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Post by Dan @ 09:44am 29/03/12 | 31 Comments
While console manufacturers can make entire third party studios sign non-disclosure agreements with the threat of legal peril if they say anything they're not supposed to, the sheer number of people involved in the development of launch titles for a new generation machine means it's quite inevitable that someone out there will spill the beans. The hard part is knowing where the truth lies.

The latest bout of such information comes via Kotaku, who reportedly have several sources coroborating some specific details of Sony's next PlayStation console -- or at least the details pertaining to the devkit hardware currently being supplied to a select group of studios.

These latest whispers tell of the name Orbis and a holiday 2013 launch, which Kotaku thinks will be the actual name of the console, but seems to at the very least be Sony's current codename (like the Vita was the NGP and the next Xbox is referred to as Durango). Orbis apparently translates to "Circle" in Latin, which Kotaku speculates is supposed to compliment Vita (Life) in a "Circle of Life" sense.

As for specifications, the current hardware is allegedly an AMD x64 CPU with an AMD GPU built on the Southern Islands 28nm architecture that we've seen in the Radeon HD 7000 series, which would technically allow for screen resolutions up to 4096x2160 -- though whether that will be realised by the output options is a different matter.

Perhaps most interestingly, this departure from the Cell CPU architecture means that Orbis is almost certainly not going to be backwards compatible with PlayStation 3 (or two) titles unless they were to work some miraculous software emulation magic.

The other big eyebrow-raiser from these sources is that Sony are said to be taking measures to ensure that games on the Orbis, even those distributed on retail Blu-Ray discs will not be secondhand tradeable. The allegation is that -- just like Steamworks PC games have been doing for a while -- all titles on the new PlayStation will be tethered to a user's PSN account. So if you were to purchase a game at a brick-and-mortar store on disc, you would activiate that game with your account and install it from the disc, but also then be able to scrap that disc and download the full game from PSN again at any point in the future.

Of course these are all still just rumours, but assuming Sony have actually been shipping dev kits to these "select developers", it was always only a matter of time before the particulars surfaced. Whether these are close to a finalised strategy however, we'll have to wait and see. But that November 2013 appears to be the current launch target is very interesting indeed.












Latest Comments
Mosfx
Posted 09:50am 29/3/12
Nice, shame backward compatibility may not be an option it was fun playing PS1 games on my PS3 for old times sake.
Hopefully E3 has some more information, I'd love to see some screens!
Outlaw
Posted 10:12am 29/3/12
I refuse to accept this
Hogfather
Posted 10:17am 29/3/12
Hehe I'm pretty sure a few of us predicted this (the DRM / account thing).

Also PSN offering full games for DL (even if not offered for sale YET) should freak the s*** out of bricks and mortar games retailers. Your business model is ending.
ShwaMiller86
Posted 10:35am 29/3/12
Destruction of pre-owned market is required for development of reasonable DRM and reduction of game prices. Microsoft and Sony are glaring at Valve, wishing they'd gotten it right like they did with Steam.

Think of this: you buy Call of Duty 3 pre-owned for $70 - Activision and IW never see a cent. You're a moron if you think, "oh they make enough money" blah blah blah. It hurts the industry as a whole for many reasons... including the fact it gives publishers an excuse to keep prices high: "oh, sales in Australia are low, so we need to screw every cent out of the market" - no, we just buy a s***load of pre-owned games, which never show up on their balance sheets.

EB essentially prints money with pre-owned sale, pisses off publishers in the process and ensures our prices stay high. In turn we buy games online as grey imports - which don't register as sales in Australia and distort the annual game sale figures, which again allows the publishers to keep RRPs high.

I'm all for this. Prices should (not will, but should) come down, as we won't be going around the publishers. DRM will allow you to play any game you like by logging onto a mate's machine - like you do when you log into your Steam account.

If publishers learn how to price downloadable games, this will be awesome.
`ViPER`
Posted 10:54am 29/3/12
I'm all for this. Prices should (not will, but should) come down


nope, they WILL NOT come down.

There will just be more excuses.
blaze0041
Posted 10:58am 29/3/12
If publishers learn how to price downloadable games, this will be awesome.

This will be key to the success or failure of this supposed next PlayStation down under: if Sony and the publishers think they can continue to screw us over in terms of pricing (and content availability), they can think again.
Microsoft (and most certainly Nintendo) should also heed this warning.
ShwaMiller86
Posted 11:22am 29/3/12
"they will not come down"

If there is one thing no one should ever do with tech & gaming, it's use absolute negative terms. Because - even if it takes one of the big three falling out of the market - things WILL change.
Hogfather
Posted 11:28am 29/3/12
Destruction of pre-owned market is required for development of reasonable DRM and reduction of game prices

100% bulls***.

What is really required is more people to wake the f*** up and shop online. Prices will ONLY come down when the bottom line of retailers is destroyed and the fat link in the distribution chain is exposed. And there must be a fat link if I can import games drastically cheap one at a time than massive distribution networks can supply.

The notion that the inflated shelf price in AU is intrinsically linked to the 2nd hand market is a total red herring, other markets have game trade in.
ShwaMiller86
Posted 11:31am 29/3/12
Hogfather, you are 110% incorrect. Shopping online is WHY the prices are high!!

