So the PS4 is...the Orbis? What Does it All Mean?

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.

PS4 Orbis - Playstation Orbis

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 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, 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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PS4 Orbis

Looking forward to the PS4 Orbis or whatever they decide to call it. PS4 would make more sense but what do I know, I'm just a gamer =]


Amiga has a superior operating system.

anti-used game mechanism

If the rumor is true about the anti-used game policy I imagine there will be a huge backlash. Just like the Netflix debacle, consumers aren't stupid and will protest, or in this case simply not buy the product. I definitely won't buy it.

If you truly love the

If you truly love the industry and want to see it grow, then buying a used game is stupid.

What the heck are you talking about?

So now buying used games should become illegal because people must be forced by law to buy new products? That's just plain insane.

This isn't free will anymore.

I agree that force people to choose this only choice is not free will. That proves they are tyranny business style instead and hate to be true Americans anymore. Free land is dead. Freedom is dead. Money and power can't buy freedom. So, my only choice is not to buy them and find new hobbies and hope gaming industries suffer wrath of citizens' power and need to stay out of our free country.

U will

You will buy it because u won't have a choice if this is the way the game industry is going! The reason for what transpired recently in the gaming industry with GAME and Gamestation stores is partly down to money lost by retailers on second hand games and piracy. If u havnt heard xbox are planning the same thing, a recent rumor went as far as to say xbox won't employ and optic disk drive whatsoever. I doubt that to be true, but they have also stated the xbox will require u to sign in whenever u play a game so Microsoft can keep tabs. I think people have took these rumors to literal and have perhaps misinterpreted them a little, I imagine u will merely have to pay a fee to unlock a game u have Purchased second hand. There are rumors to back this up saying that without paying this fee u will only have acess to a demo version of the game before playstation network or xbox live send u a notification requesting a fee for u to continue. So unless u want to stay in the current generation of games 4ever get ur wallet out and stop winging mate


most of my games come from stores, bu i buy games off of friends tht they have used b4. there will be major backlash on this


PS Server sucks and for them to come out with more stuff without fixing what they have just makes NO Since....I'm just saying !!!!!

You are just saying with no proof

The PS server is working well. Xbox server is working well. Make sure you check your internet connection. Done all that? Ok, You have to understand that none of these system is "perfect" or will ever be. PSN was hacked, Sony took full responsibly and shut the entire thing down so they can start over again. You be lucky to have Sony based on caring for costumers as they know that hackers will try to attack them. Xbox Live isn't safe, PSN isn't safe, Nowhere is safe from hackers. And this is the first console focused on internet so it a new concept to master.

Thts totaly stupid nd lie y

Thts totaly stupid nd lie y would microsoft and sony use same companies cpu and gpu then there wil b no competition


that would be the death of quality you dear fool!!



That is just awesome but it's probably fake. If it's real i wish it was released this year!

Seems Legit..

Seriously.I mean as the operating system is sony aether?Never heard of that before.

re seems legit ...

yeah the specs on the pic did look quite cool and the mention of playstation omni and playstation iris but to me if it was legit why are no other websites commenting on it like Kotaku or techradar ign etc sadly as when rumors are on the net they run like wildfire if their is some sence to them this 1 doesnt have that clout so its probs bs unfortunately


i maynot buy due to the "anti-usedgames' thing. thts how i get some of my games

Rare and niche games

The only reason i knew that i liked the rare niche games that i like is because i picked them up secondhand £15 £20 completely on a whim; sometimes i found a gem, other times a turd. If it was a fully priced game sold over PSN i probably wouldn't risk it. Since playing Rogue Galaxy bought second hand for £10 and playing SMT Lucifer's call free on a hacked ps2 i have followed Atlus and bought most of their games and loved them. Killing off the second hand market in my eyes is a kin to killing off the smaller developers.

Second Hand Games

The money from the 'second hand market' goes to the game stores, not the developers. Developers hate used game sales. Killing the second hand market will kill the game stores, not the developers. This will force people to go to the PSN to get games, which may actually help small developers, especially if they have a 'small dev' game of the week or something.

used games

no way they should have no used games what if ur ps4 brok or something carnt relly aford new games old ones are way cheaper

Tied to your account not your

Tied to your account not your system this also means people without high speed internet would not be able to move forward to the next generation of systems


These system are design for those people without High Speed Internet. The game may be lock into your account but you have to remember that little kids without accounts will be having these consoles so I doubt you can lock it completely.

PS4 with AMD CPU/GPU x86/x64 = BIG FAILURE!

