So it is that time again folks; we are ready for the new wave of next generation consoles! With this excitement also comes many rumors, some true, some not so true and some being darn right stupid!
The PlayStation 4 has been the talk of the internet; with constant details popping up all over the internet. You should all know the scenario by now: “My friend has a friend who works for Sony and those infamous anonymous tips!”. Let me go through the rumors with you and tell you what we should all expect!
So lets jump straight into the rumors:
The official console name
We have a few names popping up for the next PlayStation console and these are:
PlayStation 4 (duh! Self explanatory)
PlayStation Orbis (apparently a codename, some believe this is the official name)
PlayStation Omni (apparently the actual name – there is a story behind this one)
Opinion: I believe the next PlayStation console will not be called the PlayStation 4 – however many will still refer to it as this. The reason I say this is because the latest Portable console was not called PSP 2 but PS-Vita. I guess from that it is fair to assume the trend will follow on the next home console; so PlayStation Omni and PlayStation Orbis are definitely on the cards!
The next PlayStation release date
The latest rumors suggest that we will see the next PlayStation console in time for this year Christmas. Which in my opinion is a great time to launch a console. Remember Xbox 360 consoles being sold out and being sold on eBay for tons more? There have also been very strong hints from industry insiders claiming that a next gen console will indeed be released this year: but which one? The next Xbox or the next PlayStation?
Opinion: I’m guessing if Sony play their cards right; we could indeed see the next PlayStation console released towards the end of next year. If this is the case I’m hoping this is a worldwide launch too! However I don’t see Microsoft holding back on the Xbox till too late; especially as the Xbox 360 is indeed older than the PlayStation 3.
Overall I’m going to go with my gut feeling and say that the next PlayStation will indeed be launched this year; unless it is delayed (Sony tends to do that!)
The next PlayStation specifications
The following development kit specifications have been leaked so far:
Initial development kit leaked specs
- AMD A10 CPU – a processor and graphics processor in one unit
- AMD Radeon HD 7670 video system
- GDDR5 1GB video memory
- 8GB or 16GB RAM
- Blu-ray drive
- 256GB hard drive
- WIFI and Ethernet
Recent development kit leaked specs
- 4x dual-core AMD64 “Bulldozer” processors (8 CPU cores altogether)
- AMD R10xx graphics processor unit
- 8GB RAM
- 4 USB 3.0 ports
- 2 Ethernet Connections
- Blu-ray drive
- 160GB hard drive
- Optical audio outputs
Opinion: Based upon both development kit leaks; I would firstly like to add that I believe specification leaks always seem to be overpowered in comparison to the actual console. So I doubt neither of these will be an exact specification of the next PlayStation console.
However from these leaks I can tell that the next PlayStation will be based on AMD technology. It will obviously have WIFI and Ethernet connections (only 1 Ethernet mind you). The hard drive space, Blu-ray drive; HDMI; USB 3.0 ports, optical audio outputs all sound right to me.
The RAM does sound a little too much to be honest; but I believe that Sony will be looking for a smooth interface when navigating through the in-game menu. It has been said that Sony showed purchasing DLC content whilst having a game playing. So if that rumor was true then 8GB might sound right (memory is cheap nowadays).
Now I’m completely not sure about the console having 4 dual core processors. I believe this is overkill for a console and would expect the CPU and GPU to be closely related to the first initial development kit leak.
The price point
Analysts have predicted that the next PlayStation console will cost around $400.00 which is around £253.00 (factor in the VAT and we get around the region of £300). Other rumors have suggested that the next PlayStation console will be released in 2 packages – one selling at $400 and the other $500 – So lets call that around £300 and £350.
Opinion: I do believe that Sony might release 2 different packages for the next PlayStation console. The Wii-U has done so and both the PS3 and Xbox 360 have offered variations. I believe a price point of around £300 for one package and £350-£380 sounds about right!
We have heard quite a few rumors about the next PlayStation console’s backwards compatibility. Some sources state that there will be a chip with premium models allowing you to play PS3 games. Whilst other sources mention that there will be no backwards compatibility whatsoever. Some also say this can be enabled via a dongle (yeah right!)
Opinion: I believe they are forgetting the fact that Sony previously bought out the Gaikai cloud gaming service. Therefore would lead me to believe that there might be an option to play older games via a cloud gaming service (possibly exclusive to PlayStation Plus users perhaps?). I know that you can currently purchase PS2 games from the PlayStation store however this might be harder to do when games can be quite massive (MGS4 anyone?).
New PlayStation controller?
Recent rumors have suggested that the new PlayStation controller will be different to the predecessors (Dual Shock). Suggestions are there would be a touch screen like interface on the back of the controller (something like the PS Vita perhaps?) Apparently this could lose the shoulder buttons though!
Opinion: I think it is time for a change; I personally don’t like the analog sticks on the Dual Shock 3 as my thumbs tend to slip off. Something ergonomic but not crazy would be great Sony! I some how doubt the new controllers will have an actual touch screen on the back, quite possibly a touch pad though!
The PlayStation Omni-viewer
This was one I was deciding on whether or not it should make the bizarre section of the article. The reason it didn’t make it was due to the fact that it could possibly be true! Basically a rumor suggested that the next PlayStation console will come with a virtual reality head mounted set. This headset will apparently be thin; sleek and light. It will track the users head and display a 360 degree image view! This will all be done via semi transparent AMOLED screens. The Omni-viewer will also be able to work with the PS Vita console.
Opinion: Firstly this sounds really expensive to me; although it could be packaged up with the console for a higher price offering the consumer 2 variations (as the rumor suggests). The reason I believe this may be a possibility is because Sony have been playing around with a lot of virtual reality head mounted sets. I remember when the PSX console was released in Japan it came with an XMB which we now see used on the PSP and PS3. So technology Sony play around with do sometimes make it to the next generation.
The PS4 will have anti-used games measures in place
I doubt it; if that is the case I’ll settle for just the next Xbox thank you very much! See what I did there? Sony could not possibly implement such a feature unless all 3 companies (Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo). Work together to put this feature in place. Having just one company implement such a feature would cause consumers to look elsewhere.
The PS4 will be able to play PS3 games via a dongle
Nope! if this was the case I’m sure there would be an expansion bay slot in the next PlayStation console.
The PS4 will use the cell processor
This sounds reasonable but also untrue. I believe the amount of development problems and feedback from developers we’ve had with the PlayStation 3 console; I reckon Sony would be smart enough to move on. The latest rumors suggest an AMD based processor which sounds about right!
PS4 will support 4K
If it turns out to be the case that the next PlayStation 4 console is indeed powered like the latest development kit leak. Then perhaps so! But I’m going to stick to my guns and say that this is doubtful. Sony will be looking to support 1080P properly this time round.
The PS4 will be a cloud based gaming console
Remember OnLive? It worked well in some cases and not so well in others. I believe you need to have a very neat infrastructure in place to do cloud gaming right! Sony still has a long way to go in my opinion!
The PS4 will be 50% faster than the next Xbox
I believe it is hard to state facts like this at this point of time. Be prepared for a lot of PS4 VS Xbox 720 articles when games start rolling out next generation I believe. They should be closely matched; and again developers will be accused of being biased towards one console or the other!
Ok now look I could go on and on with the bizarre rumors. I’m sure I’ve missed a lot of juicy ones! If you think I’ve missed something then feel free to comment and let me know below! I’m guessing the console will officially be announced at E3, again rumors suggest it might be earlier in May but I doubt Sony will play their cards before then!