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frankspin

Details about the next Playstation are leaking out and they're not looking good.

Kotaku (kotaku.com­/5896996­/the­-next­-playstation­-is­-called­-...) wrote a post yesterday detailing information they received about the next console from Sony codenamed Orbis. This looks like it's going to be the successor to the PlayStation 3 and it very well may keep the Orbis name.

The plus side of what has come from this is that it looks like spec wise the Orbis is going to be getting a nice bump. Their source stated that the Orbis will have an AMD x64 CPU and AMD Souther Islands GPU (en.wikipedia.org­/wiki­/Southern­_Islands­_(GPU­_family... ), with the GPU being the biggest bump. That GPU chip is something that AMD uses on their higher end cards and is capable of putting out a resolution of 4096x2160! Games will also be downloadable via PSN, yes, full games, which is kind of cool but will probably have an impact on home users with bandwidth caps.

Unfortunately there was some disconcerting information that came about it as well. As of right now it's looking like the Orbis will not support PlayStation 3 games at all, and that Sony has no plans to do so in the future. The other, possibly worse, bit of information, is that there will be a lock on the system to prevent the use of used games. Each game will be tied to a user's PSN account. Furthermore in order to get the game to activate to your account you must have your PlayStation 3 hooked up to the internet - not an always on (like Origin) but just the initial loading of the game. Kotaku goes on to say that you can get a game used but there will be limitations to what you can do, sort of like a trial mode.

Given what happened with the PlayStation 3 at launch and then the backlash over removing backwards compatibility I'm surprised Sony is going the route that they are. I think they're going to make a lot of PlayStation 3 users unhappy with these new restrictions. It's too early to say that what Kotaku reported is 100% accurate in regards to the restrictions, but it's looking like this is a trend that wont be going anywhere.

What do you think of the next PlayStation and Sony's plans for games?

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19 replies
TgD

Backwards compatibility is usually hampered by major architectural changes. Arguably, the only company that has done it "correctly" is Nintendo, with the handheld division (Gameboy, Gameboy Color, GBA, DS, and now 3DS) and limited on the home console (Wii plays GameCube games)

Now I may be a rare case here, but I don't even think backwards compatibility is a huge deal. Yes I have an XBOX 360, which plays limited original Xbox games, yet I also have kept my Original Xbox in a closet where it is easily accessible if I have a hankering to play an old game. In fact, I have a console to match every game I have. I don't mind booting up the PS2 once in a while.

The problem of limited backwards compatibility is also being addressed by Games on Demand, PSN, and Virtual Console. A lot of AAA titles are showing up from Final Fantasy's to Halo, to old Mario games.

Also presumably, if you are buying a freshly released console, you are doing so to play games of that new generation. Trade in values on old consoles become terrible, and sale prices of old consoles hit an all time low. It is not hard to possess an old console to play an old game unless space in your apartment is limited.

Now I do admit, Sony DID pigeonhole themselves by choosing proprietary formats. Some won (look at the PS3) and some lost (UMD) and releasing the PSP go as an interim solution.

Digital content locks are a necessary evil in this new age of downloadable content. I don't like them, but as a programmer (of non-video games) it is disheartening to see your hard work stolen or ripped off. There is also no real elegant solution to the problem. We have seen more launch day DLC to try combat this, and it IS a sneaky tactic. You need an internet connection to download that DLC or activate the online pass, and this new generation of online activation is (in a nutshell) the same thing, just without the extra cost of DLC. Its all about looking at it from an alternative angle.

I sympathise for the used game market being limited, yet I buy 95% of my games new so I am not terribly upset over this.

Finally, getting to the hardware side of things, it is exciting they are pushing forwards on the graphics front. 4K resolution is not yet the HD standard (not by a long shot), but it is nice to have that possibility for the future, and this will extend the life of the rumoured console. Sony has generally pushed the envelope with technology in their consoles and it is good to see them continue this trend going forwards.

If you made it to the end of this rant, congratulations. I like you. I fully expect to receive some downvotes as with any discussion where fanboys come in to play. If you however thought what I said was insightful I will shamelessly ask you to upvote this.
4 like dislike
frankspin

I think the issue regarding backwards compatibility will come up because some people don't like keeping extra consoles hooked up for older games. People like to keep some games and move on to the next generation. I agree that is not the overwhelming majority of people but it will come down to when this is released I guess. Although that may not matter because long after the PS3 was released the PS2 still continued to churn out great sales.

I agree on the hardware front this is going to be a big step up. I know Sony likes to push things but I hope they don't do it so much that we see another repeat of people not buying their console due to price.
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TgD

I totally forgot about that aspect of the PS3 launch. It was not the smoothest thing. People may even be wary to be an early adopter this time around. We will have to wait and see though.
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timchoi89

Wow this sounds really annoying. It looks like Sony is just trying to kill their gaming business. This may make sense for a lot of people in the us but this will absolutely not work in other regions of the world with more limited/capped Internet. If this is really what Sony is going to do then I may not get their next console. I have enough RPGs for the ps1-ps3 to keep me busy for the next couple years.
3 like dislike
pencilpusherz

I didn't think about the issue of the internet but you make a good point there.

