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Sony's successor to the PlayStation 3 will launch during the 2013 holiday season, be called Orbis and feature an AMD CPU together with an AMD Southern Islands GPU - the 7000 series.

This information comes from a "reliable" Kotaku source who is not authorised to talk publicly about the next PlayStation and has shared accurate details with the gaming blog before.

Kotaku says that the name Orbis links in with PlayStation Vita, stating that Orbis Vita (or Orbis Vitae) means the circle of life. This indicates a possible close relationship between the two platforms.

Kotaku also attempts to validate the Orbis name by using Sony's development portal, revealing that a sub-domain for Orbis exists, but PS4 does not.

While we've heard rumours about the CPU before - with Sony abandoning Cell for AMD - news of the AMD GPU is interesting. The 7000 series part is also a generation ahead of the rumoured 6000 part said to form the heart of the next Xbox. A generation gap doesn't necessarily mean a huge increase in performance, however, with a low end 7000 part likely to pail in comparison to a higher end 6000 part.

Kotaku says that the Orbis will support game resolutions of up to 4096x2160, whilst 3D in full 1080p is also supported.

Selected developers are said to have been receiving dev kits since the start of 2012, with revised versions distributed around GDC time. More final kits will appear late this year.

Sony won't provide backwards compatibility support for PS3 games, which can't be seen a huge surprise given how such functionality was phased out of the PS3.

And most controversial of all is talk of locking games to a PSN account in an attempt to strengthen new game sales. You'll need to be connected to a PSN account in order to play too. Trades will be allowed, but anyone buying that pre-owned copy will be offered a limited version - similar to a trial - which can then be unlocked for a fee.

VideoGamer.com Analysis

While the specs sound suitably next generation, we're not convinced by the stance against pre-owned games. Linking games to a PSN account does, however, sound feasible given Sony is doing just that with PS Vita - Vita games can be sold on, but the memory on the card needs to be wiped in order for new users to earn trophies.

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Endless's Avatar

Endless

It doesnt say you cant buy and play used games, just that every game could (read: is likely to) have a 'pass' system for anything above the 'trial/demo' version.

I said it was coming now didn't I :P

Lack of backwards compatibility might be an issue for PS3 games on PS4, but I doubt it'll be a huge problem with Microsofts next system, given that the 360 is PC based and any new incarnation is likely to be too. Stick with what you know and all that.
Posted 09:04 on 29 March 2012
OweN64's Avatar

OweN64

I wouldn't buy this Orbis thing in a heartbeat. The idea of not being able to play used games is not going to attract people to buy this. I'm sticking with my PS3. This will probably go downhill in the end.
Posted 02:36 on 29 March 2012
pblive's Avatar

pblive

As far as the specs go, the PS3 was technically more powerful than the 360, but it didn't do them any good because of the way the memory had to be used. So it's not just about raw graphical power, it's getting every part of the system right to work together.

That, and they really need as much of a PC based architecture as possible to help Developers out.

As for a reliable Kotaku source...hmmm...
Posted 21:58 on 28 March 2012
thedanyrand's Avatar

thedanyrand

All this talk of not being able to play used games is killin any excitement i have towards the next gen. If they do the usual $5-10 jump on new games that seems to happen with new consoles and then keep you from havin the option to go the used route it might be enough to put me off all together.
Posted 21:51 on 28 March 2012