Sony distributing new PlayStation 4 development kits ahead of pre-E3 2013 debut

Orbis

Given how tumultuous Sony’s PlayStation family present is, it’s not surprising that it’s future isn’t a major talking point for the company at the moment. The PlayStation 3 is in decline, the PS Vita is literally drowning in the global market despite an increasingly potent game library, and Sony doesn’t have a single tent pole exclusive for its home console this holiday season. (PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, no matter how good, is not a Halo 4 or New Super Mario Bros. U competitor.) Hard times or not, Sony does have a future in the video game business, and word is the PlayStation 4 is getting into the hands of more and more developers.

VG247 reported on Friday that Sony is now sending brand new PlayStation 4, called Orbis by Sony, development kits housed in PC cases to game developers. More than one unnamed source said that while previous development kits were little more than a graphics card, this new version is built like a “modified PC.”

The Orbis architecture is a custom “derivative” of AMD’s A10 APU chips, combination graphics and computing processors, and the development kits provided have “either 8GB or 16GB” of memory. The source did say that the final console is expected to have 256GB of storage memory as “standard” but it’s unknown at this point if Sony will use hard disk drives or flash memory. It will also continue using a Blu-ray optical disk drive, negating some predictions that Sony’s next machine would forego physical media. Sony’s “ultimate goal” for the console performance wise is to run 1080p games at 60 frames per second in stereoscopic 3D with no hiccups. Previous rumors have suggested that Sony is aiming to support 4K playback with the fourth generation PlayStation.

The design philosophy of Orbis is to make something “very affordable” but “isn’t a slouch,” and with a reconsidered, smooth user interface. Sony has apparently completely rethought its XMB user interface for Orbis, and the current UI is similar to PS Vita’s. The PS button on a controller can be touched at any time while a game or app is running, and the rest of the system will be completely accessible. Sony has been touting the example of pausing, going to the PS Store, purchasing DLC, and launching right back into the game.

The source claimed Sony will unveil Orbis ahead of E3 2013, but final development kits won’t be available until next summer. Between now and then a third, close to final model will be given to developers in January, with the final units available by summer.

On that time line, it’s tough to predict if Sony will follow with a fall 2013 launch. It may instead wait, following the PlayStation 2’s release cycle with a spring 2014 release in Japan and a fall 2014 release in the US and Europe to allow for further development time. With major PlayStation 3 games like The Last of Us and The Last Guardian still in development, the company could definitely push for one final holiday with PS3 in 2013.

Features

From NES to PlayStation, retro gaming is booming. But will it last?

Everyone craves the good old days, and companies like Nintendo and Sony are cashing in with their mini versions of beloved retro consoles. But is this fad built to last or will our fixation with pixelated graphics come and go like mom…
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Emerging Tech

Believe it or not, this fire-proof exoskeleton isn’t designed for space marines

A company called Levitate Technologies has developed a fire-resistant upper body exoskeleton that’s capable of lowering exertion levels by up to 80 percent when you carry out manual work.
Gaming

Sony could be working on a screen-equipped PlayStation controller

A patent recently granted to Sony seems to point to the company creating a controller with a touchscreen. The patent was filed in 2017 and granted in October 2018, which could mean it is planned for the next PlayStation.
Gaming

‘Blockchain gaming’ startup gets $16 million in Series A funding

A gaming startup, Mythical Games, has raised $16 million in Series A funding to work on their concept of blockchain gaming. The aim is for the startup to develop games for the PC, console, and mobile markets.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ named Ultimate Game of the Year at the Golden Joystick awards

This year's Golden Joysticks, the gaming awards handed out by GamesRadar, have been announced and Fortnite has been named the Ultimate Game of the Year. It beat out Red Dead Redemption for best game, but Red Dead was named critics' choice.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

Want to gift a Steam game so you can play with a friend? Here's how to do it

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.
Gaming

‘Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers’ to launch next summer with gunblades, Viera

Square Enix revealed that Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers will be released in summer 2019. The third expansion of the MMORPG will include new story content, dungeons, and raids, in addition to gunblades and the Viera.
Gaming

The Fix PUBG campaign is over: What’s next for ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’?

The PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds development team declared that the Fix PUBG campaign was over. Here are the results of the three-month campaign, as well as the future plans for the multiplayer Battle Royale shooter.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Gaming

Get an Xbox One S or PlayStation 4 for just $200 at GameStop starting Sunday

GameStop is currently running an early Black Friday sale that offers an Xbox One S or a PlayStation 4 slim model for just $200 apiece. Both consoles come with a free game, and other games are also on sale.
Gaming

Original ‘Diablo’ developer calls out Blizzard for disrespecting its employees

In a Twitch rant, an original creator of Diablo has said that Blizzard is more interested in caring for its shareholders and the elite one percent of the company than looking after its workers.
Gaming

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.