PS4: Every Rumour So Far
PS4, or the Orbis as some call it, is Sony's chance to enter the next-gen with a strong start, but which rumours should you believe?
Published on Nov 29, 2012
PS4 could be Sony's chance to learn from past mistakes and start the next-gen with a clean slate.
With so many rumours flying around about next-gen consoles and what Sony and Microsoft are working on, it can be difficult to know where to turn.
Allow NowGamer to round up the most important rumours for you. Here is what the rumours are saying about Sony's PS4...
PS4 Won’t Run In 4K ‘Ultra-HD’ Resolution
Rumour: PS4 won’t actually include games that use the Ultra-HD resolution. (Source: PSM3, via CVG)
With many rumours flying around the internet offering all manner of outrageous claims of the PS4, it’s surprising to see that some of these have already been debunked.
The rumour that the PS4 will run games at an incredible 4096 x 2160 began to gather momentum when Sony announced its new Ultra-HD line of televisions but this could turn out to be false. It might be a fantastic platform for movies, but some believe that even for a next-gen console as powerful as we suspect the PS4 to be, it could be too much to ask of it to render games in such a ludicrously high resolution.
PS4 Is Now Codenamed Thebes & Will Be Released 2014
Rumour: Sony actual PS4 codename is not the Orbis but Thebes. (Source: Semiaccurate)
With no real reason behind this assertion other than its own reputation, Semiaccurate believes Sony’s working title for the PS4 isn’t the Orbis as has been widely reported, but in fact Thebes. But, with no one at Sony able to confirm or deny this we'll have to wait until the PS4 is finally released and we can all enjoy some lovely hindsight.
Also, though no one can say with any real certainty that the PS4 will be released in 2013 or 2014, Semiaccurate has said that it believes ‘Spring 2014’ is ‘most likely’ but it also concedes it could also be fall 2014, too. With Sony ensuring the PS3 has plenty of exclusive games to see it through 2013 it seems unlikely that we will see the PS4 before the end of the year.
Microsoft, in contrast, has very few games scheduled for the latter half of 2013 implying by their absence that a new Xbox really could be just on the horizon.
PS4 Will Use A Traditional Control Pad Mixed With Move
Rumour: The PS4 will use a control pad that appears on the surface to be a traditional PlayStation pad but will in fact split apart and contain similar motion technology to that found in Move. (Source: PSM3, via CVG)
Thought you saw the last of motion control? Move might have taken a backseat but that doesn’t mean that Sony is finished implementing new ways of playing into the PlayStation brand. Though many patents get filed for all sorts of reasons, it’s hard to ignore when one is filed for such as interesting and unique type of control pad.
Dividing your control pad is just the tip of the ice berg though, according to the patents Sony is looking into controllers that heat up as you play (if your gun overheats, for example) or even cool depending on the on-screen action.
PS4 Will Include AMD Graphics
Rumour: The PS4 tech specs have long been speculated, but when ex-AMD employeed beleives they know exactly what Sony is using.(Source: Forbes)
There have been a ton of rumours all speculating on the internal hardware of the next generation of consoles, but when an ex-AMD employee wades into the argument, everyone tends to listen a little bit more intently.
According to a report in Forbes, Sony is developing the PlayStation 4 and the next-gen console will feature graphics technology from AMD.
Sony has long-been rumoured to be working on the successor to the PS3, which integrates Nvidia graphics architecture.
Former AMD employees made the claim according to the report, although both AMD and Sony's Chief Transformation Officer George Bailey have declined to comment on the claim.
PS4 Will Launch October Or November 2013
Rumour: The PS4 could be here as soon as October 2013, if we're lucky. (Source: NowGamer)
We know; we’ve heard this before. It seems like some industry analyst or other has been saying we’re getting new consoles for the last few years and here we are, still stuck with the PS3 and Xbox 360. Well, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter believes that Sony will launch the PS4 in October or November of 2013.
Finally! But more importantly, Pachter has a very good reason he believes Sony wants to get to market before Microsoft.
"I don't think Sony wants to launch behind Microsoft again, so I'm confident we'll see a PS4 in October or November 2013," explained the Wedbush Securities Analyst, talking to Play magazine.
"It isn't likely that they will launch earlier, as it doesn't make sense to get out too far in front of software, and I'm pretty confident that few developers have been working on PS4 games for more than a year or so. Holiday 2013 will be a comfortable window for Sony, and will give them a chance to get a head start on Microsoft."
PS4 Is Code-named The Orbis
Rumour: Sony's working title for the PS4 is the Orbis. This would be a secret working title, if it wasn't common knowledge. (Source: Kotaku)
We love codenames for in-development videogame hardware. The N64 was the Project Reality, the Dural became the Dreamcast, the Dolphin became the GameCube and who can forget the Revolution becoming the Wii.
