Rumour: PS4 Codenamed Orbis, Doesn't Play PS3 or Secondhand Games

A new PlayStation 4 rumour has surfaced, suggesting (or backing up previous suggestions about) a number of interesting things about Sony's next-gen console.

First up, the source speaking to Kotaku suggested that the name for the console is "Orbis". This fact alone seems to lead credence to the rumour, not only because it fits in with Vita (Orbis Vita means "circle of life"), but also because ( is an official Sony website for PlayStation developers) actually resolves as a legitimate URL. If you attempt to use a name that hasn't been pre-configured to work on the site, like (or, the webserver returns an error. This suggests that Sony do indeed have something in the works called (or code-named) Orbis.

The secret source also suggested that the system will eliminate the secondhand games market, preventing used games from operating. Even games sold on Blu-Ray disks would be affected, apparently, requiring you to tie them to a PSN / SEN account, at which time the disk could be thrown away.

Yet another facet of the rumour suggested that Sony are going to walk away from backwards compatability with the Orbis, which won't support playing PlayStation 3 games - at all.

With regard to hardware, the Kotaku insider backed up earlier rumours that the next PlayStation will abandon the complicated Cell architecture, opting instead for a simpler (and more traditional) CPU / GPU from vendor AMD. Further, the rumour suggests that the design will be based around a new set of hardware from the videocard vendor called "Southern Islands", which is purportedly capable of delivering an unprecedented 4096×2160 resolution (1080P HDTVs, by comparison, are a much more pedestrian 1920x1080).

This sort of power, while unlikely to be used at that resolution (due to lack of TV support), would likely enable impressive-looking visuals running at high frame rates in 3D on our current HDTVs - something current consoles aren't capable of.

But how much of it is actually true? All of it? None of it? Sony aren't commenting. If the rumour is true, chances are we'll hear about it fairly soon; the source also suggested the system is on target for a holiday 2013 release.

Source: Kotaku, via Official PlayStation Magazine


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Comments Comments (20)

Posted by OriginalSin
On Thursday 29 Mar 2012 10:04 AM
The point of eliminating second hand sales being? To give full profit to the games makers and publishers which are currently being ripped off by gamers every time we sell a game second hand.

If this comes to pass the price of games won't come down, the sales of games however will, as people will become very picky about which titles they pick up. Many game makers will be crushed under this business model and go out of business, thanks largely to greedy and shortsighted corporates. The end result, less games being made, and while possibly better quality, certainly less diversity.

Also, no more rentals, period. The only try before you buy will be demos on PSN.

Just my take on the future of this business model. Providing the rumor is not just bullsh*t. The future sounds bright and shiny, good luck with that. I'll stick to PC, where at least I have backwards compatibility.
Posted by Spekel
On Thursday 29 Mar 2012 10:25 AM
Ching ching for Sony. Thats all its about.
Posted by nimrod76
On Thursday 29 Mar 2012 10:30 AM
So same rumour as the next xbox but with PS4 instead
Posted by Ubercuber
On Thursday 29 Mar 2012 10:58 AM
If true, then Im out. F this sh*t.
Posted by Vicx
On Thursday 29 Mar 2012 11:46 AM
explains all the talk about the industry against 2nd hand games lately, they're trying to condition us now so when the time comes it'll be easier for us to accept by then. The only way they can justify it is by making sure new games will be much cheaper than they are now, otherwise $100 for a new game when they know that's our only option is BS.
Posted by ByrdmanNZ
On Thursday 29 Mar 2012 11:55 AM
Sounds good and makes sense everything needs to evolve from gaming systems and games to the business models the use. They are selling entertainment and those who are able and willing to pay the price will get it, and the companies responsible will receive the money. Thats how a market should work, i do feel for companies like eb who will loose out in the end, they make a killing off piggybacking with the second hand sales and will continue to do so until the market for the ps3 and 360 fade away in the future.

