Developers around the world are apparently receiving updated PlayStation 4 development kits as we type, according to a report on VG247. The super secret devices are supposedly housed inside standard PC cases, but are heavily updated from previous units which were essentially just graphics cards. A fourth, “almost final” kit is set to be delivered to developers in January.

The website continues that the next-generation system – which is currently being described as ‘Orbis’ – will boast a Blu-ray drive, but is not being designed in the company’s native Japan. Apparently, a group of North American developers attended a meeting with Sony earlier this week in order to discuss the specifics of the device, as well as to sign non-disclosure agreements. If this is all true, then it seems like someone already broke theirs.

The console is apparently being designed around a derivative of AMD’s A10 APU. The “ultimate goal” for the hardware is to run software in 1080p at 60 frames-per-second in 3D with little effort, though Sony is apparently cautious of setting the price too high. According to VG247’s source, the platform holder is aiming to create a console that is “very affordable” but “isn’t a slouch”. Current development kits apparently have 8GB to 16GB of RAM – which is a colossal jump from the PS3’s current 512MB. It’s worth noting that development kits tend to have more RAM than standard retail units, though.

The console will apparently include a 256GB hard-drive as standard, but it’s not yet clear if it will be a normal HDD or a solid state drive. The system will also feature Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, in addition to HDMI out.

Alongside technological improvements, Sony is also putting a lot of emphasis on the user experience. The console will apparently allow players to access any part of the system at any time by pressing the primary PlayStation button. An example would include purchasing DLC while in-game without ever needing to quit the software. “They’re trying to make it as fluid as possible,” noted VG247’s source.

The console will also boast a constant standby state, where it will be able to accept system and product updates in the background without ever needing to be switched on. You can whisper goodbye to lengthy firmware updates, then.

The pad has yet to be confirmed, but details will apparently be revealed to developers later this month. The console is set to be announced at an event prior to E3 next year. Exciting stuff, huh? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

[via vg247.com]