Well now the PS4 is apparently codenamed the Orbis (with the Xbox 720 apparently called the Durango). That’s according to what a ‘reliable source’ told Kotaku.
It’s a Latin word, which has spherical connotations, and also happens to be active on SCE's DevNet developer site, cropping up in the URL of pages in the same position as NGP, PS3, PSP, PS2, PSP and more. Sony named its latest console, the PS Vita after the Latin word for 'life'.
PS4 Tech Specs
Rumour: The PS4 techs specs are so impressive they'll make your eyes melt. (Source: VG247)
This is where things get really interesting and where those eagle-eyed fanboys will begin comparing and contrasting with the rumoured Xbox 720 tech specs. While there’s no need to kickstart the next generation of console wars early, here’s what a collection of developers told VG247:
The hardware, according to the developers, will be based on the AMD A10 APU structure, which combines CPU and GPU into one chipset.
Though the final architecture is open to change, current A10 models include a 3.4-4.0 Ghz quad-core CPU and a GPU with 384 cores. It's no slouch.
The developers - who also claim the dev kits come in as many as four models - said that Orbis has either 8GB or 16GB of RAM. As for storage, the PS4 is said to include a blu-ray optical drive and a 256GB hard drive "as standard".
Meanwhile the Orbis will have "no difference" between the PS3 in terms of input and output, and will have WiFi and Ethernet capability and a HDMI output.
Apparently the hardware is not being developed in Japan. The controller was not mentioned by the source, but apparently more details are expected this month.
PS4 Will Have An Anti-pre-owned System
Rumour: The PS4 will stop users from trading in their games by forcing them to link them to their PSN accounts. (Source: Eurogamer)
This is one of those rumours that has been floating around for a while now and we’re still not convinced it’ll ever happen. When the Orbis rumours first started to take off, some websites began reporting that the PS4 would force players to assign their games to specific PSN accounts thereby making them useless unless the player was logged in with the right account.
That means the pre-owned industry goes down the drain as well as rental services, too. Under that regime you wouldn’t even be able to lend copies of your games out and it's all a bit extreme. It’s hard to see this ever coming to pass and there are already much more inventive and far less obtrusive ways of curbing second-hand sales.
Sony Is Using Off The Shelf Hardware
Rumour: Instead of developing its own hardware Sony will create the PS4 from off the shelf hardware that will make it cheaper and easier to develop for. (Source: VG247)
Sony has been criticised this generation for making a console that by some accounts is difficult to make games for. Its internal hardware isn’t intending to make development difficult, but with the Xbox 360 and PC sharing similar set-ups, is it any wonder that some developers prefer them.
Of course, there are many developers that prefer the PS3, but it’s clear that there have been some damaging cross-platform games for the PS3.
But that shouldn’t be a problem for the PS4. Speaking to an 'insider source', VG247 was told that off the shelf hardware would help Sony and the PS4.
Sony is intending to overcome many of the problems that affected the launch of the PS3, stating its affordability as a key factor. If it's based on off-the-shelf technology, rather than expensive in-house tech like the PS3, then this could well be true.
The "ultimate goal", however, is to create a console capable of running 1080p visuals at 60 frames a second with "no problem", and to create something that will survive technically for years.
The sources claim the UI for the system has been redesigned, enabling users to press the PS button and travel to "anywhere" on the system - in a similar fashion to Nintendo's use of the Miiverse with the Wii U.
One example that was given suggested a user could visit the PS Store during a game, purchase any DLC and then return seamlessly to the game.
"They're trying to make it as fluid as possible," stated the developer.
Sony Is Planning On Using 'Ultra HD' 4K Resolutions
Rumour: Instead of using slightly better resolutions in next-gen games the PS4 will use amazing new Ultra HD technology. (Source: Yahoo News)
We bet you didn’t even know that there were some TVs out there capable of showing 4K resolutions (but if you did we tip our collective hats to you). According to some rumours the next generation will be all about Ultra HD resolutions and thankfully enough not 3D.
Industry speculation has it that Sony is working to ensure that 4K Ultra HD will go on to define the next-gen and PS4. The news comes from BGR, which claims a source has confirmed the PS4 feature as part of Sony's wider push of ultra-definition across its consumer products - much like it did with HD, and then 3D.
Sony has the 80-inch 4K XBR LED TV in the works and already offers affordable 4K Blu-ray players.
4K resolutions can reach up to 4096×3112 pixels, though the widescreen TV aspect ratio makes 4096×1714 more likely for home displays.
PS4 Will Definitely Have A Disc Drive
Rumour: Forget your dreams of a smooth console and of a living room free of videogame boxes, the PS4 will have a disc drive that will most likely use Blu-ray. (Source: MCV)
We’re at the tipping point people! The tipping point between disc drives and going totally digital, that is. Though many have said the current consoles will be the last to use physical media as their primary form, the next-gen could see them phased out of its existence of thier lives, but that’s not to say that it won’t still be a key part of the PS4.
