PS4 codenamed 'Orbis', expected release is late 2013
The PlayStation 3's successor is codenamed "Orbis", according to a new report, and it's allegedly planned for release in time for the 2013 holiday season.
The PS4's working title, Orbis, means circle, or ring, or even orbit in Latin. As Kotaku points out, Vita, Sony's new handheld, is Latin for "life". Could the names combine to mean "Circle of life" as the site predicts? The names could just be coincidence, but either way I'd expect the Vita to play a significant role with the next-generation PlayStation console.
According to the sources, the rumored specs include an AMD x64 CPU and an AMD Southern Islands GPU, the name given to AMD's 2012 high-end PC cards. The PS4 will allegedly be capable of playing games at a resolution up to 4096x2160, and will play 3D games in 1080p. Sony was recently reported as working with AMD graphics tech on the next-gen PlayStation, abandoning the Nvidia tech which is currently used in the PlayStation 3.
There are also rumors that the PlayStation 4 won't play PS3 games and that Sony has no plans to offer backwards compatibility. In another interesting note, it was said that Sony will also offer some form of technology to combat pre-owned games - similar to what we've heard about the next Xbox. The PS4, or PlayStation Orbis, will force new games, either on Blu-ray disc or downloaded, to be tied to a single PSN account.
Users will apparently have to buy the disc and lock it to their account - requiring them to have a PSN account and remain online to play. Pre-owned games will still be playable, although limited to a trial mode. To unlock the game, users are going to be required to pay a fee.
The report claims that the PlayStation 4 will be released in time for the 2013 holiday season, despite claims from Sony that insist the PS3 still has "a lot" of life left in the console. Sony has already stated that they have no intentions of revealing any new PlayStation 4 hardware at E3 this year and that they stand by the 10-year plan for the PS3 - focusing on the current console and the new PlayStation Vita for 2012.
As expected, a Sony spokesperson offered no comment on the PlayStation 4 "Orbis" rumor or any of the rumored specs. Keep in mind these are just rumors and should be treated as such. Anything can change at any point.