While there’s no doubt in my mind that Sony is working on the PlayStation 4, it’s release might be sooner than we think.
According to Kotaku’s sources, the PS4 is codenamed “Orbis” and will be out in the holiday season of 2013! Though if this same source is to be believed, PlayStation fans might not be happy in what they’re about to experience with Orbis.
Before we dive into the bad news, the main source states that “select developers” have already received development kits for the PS4 since the beginning of the year; while newer and improved versions of the dev kit has since been sent out during GDC’s time-frame, and more finalized “beta” units will be shipped to developers by the end of 2012.
Supposedly, this is to give developers ample time to have games ready for the Orbis’ big holiday retail release. Just for reference, the PS3 was launched in the same time-frame — November of 2006 for both US and Japan territories.
Now on to what could potentially be depressing stuff.
The source states that the Orbis won’t offer backwards-compatibility with PS3 games and Sony has “no plans” to offer the feature. If true, that means a lot of people will need to have their PS3s on standby if they want to play PS3 games.
If you think that was bad, this next bit gets worse.
The PS4 won’t allow used games to be played on the machine itself! Multiple sources have stated that the Orbis will have some sort of anti-used games measures built into the console itself to deter used games from working. One of Kotaku’s main sources say that brand new games can be bought in two ways – either on Blu-ray or as a PSN download.
Store-bought discs “must” be locked to single PSN account, where you can save the whole game data to your HDD or sync it for “download” in your account history so you can download it at your own leisure.
Furthermore, you can’t just buy the game and stay offline as the Orbis needs to have a valid PSN account and internet connection for it to even start! If for some reason you want to borrow or buy a second-hand game, it won’t be that easy anymore. While it’s still unclear how things would work , sources believe used games will be limited to a trial mode or some other form of restriction that keeps content locked away – at least until customers pay a fee to unlock/register the whole game.
To read up on the PS4′s alleged tech-specs and for more evidence of the codename being legit, click here.
Yep, you read all of that right. If true, then say goodbye to lending games to your friends once you’re finished with them. Of course, this is still considered a rumor so take it with a grain of salt before you grab pitchforks and hurl them at Sony.
Sony has refused to comment on the matter only stating that they “don’t comment on rumors or speculations.”
We’ll keep an eye out for more Orbis news and will update the situation as it happens.