The Next PlayStation: Will It Play Used Games? Is It Really Called Orbis?

on March 29, 2012 4:15 PM

Well, there’s no official word from Sony regarding its next home console, but that isn’t stopping sources from spilling certain beans to news outlets regarding a few specifics. Kotaku, for one, has shared a fair bit of info that has allegedly leaked from people close to the subject, so here are a few of the highlights.

Chief among the info ascertained by the games blog is that the project is code-named Orbis. Much like Microsoft’s so-called Durango, the new console will reportedly bite the used games “problem” in the bud somehow. Whether it’s by tying individual games to a PlayStation Network account or ditching the optical drive is up in the air. When the PS3 launched back in 2006 — seriously, it’s been six years — some of the first SKUs played PS2 games.

Well, it looks like backwards compatibility won’t even be offered from the outset with the next PlayStation. Then again, that could mean a number of things. Sure, your PS3 Slim can’t read PS2 discs, but those games are gradually being released via PSN. It’s quite possible that Orbis will still run previous generation games through digital download, much like its current iteration is doing.

As for the display, it’s said Orbis will output images at 4096×2160, a resolution that exceeds the capacity of most any television currently on the market. Does this mean the new console will also be able to handle 1080p 3D?

Usually there isn’t much to verify these rumors, but accessing Sony’s developer site is one method to test these rumors’ veracity. Well, at least the codename. The Sony Computer Entertainment DevNet portal recognizes different brands in the PlayStation family, from the PSP to the PS3. Orbis is one of them. PS4 is not. Is this proof of the console’s existence? Not exactly. But it is proof that, somewhere out there, folks at Sony are working on something tied to the Orbis name. We’ll just have to wait to see what it actually is, but sources say the window for the project’s release is Holiday 2013.

Then again, when the PS3 launched back in 2006, Sony and its executives said the platform would have a ten-year lifespan. That line was repeated as late as last June. Next year marks the PlayStation 3’s seven-year anniversary. That means that, if Sony were to be believed, it’s got three years left. Then again, support for the PlayStation 2 didn’t truly drop off until years after its successor launched, so the timing may be just about right. Anywho, what do you all think?

 

 /  Staff Writer
Eder is a journalism major at the University of Oregon and copy chief of Flux, the School of Journalism and Communication's flagship magazine. When he's not playing video games or writing about them, Eder enjoys going to concerts, walking the UO campus with his trusty iPod, James McCloud, and climbing steep hills in running shoes. His favorite games include Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong Country 2, Bioshock and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
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