PlayStation 4 Enters Development

Yesterday we found out that the OUYA was beginning to enter it's development stage and what sending dev kits out. Whilst Sony has remained as silent as possible on the next generation of its console, finally details are beginning to emerge. Reports came in last night that Sony is beginning to share its plans and specs for the PlayStation 4 with key partners. A normal PC case housing the next PS4 development kit is reportedly on its way to developers.

It is believed that Sony are currently conducting briefing sessions with select US software developers on the capabilities of the PlayStation 4, which is being referred to only by its codename: Orbis. Some game publishers are believed to be taking delivery of an enhanced version of the console’s development kit now, with version one understood to have been little more than a graphics card.

A meeting was held last week with major publishers detailing the machine’s purpose: to run 1080p games at 60 frames per second in 3D “with no problems”, on a machine intended to run in both “today and tomorrow’s market”. The current “modified PC" update, and January’s upcoming third refresh, is believed to be indicative of the final specs, before the unit is provided next summer (in the US), ahead of a predicted pre-E3 reveal of the device to the public.

Sources went on to disclose that the console will be powered by AMD’s A10 APU, a combination CPU and GPU single chip, with dev kits featuring either 8GB or 16GB of RAM, a Blu-ray optical drive, and a 256GB hard-disk drive. Ethernet, HDMI, and Wi-Fi functionality are all believed to be making the jump from the PS3 to the PS4.

Sony is also briefing developers on some of its intentions for the device, with suggestions that the user interface on the next PlayStation will be overhauled, and that activating the PS button on the controller mid-game will allow users to explore any part of the system, including the PlayStation Store to buy DLC without the need to leave the active session. A gamers dream. 

No pricing details are known, sources confirmed that Sony’s approach with its next console is to offer something “very affordable” but “isn’t a slouch”. KJBcast have predicted on our podcast that both Sony and Microsoft will have their respective future-generation consoles on store shelves by the end of next year. This seems to be a goal that grows ever closer! Sony's PS4 is rumoured to boast the same graphics card as Microsoft's next Xbox.

For all you Spec Junkies out there, The PlayStation 4 is rumoured to utilise custom chips based on AMD's A8-3850 APU and the Radeon HD 7670 GPU. The HD 7670, a DirectX 11-enabled card clocked to 1GHz with up to 1GB of dedicated VRAM, is a "re-branded" version of the HD 6670 with identical specifications that will work together with the APU (the A8-3850 has a quad-core 2.9GHz processor with an integrated graphics chip). 

The goal Sony has for this generation of hardware is to build something that is affordable out of the gate with the features that make it the best yet. Basically what Microsoft did with the Xbox 360.