I shop online, I'm not forking out to brick and mortar for awful service and ridiculous prices for a principle. I just thinkg it's good to be aware.

You need to check out how sales are registered in Australia. They don't register if they're done online and they don't register if they're grey imports, which allows publishers to keep saying, "gee, look how tiny the market is - we can't afford to drop prices!" - when in fact it seems small because we circumvent the brick and mortar stores. It DOES make a difference and pre-owned IS a huge problem for exactly the same reason.
TufNuT
Posted 11:37am 29/3/12
on the other hand ShwaMiller86, when i buy a game, then get sick of it or don't want it, i can neither sell it or give it to a friend..

Edit:
Hogfather, you are 110% incorrect. Shopping online is WHY the prices are high!!


ShwaMiller86 troll.......

last edited by TufNuT at 11:37:00 29/Mar/12
ShwaMiller86
Posted 11:42am 29/3/12
PC gamers sucked up that predicament a long time ago. Mostly don't care because they get most games on Steam sales... why are people not seeing how this could be like Steam? That's the whole idea!! Cheaper games, playable anywhere on anyones console you log in.

A lot of what I'm saying is Devil's advocate, but I think people need to push past this "I'm entitled to everything" attitude and remember that you couldn't shove an N64 cartridge into a Gamecube. Couldn't put a Genesis cartridge into a Dreamcast... why should >businesses< keep providing methods to stop them making money?

My argument is this: if prices are reasonable then locking it down isn't so bad and I'll refer yet again to Steam.

And I'm not a troll, mate. This is just an important discussion and this is a great place to have it.
Khel
Posted 11:59am 29/3/12
on the other hand ShwaMiller86, when i buy a game, then get sick of it or don't want it, i can neither sell it or give it to a friend


Thats how Steam has worked for the past 10 years and nobody throws a tantrum about it.
ShwaMiller86
Posted 12:02pm 29/3/12
^^ Exactly.
Outlaw
Posted 12:21pm 29/3/12
Digital copies are the future but the au psn store is terrible compared to the u.s psn. Higher prices, far less content and new releases 3 months late. Its just like retail shopping in Australia.
Mosfx
Posted 01:16pm 29/3/12
Digital copies are the future but the au psn store is terrible compared to the u.s psn. Higher prices, far less content and new releases 3 months late. Its just like retail shopping in Australia.


Exactly right, if Sony go down that path that will need to be fixed for it to work here, digital distribution should have no lag time between continents especially three months, pricing should also be in line with currency rates.

I bought ME3 in London for $32.99 GBP ($50 AUD), but yet it was $80 AUD+ here where is that $30 going?
Khel
Posted 01:39pm 29/3/12
where is that $30 going?


Up some fat, rich executive's nose I would imagine
paveway
Posted 01:49pm 29/3/12
very interesting

kind of sad as i only bought my ps3 like 2 year ago or less, be interesting to see how much they cost

most of the reason i only bought my ps3 a couple of years ago is because they were so expensive lols
HurricaneJim
Posted 02:37pm 29/3/12
I would never buy a console so I find this banter quite amusing.
tspec
Posted 02:40pm 29/3/12
I'm not too phased by not being able to play my PS3 disc games on the next Playstation, it would however be nice to play PSN bought games (excluding DLC for disc games) but given they're ditch cell? i doubt PSN games could be moved either unless they specifically get ported a re-released.
Khel
Posted 02:51pm 29/3/12
Doesn't really bother me if its not backwards compatible, I would assume I'll still have my PS3 when this comes out so if I want to play PS3 stuff, I'll just play it on my PS3 and play new stuff on this new one.
ara
Posted 02:57pm 29/3/12
Hogfather, you are 110% incorrect. Shopping online is WHY the prices are high!!


Have to be a troll, or someone who never bought a game before digital distribution was around when prices were still $80-110 a game.
deadlyf
Posted 02:57pm 29/3/12
I'm a bit worried about this myself. I've always wondered if one of these companies will one day resort to region blocking game codes instead of just trying to region block stores and this surely gives Sony the ability to do that.

No doubt Sony don't want people knowing it won't be backward compatible, the jump in graphics won't be as great as it was last round initially so a lot of people will be disappointed about not being able to use current gen games on it.
Thats how Steam has worked for the past 10 years and nobody throws a tantrum about it.
I don't mind not being able to trade games that you've played but what s**** me off is when you buy those game packs from non-Valve publishers and you can't trade the extra copies you rightfully bought.
ShwaMiller86
Posted 03:14pm 29/3/12
Oh god, why do I post on you, internets?
thermite
Posted 03:25pm 29/3/12
I guess I'll keep an eye on it. I don't like how Sony and Microsoft have now entered the games console market, it feels icky. Give me a Sega any day.
teq
Posted 03:41pm 29/3/12
IVY_MiKe
Posted 07:04pm 29/3/12
EB essentially prints money with pre-owned sale...


