fingers crossed for 4096x2160.

Perhaps less power hungry 2D games, indie titles or PSN games, could use 4096x2160. As @James said, I may be underestimating that 4096x2160 could become the standard in the future, in 2006 I was still gaming using RGB through a CRT.

I do have my fingers and toes tightly crossed that PS4 includes backwards compatibility, though. Backwards compatibility is a huge deal to me, I bought two 60GB PS3s, just so that I could box my PS2 away and play my collection of 130 odd PS2 games on PS3. I have too many consoles to make space under the telly for my old PS3 and a new PS4, space is constantly an issue as I live in a small flat.

Console manufacturers should consider the way in which many gamers collect games, we do not all trade or sell off our old titles. I build an archive library of games, I hoard them and I appreciate the convenience that backwards compatibility provides, not to mention the wonderful way in which PS3 upscaled my PS2 games for my HDTV.

The cynic in me thinks that backwards compatibility may be dropped, because there is too much money to be made from re-releasing PSone, PS2 and even PS3 games on a future PS4, as DLC or as a 'Classics Collection' box-set. My PS3 collection is pretty decent already, I do not feel like re-buying 100 odd PS3 games for the second time.

It's daft of me to get my knickers in a twist over a rumour though and @get2sammyb makes an excellent point regarding the challenge Sony would face if they had to emulate PS3's Cell processor on PS4.



blackknight77 said:

It will also double as a coffee and cappuccino machine. I guess Kotaku forget to mention that.



DrCruse said:

Bad news all around. PS4 coming within 2 years is bad, second hand sales ban is bad, and lack of backwards compatibility is bad. UHD resolution is dumb considering there are no TVs like that yet.



TheN64Dude said:

Let's just hope they don't get carried away with rivaling Wii U like Microsoft and maybe try to come up with some ideas on their own. I'd love to see what kind of neat abilities they can come up with.



DraculaX said:

I can deal without backwards capability, but no used games is unforgivable. This is gonna suck for all the PS fans that are strapped for cash (like myself). I really don't want to look for another system to play because if the Xbox 720 rumors (apparently it has no disk drive) are true then the only other option is the Wii U



Azikira said:

@scribblenaut: Day 1 Wii U adopter here!

And I dont mind so much about non-backwards compatibility, though it'd sure be annoying. But the used/rental game thing is absolutely stupid, and it's why the Xbox 720 will fail. Don't make the same mistake as them, Sony.



SanderEvers said:

If THIS is true, the Playstation franchise will be dead at the end of 2014.

WiiU is the way to go.



Ginkgo said:

Firstly I take all of this with a grain of salt. But for arguments sake...

Backwards compatibility is a bonus, but not really important. Honestly, how many people regularly pull out their PS2 games? There are so many good PS3 games with new ones all the time. Who has the time? It would be good during a transition period, but after that it is quickly becomes a mute point.

Personally I like the idea of the better graphics. I dream of playing games where you cannot tell the difference between a movie and a game. Bring it on!
Also, these TVs do exist and are coming to the mainstream in the not too distant future:
And if Sony wants to future proof its next release, then it has to build hardware capable of doing this rez at 60Hz.

However the big issue as everyone rightly points out is locking games to 1 PSN account. This idea will not only kill the PS4, but the industry, because most stores rely on the income from pre-owned games to survive. If Sony did this it would be suicide. Better they should offer value add for new games (like they do for pre-orders). But that is just my opinion.



James said:

On the new vs. pre-owned thing, I'd like to see more publishers adopt the model EA took with Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Buy the game new and you're entitled to future DLC for free; buy pre-owned and you have to buy the DLC separately. This way everyone gets the same basic game and can play online together, but new buyers get extra stuff for no extra cost.

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