Dont blame the corporations "COMPLETELY" for this, we also as consumers ourselves have a slice of the blame by cheating the system and creating a lucrative second market cycle we took money away from the people who supplied us with this entertainment. they are only trying to retain what is rightfully theirs.
This comment has been down-voted by the community.  
Posted by KatalystaKaos
On Thursday 29 Mar 2012 12:01 PM
Not a chance in hell games will be cheaper. Higher production costs and no 2nd hand market can equal only one thing, death to all but the biggest franchise names. How can these whiny developers not see the only reason a lot of us can afford new games for our consoles is we sell our old finished ones on Trademe etc?

I truly believe if these rumours are true we are headed for a future where we have a dozen or so big name franchises MW, Tiger Woods, Final Fantasy(as examples) and no room for new and novel ideas. Sad face. The more I learn of the next gen consoles apparent direction the more inspired I am to continue my shift to PC Gaming, at least as Original Sin points out backwards compatibility will be no issue. And why would Sony include it when the can just re-release everything PS3 as Super HD as they're doing with PS2 games on the PS3. MEH to it all!
Posted by jamesg
On Thursday 29 Mar 2012 12:27 PM
So PS4 is going for used games bannings now? Considering the measures Sony are taking with Vita its not that surprising. There is a mixed opinion about all this. Some studios such as Valve and I-Phone developers have argued for more open systems and even cross platform compatibility (like Steam does). But how do they feel about offering more open content? It seems that one particular publisher out there is keen to kill used games next generation. If both are considering this route. I wonder who it could be...... My guess is EA.
Posted by Ubercuber
On Thursday 29 Mar 2012 1:37 PM
Whats going to happen to game rentals? Thats 80% of my gaming right there.
Posted by brettz0r
On Thursday 29 Mar 2012 1:46 PM
My thoughts.
No backwards compatibility: Doesnt bother me. I am buying a PS4 to play PS4 games. Im not buying a PS4 to play PS3 games. The only downside is for those people who would trade in their ps3 for a ps4...

No 2nd hand games: I think this is a dumb idea... I buy 99% of my games new anyway but still think this will ruin the game market more than it will help it.
Personally I still think that what should be done is Sony should ban / come to an agreement with EB games where the sale of 2nd hand games through their store can only happen once a game is 6months old.
This should stop a lot of the problems that 2nd hand games cause
Posted by Ron
On Thursday 29 Mar 2012 3:26 PM
I think for 2nd hand thing to work from Day 1# the price of games would need to drop by 25%-50%, I can't see that happening though.
Posted by Deanology
On Thursday 29 Mar 2012 4:12 PM
Eliminating second-hand/rentals is BS.
There are so many games out there that are not "buy-worthy", but i rent them to get my 10 minutes of thrills.

And the backward compatibility is a bit crap also.
Because that means we will have to fork out top-dollar for ps3-ports on the PSN store.
Posted by Kegz
On Thursday 29 Mar 2012 5:17 PM
Dafuq? Firstly, call it the PS4 like all expect/want you jerks and secondly no backwards compatibility? What a great way to screw over early sales of your new console.

Lucky it's just a rumour.
Posted by ReaperCrew
On Thursday 29 Mar 2012 5:51 PM
I understand the theory behind blocking second hand sales; X number of people buy brand new, Y number of people buy second hand. Therefore, if a console prevents second hand sales, the total number of sales will be approx X + Y, which will mean more $$ for the developer, publisher and associated sales channels.

I predict, like OriginalSin, that the results will be quite different and the number of people that buy new, especially pre-order and/or at release time, will diminish as more people will re-evaluate the value of buying a game, especially when the game only lends to a play though once/maybe twice.

