A rumor regarding the name and some of the details behind the next generation console from Sony have been revealed on the website Kotaku. According to their unnamed but reliable source, the console is being developed under the working title of “Orbis.”
Some of the details described include the use of AMD x64 CPUs and AMD Southern Island GPUs, as well as the complete disregard for backwards compatibility with PS3 games. While I expect improved hardware performance, the lack of backwards compatibility is disappointing news. We have all had to deal with this issue, of course, with the later versions of the PS3 which are not compatible with PS2 games. Sony seems to be enjoying all of the money they are making with their HD versions of fan-favorite PS2 titles; perhaps we can expect the same for some of the more dated PS3 titles as well.
Another disappointing detail is that Sony is trying to implement a system in which used games would become all but unplayable on the Orbis. This would be a severe blow to game retailers like Gamestop, who make a large portion of their profit on the sale of used games. Developers have been dealing with the used-game market by incorporating release-date DLCs or special download codes into new copies of games in order to discourage the purchase of used copies. This potential anti-used-game move from a hardware stance would seemingly put the final nail in the coffin for the market.
Kotaku reports that some game developers have already received dev-kits for the new system, and that gamers can expect a holiday 2013 release. We will try to keep you updated on this story as more details come forth.