By now, you've probably heard the news and seen the discussions going on around here and elsewhere about the news that the PS4 is - for now at least - called the Orbis. You may have already heard that the Orbis is coming in 2013, sometime around the holiday season, of course.
But what the heck does Orbis mean and what does it have to do with the PS4?
A Little Latin Lesson
It's probably obvious to many, but Orbis is Latin for orbit, ring, or circle. OK, not a big deal. It may just be a working title and therefore maybe a red herring to make us all think way too much. But when you combine it with Sony's latest handheld, the Vita (Latin for "life"), you get Orbis Vita, which in strict Latin would be Orbis Vitae.
This means "Cirlce of Life." Who knows what this means, but it could point toward increased integration and functionality between the two systems. This all sounds great, but of course let's keep a level head and play a little wait-and-see. After all, Orbis could just be a placeholder name for the project and it could get flushed once the project's complete.
It is worth noting, however, that if you go to Orbis.SCEDev.net you end up on Sony's developer network page - as you can see in the picture. Interesting.
What About PS4 Orbis Specs?
There has been a lot of speculation about the specs of the PS4...er, Orbis, but really nobody knows anything. What the mystery source that leaked the Orbis name has said, however, that developers should plan for an AMD x64 CPU and an AMD Southern Islands GPU.
It's also been said that the Orbis will be able to display games at 4096x2160, which is beyond current HDTVs. It will also be able to play 3D games in 1080p. If all this is true, it means that Sony is setting itself ahead of the technology curve, ensuring that the Orbis will be able to keep up with new trends in TV technology for years to come. Good thinking, guys.
As you've probably read elsewhere, it has also been floated that Sony isn't bothering with backwards compatibility and that there will be some sort of "anti-used games policy" in effect as well, much to the chagrin of many a gamer. It's not entirely clear how it will work, but basically any game you buy will be tied to your account and anyone playing it after you will have to jump through considerable hoops to play it.
Looking at what has happened to the music industry in the digital age, when record companies have a hard time staying afloat because no one buys CDs anymore, it's no surprise that the video game industry is trying to shore things up before they get any more out of control. Of course, this sucks for many gamers who simply cannot afford to buy all the games they want new.
As Always, Take it All With a Big Grain of Salt
All this Orbis talk is still pure speculation, so make sure you treat it with a fair amount of skepticism for now. Chances are that the Orbis name is just a placeholder project title and that the true name will be revealed once the release date draws closer.
Of course, Sony turned everything on its head as far as naming conventions go when they chose to name their new handheld "Vita" rather than something along the lines of "PSP2," so who knows?
Maybe PS4 Orbis really is the future! Join the conversation on our forums or post below.
Update - April 5th 2012
Sony is confident that their next-gen PlayStation will be released before the Xbox 720, according to a source.
The VG247 quoted the source as saying: “Sony are completely in the belief that they have the jump on Microsoft this time.” “You should be watching the timing of next year’s E3 keynotes, and who’s going to go first.” “Top line publishers already know about it,” the source said. “Developers working with publishers – like Ubisoft, for example – already know what’s going on. They’re already working on it.”
As to the new name, "Orbis". It's all rumors for now. We will have to wait and see what happens.
Article by - Brett Huffman
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