Fresh details have apparently emerged today regarding Sony's successor to the PS3, with "multiple sources" confirming that the PS3 - still being referred to by Sony solely under the codename "Orbis" - will once again feature Blu-Ray (rather than a purely digital setup), and will bring with it a revamped UI and a processor based on AMD's combined-chip A10 series.
The report comes via VG247, with their sources relaying information divulged at a “disclosure meeting” for US developers at Sony’s offices this week - designed to show off the coming hardware, and outline what it can do ahead of a fresh round of dev kits being issued. Apparently Sony are only referring to the next-gen hardware under the codename "Orbis", and are yet to even come close to uttering the phrase "Playstation 4".
This new batch of dev kits will be the second wave to go out, with a third version, more closely resembling the final specs, to be dispatched in January, and the fourth and final kit slated for "next summer”.
Sources revealed to VG247 that "of course" the Orbis will have an optical Blu-Ray drive, and that the new series of dev kits being sent out are sporting “either 8Gb or 16Gb of RAM.” The hard-drive will apparently come in at 256GB “as standard”, although, as the article notes, there's no indication as to whether or not it'll be a solid-state drive.
Furthermore, the Orbis is said to be based on the AMD A10 APU series, with the console's processor "derivative" of existing A10 hardware and “based on A10 system and base platform”.
Sources report that Sony's goal is to create something “very affordable” but that “isn’t a slouch”.
As well as hardware changes, it looks like the UI will get an overhaul as well. Apparently, "players will now be able to press the PS button mid-game and travel 'anywhere' on the system", allowing for PS Store purchases to be made mid-game. Furthermore, the sources revealed that Sony are designing a machine that will allow for system updates to run in the background, no doubt hoping to create an infrastructure that doesn't have to be taken offline every other week.
Sony are hoping to announce the Orbis at an event “just before E3″ next year.