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.

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.