PS4 codenamed Orbis, no PS3 games, no used games — report

There’s been plenty of talk about the next Xbox over the past few months, but while the rumored 360 successor is enjoying the spotlight, little has been heard of Sony’s PS4.

Kotaku have just brought about an end to that. The blog has released a tonne of info about the PS3 follow-up, citing a ‘reliable source’ for all of the details.

First thing’s first; the console is currently code named Orbis, and could be with us as early as holiday 2013. Orbis is a Latin word which, funnily enough, is used in a famous saying that also encompasses Sony’s latest handheld: Orbis Vita (or Orbis Vitae), meaning ‘circle of life’. Perhaps the Vita will play a major role in the new system, then, or maybe the console comes with a copy of The Lion King. Kotaku suggest this could even end up being the final name for the console.

Early specs include a AMD x64 CPU and AMD Southern Islands GPU, though this could well change during development. This would mean games could run games at a resolution of up to 4096×2160. Also, 3D titles could now be supported in 1080p.

Select developers have apparently had their hands on dev kits since earlier this year, and continued to receive updated kits, with finalized ones arriving at the end of the year.

Now for the controversial stuff; apparently there will be no PS3 backwards compatibility with the new system. It’s a given that PS2 won’t be supported, but losing PS3 games this early on might be an issue. Also, much like recent Xbox rumors, Kotaku suggests that Orbis won’t run used games. All games will be released on PSN but those you buy on disc will be locked to a single PSN account. That said, those disc titles will be able to be transferred completely over to the HDD or marked as downloaded so you can grab it off of the PS Store too.

Perhaps the biggest question mark; you’ll have to be connected to PSN to even start up a game. Because that’s worked out so well for certain PC games as of late, hasn’t it?

And that’s about it. Sony has said that we won’t see the PS4/Orbis as E3 this year, so maybe TGS will reveal all.