Off topic: Do you play Dark Souls?
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TgD

As Frankspin posted, "Furthermore in order to get the game to activate to your account you must have your PlayStation 3 hooked up to the internet - not an always on (like Origin) but just the initial loading of the game."

The authentication would take very little data. I lived in a capped country (Canada) with arguably some of the most expensive internet plans in the world. This only affects us if we go with the digital delivery form of buying games. I don't think disks or flash media are about to go out anytime soon. (Heck even the Vita uses flash cards)

The key there was that you don't need an "always on" connection
2 like dislike
pencilpusherz

I understand now...I also know a few people who still don't play online or want to bother with an online gaming account. How are these people tied into the equation? Will they be completely left out because of this?
0 like dislike
TgD

Probably. Those people are already left out of a lot of cool features, such as DLC, trophies/achievements, and even game patches.

That's the disadvantage of a constantly evolving society where we are all generally becoming "connected"
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timchoi89

haha, I heard about it but...I'm too busy with other games right now to take the time to buy/play it. :p
1 like dislike
pencilpusherz

I hear you...well if you do, it's a very challenging experience...It's taken over my free time (playing as we speak lol)...I have it for Xbox360...
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pencilpusherz

Well first and foremost let me start by saying I didn't buy the PS3 due to the outrageous price at launch and prior to that I was a loyal PS fan...The backwards compatibility issue with the PS3 was also disheartening because I like playing good games no matter what generation they are from...Ultimately I wound up buying an Xbox360 to sooth my gaming needs...Now moving on

The specs seem interesting but judging by how fast technology progresses, I doubt it will lengthen the life span of the console. I personally think it's still too early for a new console to be put out by Sony or MS. I'm not so pissed about the non backwards-compatibility anymore because you can buy these games online nowadays. My main peeve is the tying in of games to consoles which would hinder used games. Now I don't buy much used games myself but I know plenty of people who do this exclusively. With new games now costing $60 a pop who knows how much next-gen games will cost. You gotta figure at least $80-$100 and I for one already know that the $60 price point was my limit. As this is still all rumors right now we'll see what the future holds but I wouldn't be surprised if this all pans out.
1 like dislike
timchoi89

You got a very good point about the price of games. Now you got me worrying about how much games are going to be. Also, with everyone moving away to simpler touch/motion gaming, the traditional gaming market may become a niche in itself requiring an even bigger price hike in games. :(
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pencilpusherz

I was wondering myself how much mobile gaming would effect home consoles...I notice that people who don't even play games on consoles play tons of mobile games on their smartphone...
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timchoi89

Mobile's not the only we have to worry about. It's just a matter of time before Apple pushes the iPad + Apple TV pair big time for "console" gaming.
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frankspin

You bring up an interesting point about hardware. As I said above the PS2 continued to sell well after the PS3 came out due to it continuing to support newer games. Look at the 360 which has lower specs than the PS3 but still performs on par or better with a lot of games coming out.
0 like dislike
pencilpusherz

I still plan on buying a PS3 cause I heard it's $250 now. I wanted to play a few PS exclusives.
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th3l0n3r4ng3r

The "feature" of not allowing used games was brought up with the PS3, which did not materialize. It allows full games to be downloaded from PSN! you mean, like it does now, *cough* Warhawk *cough*.... and many others. Your mileage may vary, but I don't know where kotaku get's it's data... they seem to be off more then on.
0 like dislike
frankspin

There is a more negative connotation amongst console makers towards used games now than there was when the PS3 originally came out. I don't personally have an issue with it because I rarely by a used game, I'd sooner just download it from XBL or PSN but there are a lot of people who buy used games. If they do go this route than they should instruct retailers to not allow trade ins of PS4/Orbis games and sell them at a discounted price on PSN (not saying a 59.99 game should be 12.99 but maybe knock $10 off the price).

I realize this is way too early to hold real ground -- I even say as much in my initial post -- but it's always fun to talk about these things to see what others think of the possibilities.
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th3l0n3r4ng3r

My only gripe with downloaded games is that I can' loan them to my friends. Warhawk was cheaper as a download.. I think it was $40 where the disc based was $50 or $60. I just bought "twisted metal" it has codes for download of twisted metal black, for a sweet tooth skin for new Warkhawk game and a code for playing online.
Buying it used, you wouldn't be able to use them. I only play multiplayer with friends in the room. I played online and I do not look forward to hearing 12 year olds talk about what they did to my mother, or how I like the company of men. So, not a big deal for me to miss online play.
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