Rumors about the PlayStation 4 and other next-gen hardware died down over the past several months, but the rumor mill is back at it again with a new PlayStation 4 rumor from Kotaku.
Citing “reliable sources”, Kotaku says that the PlayStation 4 is being called “Orbis” internally, and is currently scheduled to release in time for the 2013 holiday season. While it’s likely that Orbis is only a codename for the PlayStation 4, Kotaku speculates that Orbis could actually be the console’s final name.
Kotaku’s sources also dropped some PlayStation 4 specs, although it isn’t known whether or not the hardware is final. Regardless, the sources claim that the PlayStation 4 will run on a 64-bit AMD CPU, and will also be using an AMD “Southern Islands” GPU, which is the codename given for AMD’s high-end card for 2012.
If those specs are true, then the PlayStation 4 is looking to have quite a lot of power–but don’t expect that power to be used towards PlayStation 3 games. According to its sources, the PlayStation 4 will not be backwards compatible. Considering that PlayStation 3’s Cell processor would be a nightmare to emulate, this wouldn’t be all that surprising if it turned out to be true.
The most surprising bit of information to come out of Kotaku’s PlayStation 4 rumor is that Sony’s next console will have some form of anti-used games measures, which is also rumored to be the case for Microsoft’s next console.
Here’s how our main source says it’s currently shaping up: new games for the system will be available one of two ways, either on a Blu-Ray disc or as a PSN download (yes, even full retail titles). If you buy the disc, it must be locked to a single PSN account, after which you can play the game, save the whole thing to your HDD, or peg it as “downloaded” in your account history and be free to download it at a later date.
The report goes on to suggest that PlayStation 4 games will require a PlayStation Network account and an active internet connection, similar to the always-online DRM that PC gamers have been faced with over the past several years.
Naturally, you should take this batch of PlayStation 4–or Orbis–rumors with the appropriate amount of salt. Still, quite a bit of the rumor certainly sounds plausible–but I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping that the anti-used games bit turns out to be false.