The Silence Before the Storm – Next-Gen Console Wars (Part 2)
The Next-Gen Sony Playstation
Rumors suggest that the next-gen Playstation could be called the PS4 Orbis, or the Thebes. An interesting fact about Orbis is that if it’s combined with Vitae (or Vita), it forms Orbis Vitae which in Latin translates to ‘circle of life’. That could hint toward some serious connectivity between the PS Vita and the next-gen console. Most sources seem to think that the name Thebes might be an internal code name for the next-gen Playstation project and that Orbis is probably the final console name.
The most recent rumors include an eight-core CPU clocked at 1.6GHz built upon AMD Jaguar architecture, 4GB of GDDR5 RAM, and a Radeon 7970M clocked at 800MHz with 18 Graphics Core Next units. This brings the total speculative computing power to 1.84 teraflops.
Storage and Drive
Blu-ray is something most analysts agree will be included in the PS4. It’s something that makes Playstation stand out from the crowd. I’m not sure if I completely agree with this idea. It seems dated to me, but then I’m no analyst.
Storage wise, I expect we’ll see something not too dissimilar from what we’re used to. A decent sized SSD.
Based on a patent filed by Sony, it’s speculated that NFC technology may be incorporated into game discs for next-gen use. In essence what we can expect if this is implemented is single-user game discs. No longer will we be able to sell, or let someone borrow a game. Once the new game has been registered via NFC with a specific console, it will no longer be accepted by another system. There is a possibility that, instead of having a completely useless game, the NFC-tagged game might be limited to a trial version, or demo.
What We Can Expect in Both Next-Gen Systems
Interconnectivity. We’re seeing more and more devices becoming universal. The rumors surrounding Playstation’s next-gen console and potential PS Vita controller functionality aren’t farfetched at all. The PS Vita can already be used with PS3 systems. I suspect we’ll see something that is quite similar to what Wii U has done with their Gamepad.
As far as the Xbox is concerned, we’ve already seen great strides in multi-format support with Microsoft Play. I suspect we’ll begin seeing more and more console controls available via our wireless devices.
According to analysts, retail price points for both systems should be between $350 and $400.
The speculated next-gen Xbox and Playstation are much more similar to gaming PCs than their predecessors and that makes perfect sense, especially with the launch of products like Steam Box. I see a real shift in the way PC and console games have been viewed. I believe this may just be the beginning of the end of the PC versus console feud.