What is Orbis, and what can we expect from it?
It’s Sony’s turn in the spotlight, as details on their next-gen console have been rumoured
Heard of Orbis? Missed a rumour on the PlayStation 4? Don’t worry, here’s a rundown of what happened and our thoughts.
The biggest and most long-running rumour has been that the PS4 will ditch the PlayStation 3’s Cell architecture, in favour of AMD. It’s widely believed Sony are doing this to make development easier for third parties, who have preferred developing for the Xbox this generation. If Sony can pull it off, then their next-gen console could look strong with strong first party developers such as Naughty Dog undoubtedly staying exclusive next gen.
Kotaku also revealed the codename for the console is “Orbis,” according to their source. We don’t know why Sony would be calling their console this, at least temporarily, but Kotaku theorised that that the Vita and PS4 could integrate as Orbis Vitae means “circle of life” in Latin. They were tipped off on some sketches that showed off a potential peripheral from the console. The camera looked like a successor to the EyeToy, showing players in front of it. There was another person off-screen holding a mobile device, with commands such as “Play Song.” It appeared the device could be controlled by an external controller, or perhaps an app for smartphones.
There were also rumours from VG247 that the console would release in Christmas 2013, which would likely be alongside the next-gen Xbox. As noted in a report by us yesterday, November has traditionally been the month for big releases. Both companies will be looking to have as big an install base as possible around release.
The interesting thing, for me, about Sony switching from Cell to AMD is that it could mean a cheaper launch console. The PS3’s “$599” price was outrageous, and put many consumers off despite Cell providing much more power than the Xbox 360’s internals. There have been rumours suggesting Sony wants to get the jump on Microsoft, and a cheaper price would help them to do that.
AMD internals will allow Sony to reduce prices later in the life of the console. Microsoft have continued to push various models, the Xbox 360 S the latest.