Sony is going to lose all credibility if they really are moving forward with the whole "cheaper to develop for" "cheaper to manufacture" AMD CPU/GPU x86/x64 Playstation4. Not only breaking compatibility with Playstation3 but AMD CPUs just plain suck. What are Sony managers thinking? They must be completely out of mind. It's not enough the mess they already did with the Playstation3 that they haven't been able to sell properly, without dropping its price when they should have, without adding features thru firmware updates that customers were looking for (.mkv files playback anyone? And Sony standalone cheap Blu-Ray players support .mkv playback.. so all the debate about .mkv used for pirated copy there doesn't apply but for PS3 did? JUST PLAIN LAME AND RETARDED,INDEED!). Sony Playstation4 with AMD CPU/GPU is going to be a huge failure. A bad next XBox copy that is rumored to be switching to AMD CPU/GPU too. Any manager with a bit of brain wanting to deliver the best product to last for years if x86/x64 had to be would have got Intel CPUs for sure and not AMD ones. However PS4 had to be a new updated Cell architecture and nothing else. Is the Cell too difficult to program for developers? THAT IS SONY FAULT THEN ! Sony development should provide proper development kits to ease the work of developers, a good set of well documented APIs. That is what Sony should work for. Switching to x86/x64 it's not going to help, yes SSE SIMD in-line assembly optimizations could just be copied from/reused from x86/x64 Windows applications and games BUT unless Sony is going to put a Linux or Windows operating system on the PS4 a big effort at creating and documenting a proper set of APIs would still be needed. And it would be the first time for Sony on x86/x64 architecture. How could they think it would be any easier than working on Cell ?

Big Changes

What you forget is that Sony owns Cell. If Sony wanted to, they could get IBM to work with AMD for a new type of Cell. This new type of Cell is an AMD/IBM SoC Cell/PPU package based on HSA. All this is this possible for a launch in 2013/14. If AMD/IBM create a SoC/Trinity/Cell-PPU/HSA/x86-like design everything changes. It will be x86/64 HSA with Cell compatibility. Something like that would be capable of 4 Teraflops, and nothing out of the ordinary to manufacturer. AMD have the platform. IBM have the Power. Sony have the Playstation. Add them all together and you have even Apple quaking in the boots trying to break open the game console market in much the same way they're hoping to do with ARM.

But these are rumors.

No real information have been released yet. But from what I heard they're kinda remodeling this AMD CPU.

What's up with AMD CPUs?

Many users are very happy with AMD's cheaper multi core processors, in many cases finding them better for threaded programs when comparing them to similarly and in some cases slightly more expensive Intel chips. The FX 6200 and 81** series are excellent for games, applications and decoding, which is all PS4 needs to deal with, it's all any games console has to do. If Sony does as the HSA comment guy has said then a new cell, repacked/rebranded as something new would be perfect. There are patents that already exist for a new cell, one with 4 cores and 4 SPEs per core. Apparently this can be manufacturered at below 28nm, making it far more powerful than PS3's cell, with high levels of a more modern cache and plenty of system ram this will be easier to develop for than the existing cell and have all of the benefits of modern multicore processors. Even if Sony were going with a quad core or similar multicore AMD processor to allow for Backwards Compatibility they'd only need to install a PS3 Cell and now tiny RSX, with the same ram onto the PS4's motherboard, shut off the new hardware whenever people want to play PS3 games on the system. To be honest even if stuff's been leaked by game devs about PS4's hardware and they aren't making mention of PS3 hardware being in the kit, it probably wouldn't be in dev kits, because it's not tech they'll have to worry about. I'd say wait and see before slating whatever PS4 has or doesn't have for hardware.


I wonder how the anti-used game thing will work with Gamefly. Gamefly's big thing is that you never have to buy a game again.


Stopping people buying second hand games may make economic sense for the Developers & even Sony but in the current economic times, its a big big mistake to ignore those that cannot afford to buy new games regularly ! This action would surely result in a loss of units for Sony as I for one would not part with my hard money no mater how powerful or future proof there console was, & this will surely lend its hand to the competition or even future competitors waiting in the wings who will be able to offer the chance to buy second hand games. Beware Sony you may think people have brand loyalty, but when its loyalty to a multi billion pound organisation over the money in there pockets, the fact is people WILL vote with there wallets !!

This issue of second hand games...

Shouldn't even be an issue. People got bills to pay, they don't wanna pay the full $60 for a game that been out all year. I may not like xbox but they're being smart either. Locking games into your account so only you can play it? Stupid. Even if Sony wanted to make profit out of this: Let me tell you, I wanted to find out how BF3 was really like, I played the demo and story but I couldn't access the multiplayer. That was my turn-off point. I could not dare to even buy this game or even the multiplayer code. I'm merely a teen seeking a part timer and you want your majority of audiance who is mainly entering college, in college, or recently leaving college(with an average of $25,000 in debt) to pay extra buck in a downed WORLD economy for a multi-billion dollar company???? I sure hope either of these game consoles would do this madness. I mean DLCs are already only lock into account why pay more?