This is true (but EB aren't the only ones cashing , and oddly enough I'm willing to bet that this is the only reason GAME AU still exists too... there is ridiculous cash flow going on in the 'pre-owned' world in AU.
The REASON this cash flow is so ridiculous is because the inital RRP on games is so high (which is in no-way driven by the pre-owned market...)

I'm not forking out to brick and mortar for awful service and ridiculous prices for a principle


No, you're paying so much for 'brick and mortar' stores because of the manner the AU Govt taxes imports, then taxes stores, then taxes you in order to pay for our 'way of life' in Australia.

Consumers have rights (which come at a cost), employee's have rights (which need to be afforded by employers and/or the govt; which come at a cost), employers have rights (which need to be afforded by said organisation and/or the govt which again, comes at a cost.)
This is all before you add the other 'hands to be fed' into that equation, like how an organisation like Westfield f*****g BLEEDS companies dry for admittedly reasonable commercial space. (Westfield charge out 2x security guards out @ a rate of $1000p.p. for 3 hours work to operate 'Midnight launches'. There are a few stores in the ACT who literally transfer all of their pre-order stock into other non-westfield stores to conduct midnight launches now (and has been the case for the past 2-3 years).

Destruction of pre-owned market is required for development of reasonable DRM

In no way is this accurate at all... to 'relax' DRM the sales of said products needs to lift (over a proven piracy rating; best source of this in recent history is the piracy rates of the last 3-4 COD games...)

DRM has NOTHING to do with a pre-owned market (see: 'Day 1 DLC' and the more recent trends of 'online features' that are included as a DLC code in new release console games that are a 1 time activation...)

I like using Steam's system (I was hesitant in the early days, but when steam started their crazy-awesome christmas sales about 3-4 years ago, I jumped in, both feet).
I heard murmurings of steam looking at a 'resale' type option (so you could 'trade games back'; Which as it happens, Green Man Gaming have been doing for a while for their non-steam/origin games). To be honest, I'd simply like the option to 'trade' my games between me and my mates (so I can loan games I've bought to mates so they can 'try before they buy')

In other news, I'm really digging the re-imagination of the 'shareware' style of software delivery as far as 'apps' are going on mobile devices (and for the most part, some of the indie releases too)
bLaZe
Posted 07:08pm 29/3/12
so they are using the PC's software distribution model on currently available hardware but it is going to take them 2 years to work out the best font to engrave sony on it...
IVY_MiKe
Posted 07:37pm 29/3/12
Even before they get to the point of 'choosing a font' bLaZe, I hope they really reconsider their approach to an 'online service'. PSN was 'ok' to begin with (as far as the PS3 goes) but it really lacked any development, let alone support from Sony during the PS3's current life.

(and the only dev PSN received in it's current for was when the little 'leak' happened.)
ShwaMiller86
Posted 09:31pm 29/3/12
@Ivy_Mike - you misread the first thing you responded to there. I wasn't making an argument, I was say I *personally* won't do it out of principle. I'm not an idiot, I don't think they keep the prices high out of principle. I didn't say anything about employees or consumer rights. I was talking about why I don't buy from them.

I disagree with your other responses. DRM is an element of it. They will increase it in order to drive up sales and circumvent pre-owned copies - requiring a NEW copy to play multiplayer is a form of DRM and one publishers are thinking about. Think they'll charge sub for CoD or BF? Guess again: you will only be able to play MP from a NEW copy registered to your console account. Pre-owned is a HUGE element of why DRM has gotten ridiculous. Why do you think DRM was introduced on PC? Don't remember the days of trading in PC games? It's just going to happen on console with the next gen.

DRM in the form of secure distribution is a very, very good way forward - it is the PC/Steam model. Pre-owned will need to no longer be the norm on consoles for this to work, because you won't be able to play the whole game unless you buy it new.

Pre-owned does have an affect on prices - I don't feel you've read my other points, but skimmed them for what you disagree with.

In some ways prices being high here is a punishment for buying pre-owned, online... anything outside what the publishers want. It is a vicious cycle and keeps the love/hate relationship between publishers and retail going.

I don't get why people have responded to my posts with such vicious negativity. I honestly don't. It is fact that online and pre-owned sales have distorted prices here - it is an EXCUSE used by the publishers to keep prices high. Not a reason. I'm not giving them a reason, just trying to explain their excuse.

I also think people who are so staunchly defending pre-owned forget that they don't own the software on their game discs - just the right to use it. They can lock it down as much as they like. Again, I don't defend this, I'm simply explaining the reality.
ara
Posted 10:12pm 29/3/12
Pre-owned does have an affect on prices


i don't think this is true.

Pre owned has an effect on publisher profits, but I don't recall the price moving up when EB started going all crazy with preowned games. Boxed game prices have pretty much stayed around the 80-110 price range depending on the game for years.

This is why people started buying preowned games and looking at other avenues to buy games through. This is what drove the success of steam and their distribution model.

You seem to forgot the how much games cost before steam and online distribution, maybe it was before your time?
Dan
Posted 10:19pm 29/3/12
Actually, there was a time when they cost even more (disregarding inflation) than they do today. I remember both Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, The Legend of Zelda 3 and Mortal Kombat 2 on SNES all RRP'ing for AU$129 at their peak.
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