As we talked about on the show a couple weeks ago, Microsoft would not be talking about anything that has to do with a new Xbox at this year's E3. We mentioned how if and when they decided to talk about something new would be about the same time Sony would follow suit.
Well, that kind of has happened this week, as Sony has said you can kill all the rumors about the PlayStation 4 being the highlight of this year's E3 show. However, Sony went into a little more detail about what the future would hold for PlayStation and the brand.
Of course, we have the details after the break.
Several sources close to the matter are reporting that while Sony will not be speaking PlayStation 4 in this year's E3 spotlight, the rumor mills can start back up again in regards to the future console's details. The PS4 is currently being codenamed "Orbis" by people working on the project and Sony has a slated release date somewhere during the holiday season of 2013, as we sort of expected. Orbis could also be the final working name of the console, but we highly doubt that at this point.
For specs, we can report that we are hearing talk of a 64-bit AMD CPU and the high-end AMD video card codenamed "Southern Islands," which we should see launched near the end of this year. That sure is a lot of firepower under the hood of the next console. Unfortunately, as anybody could have probably expected knowing Sony, sources are saying the PS4 will not be backwards compatible with PS3 titles. That is probably largely due to the uniqueness of the Cell processor that currently resides inside the PS3.
The other interesting thing out of the mill this week is the potential that Sony will be using some anti-piracy and anti-used game controls in their hardware. This is something we also heard about Microsoft's new project and have discussed several times on the show about how the big three (Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft) are trying to bring the money back to the first-party merchants.
Here's Kotaku's take on the matter:
Here's how our main source says it's currently shaping up: new games for the system will be available one of two ways, either on a Blu-Ray disc or as a PSN download (yes, even full retail titles). If you buy the disc, it must be locked to a single PSN account, after which you can play the game, save the whole thing to your HDD, or peg it as "downloaded" in your account history and be free to download it at a later date.
The rumor is also that the PS4 games will all require a PSN account along with Internet service. These requirements are something Blizzard has done recently with their battle.net service and does not come as a shock as Sony is trying to really put a foot down on not only used games, but piracy and modding of the hardware. Regardless of what GameStop's CEO seems to think, used games, in the end, only profit those resellers and wind up making the developers and producers suffer from the loss of income. It could potentially also be affecting this "beta-release" of games we've been seeing hit the market incomplete, due to lack of funding from previous endeavors.
What do you think about all of this? Microsoft and Sony will probably end up taking the same measures when all is said and done, so what protection measures will actually be placed on the consoles? With the way games are moving to the digital realm, there are few Xbox 360 games that I'm having to really put into the CD tray anymore. Tell us your thoughts on all of this in the comments below.