PlayStation 4 codenamed Orbis: will restrict pre-owned games?

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ps3-slim.jpgThe successor to the Sony PlayStation 3, AKA the PS4 or PlayStation 4, is said to be codenamed the Orbis, according to a new report.

Lining up for a Christmas 2013 release according to a Kotaku source, the next-gen console codename is Latin for “ring” or “orbit”. With the Sony PS Vita handheld being named after the Latin for “life”, the name suggests a gaming “circle of life” connection between the two consoles, which look likely to have inter-connectivity options.

However, in what will be dreaded news for cash-strapped gamers, the Orbis will apparently restrict the use of pre-owned games, much like the rumoured Xbox 360 “Durango” follow-up will.

According to the source, all PS4 Orbis owners will be required to have a PSN or Sony Entertainment Network account. Buying a new game will also bag you a one-use code for the game, which ties it to your account, also giving you access to a digital, downloadable version of the game. Buying a second-hand game therefore will only offer up a trial-of the game; it seems like you’ll get either just the opening hours of a game, or a highly stripped back version, before being encouraged to purchase an unlock code from the PSN/SEN store.

In yet another blow, it seems Sony will not offer backwards compatibility for PS3 titles either. Ouch.

In terms of specs though, the PlayStation 4 Orbis seems to be on the right track. Hardware is rumoured to include an AMD x64 CPU and an AMD Southern Islands GPU, the tipped names attached to AMD’s 2012 high-end PC cards. The PS4 will also apparently be capable of playing games at a resolution up to 4096×2160, as well as offering 3D games in 1080p.

It’s all speculation at this point, and with Sony boss Kaz Hirai stating there will be no PS3 successor news at this year’s E3 conference, we may yet have a long wait ahead of us for concrete news.

However, from these initial reports, it may not all be good news when Sony finally reveal their hand.

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Gerald Lynch