There’s no need to get rid of those Blu-rays just yet, then. Without physical retail the PS4 (or any other next-gen console for that matter) just couldn’t survive. That’s according to Sony's UK vice president Fergal Gara.
Speaking with MCV Gara explained, "Coming down off that 2008 peak has been a steep ride for many and has involved fallout on many levels, not least of all retail."
"So what we’re seeing is not really a surprise," Gara continued, "a bit of a readjustment if you like and it isn’t just happening to the specialists on the High Street. There is a bit of a reappraisal around space and the commitment from other retailers."
"We’d love to see as many of those retailers as possible maintain their interest in servicing the space because clearly down the road many of us are going to be doing our best to give another injection into the market whenever the next cycle starts."
PS4 Kits Are Already Shipping Out To Devs
Rumour: Some developers already have PS4 dev kits allowing them to begin development on next-gen games. (Source: VG247)
As of November 2012 (when we originally saw this story) PS4 dev kits were already making their way to developers all over the world. That’s according to the rumour reported by VG247.
The news site reported that multiple sources had confirmed that Orbis kits were shipping to developers even though it is currently housed in a normal PC case.
According to the site the Orbis dev kits had shipped out in a number of different versions, which ultimately offer different variations on the same target hardware and that Sony is planning making a console powerful enough to run games at 1080p 60fps with 3D ‘no problem’.
A promising sign, if it’s true. It would mean developers would have at least a year to get any potential next-gen games up and running on Sony’s new hardware.
PS4 Has Been In Development Since 2010
Rumour: Sony has been hard at work for a number of years on the successor to the PS3. (Source: Videogamer)
We’re not sure how much of this to believe, but it’s not too much of stretch to think that Sony has been working on the PS4, at least in some form, for a few years now. Developer CVs are always a good place to look if you want to get some juicy gossip and this time it’s no different.
PS4 could be heading your way sooner than you think, if the LinkedIn CV of ex-Sony employee Attila Vass is anything to go by.
Vass states on his CV that he has worked on every Sony hardware since PlayStation 2, right through to PS Vita and what he refers to as "Next Generation PlayStation."
Proof that the PS4 has been in development for years? Nearly; it is promising, let’s put it like that.
PS4 Will Launch Before Xbox 720
Rumour: Sony wants to get the PS4 out the door before Microsoft can react with the Xbox 720. (Source: VG247)
Sony have the jump on Microsoft this time, it’s sure of it. That’s the news that was reported by VG247, citing an anonymous source.
“Sony are completely in the belief that they have the jump on Microsoft this time,” they said. “You should be watching the timing of next year’s E3 keynotes, and who’s going to go first.”
It would be easy to believe that Sony wants to beat Microsoft to market in the next-gen and it could easily be said that the Xbox 360’s rush to beat the PS3 to market was the biggest contributing factor that lead to its success.
You could argue it was many other factors, but getting to market before your competition is clearly better in the long run and helps to establish an early lead. If Sony get their first this time, Microsoft might have to do something it hasn’t done in a while: play catch-up.
PS4 Will Use Gaikai
Rumour: Sony purchased Gaikai, David Perry's OnLive-like streaming service, for use in the PS4. (Source: Eurogamer)
In case you don’t know Gaikai is a streaming service much like OnLive that Sony purchased for $380 million. It’s a pre-emptive strike and an early indication that, though the PS4 might not immediately offer a streaming games service, it could very easily do so in the future.
Some believe the PS4 will use Gaikai sparingly, though, offering demos or glimpses at gameplay without the hassle of downloading them over long periods of time.
Even EEDAR industry analyst Jesse Divnich thinks it’s a good idea saying it was an "intelligent move on Sony’s end to future proof itself against the natural yet unpredictable evolution of technology. This was an acquisition that gives an enormous advantage to all of Sony’s product lines, not just game consoles."
"Don’t think of this acquisition as a play on cloud gaming," Divnich continued, "but rather a play on cloud entertainment, and Sony’s Gaikai acquisition will position Sony to deliver music, movies, television, and gaming through a multitude of devices including consoles, mobile/tablets, set-top boxes, or just the television itself."
A smart move then and one the PS4 could really benefit from.
PS4 Will Run With Native OpenGL
Rumour: PS4 will use Native OpenGL, which is a much easier system to use than what the PS3 currently relies on. (Source: VG247)
The news that PS4 will run Native OpenGL comes from a TSA report and was apparently also backed up by a different source. The TSA apparently says that the OpenGL is much easier to use than the current PS3 system supporting the reports that Sony is making a console much more developer and user friendly.