Anti Pre-Owned System, No Backwards Compatibility
What time is it? Massive rumour o' clock. Usual suspects Kotaku have ostensibly obtained another megaton rumour from some anonymous industry sources who claim that the next PlayStation console is codenamed Orbis, and is scheduled for a 2013 release.
As well as discussing specifications, the report also purports that Orbis won't be backwards-compatible with PS3 games and will contain an anti-used game system.
According to Kotaku's intel, Orbis (which exists on the Sony developer extranet) will contain an AMD x64 CPU and an AMD Southern Islands GPU (AMD's high end PC cards). This ties in with earlier reports suggesting that Sony are ditching NVIDIA in favour of their main rival - and certainly not scrimping on the quality. In graphics terms, this means that the PS4 will be capable of playing games at a 4096x2160 resolution, and can run 3D titles in 1080p.
Sounds good, but the rest of the report makes for sobering reading. Apparently the PS4/Orbis will not be backwards compatible with PS3 or PS2 games, meaning that fans may need to keep hold of their old consoles.
More interesting, though, is the allegation that the PS4 will feature an anti-used games system that requires users to register new titles specifically to their PSN ID. Pre-owned games will only run in a trial mode, requiring an equivalent of an online pass to unlock. However, Sony would ensure that all new games are released both as downloadable and retail versions, making PSN a more attractive choice. The next Xbox has also been rumoured to utilise the same anti-used initiative, suggesting that publishers may attempt to kill off the pre-owned market at source.
As always, please bear in mind that this is just a rumour. Albeit a ruddy great big one. We'll look into it, but for now, let us know what you make of it.