An advantage of the second hand market is to allow gamers to try an earlier version of a title to help decide whether or not they want to purchase the latest version, therefore preventing second hand sales will likely cause the number of new customers to a game title to stagnate. One of the strengths of the current model is how it supports the social aspect of game play, which can be summarised as “no disc, no play”. Currently it’s easy to lend a game to a friend to try (and get hooked) and/or have someone else in my family take a game around to one of their friends to play (and get hooked). In these scenarios the game is like a book, it gets passed around but only one (console) can play it at a time, simple, and no one “loses” money. These scenarios instead frequently generate new customers/gamers. Blocking second hand sales will restrict and/or complicate these scenarios in one way or another, which gamers will consider when buying new games. I think of a number of PC titles which I didn’t buy because of the DRM models the developer/publisher used.

Therefore, if sales per game do diminish or stagnate, then publishers and developers will get less $$, coupled with the high cost of development and getting games certified (by MS and/or Sony), there will be less new IP created and fewer titles available.

With no backward compatibility (again), I fail to see why there would be any great incentive to upgrade or buy a PS4/Orbis.

This may be a rumour at the moment, however I suspect it is either truth or a leak to test how the market (that’s us) would respond if they go ahead with it. Most companies pay attention to their customer base when they are very vocal about whether they like or dislike any idea they have. I personally think what Sony is proposing in this rumour is foolhardy and the more people that vocalise their displeasure the more likely Sony will notice. Silence is acceptance, so if you agree with what this rumour suggests then you’re welcome to stay silent.
Posted by fauzman
On Thursday 29 Mar 2012 6:44 PM
Not cool with the idea of no 2nd-hand games but not too surprising as rumours say that the nextxbox will also have this feature.

Really annoyed about the 'no backwards compatibility' schtick. Didnt like it with the ps3 but I dont see an excuse for them not to include them in this. It will probably be a long time before I upgrade my ps3.
Posted by kiwiatlarge
On Thursday 29 Mar 2012 7:08 PM
Strangely the B/C issue bothers me more at this stage than second hand games (because I never buy them, and never sell mine), which is weird because I accepted losing B/C when I bought my 320 slim, and never really used it on my 60 fat...

Hopefully by the time this all happens (if it does) the PS3 will be a $200 device I can rebuy for the bedroom in the event of my (now third) PS3 YLOD'ing again... which reminds me, as my fat PS2 is poked, I should pick up a PS2 for my old games one day while I still can.. :/
Posted by p-nutt3r
On Thursday 29 Mar 2012 11:27 PM
There's gotta be a better way to deal with second hand sales, that's just bs. They need to come up with other ideas to dig themselves outta the deep black hole they are already in.
Posted by Tzeit
On Friday 30 Mar 2012 7:46 PM
Have any of these people considered that some of us buy second hand games, not because we are cheap, but because we might, you know, feel like playing an old classic game? I had an urge to play Wipeout 2097 one day. Guess what? You can't buy it new no more! This sudden vilification of the second hand market disgusts me quite frankly.

If these rumors are confirmed upon release of these "boxed-in" systems then count me out.
Posted by kiwiatlarge
On Friday 30 Mar 2012 8:23 PM
30 March 2012, 07:46 PM Reply to Tzeit
Have any of these people considered that some of us buy second hand games, not because we are cheap, but because we might, you know, feel like playing an old classic game? I had an urge to play Wipeout 2097 one day. Guess what? You can't buy it new no more! This sudden vilification of the second hand market disgusts me quite frankly.

If these rumors are confirmed upon release of these "boxed-in" systems then count me out.
This is a good point... I guess they figure that's where the digital distribution market comes in handy. Not only can you buy a game u didn't have the cash or time for two years ago, but 'Classics' lineups for old consoles will be there too... Expect a PS3 Classics lineup coming to you after the PS4 launch. Even if the only well known game in the downloadable PS2 Classics lineup in NZ so far is Need For Speed Most Wanted.
Posted by ChatterboxZombie
On Friday 30 Mar 2012 9:12 PM
*yawns* anyone else remember hearing about the exact same thing for the ps3?