The PlayStation 4 may arrive next year, and may be the end of second hand games

News Aaron Birch
28 Mar 2012 - 19:43

Reports are surfacing that the PlayStation 4 may arrive next year, and it’ll be a bit of a beast…

According to a source on Kotaku, Sony's PlayStaiton 4, currently codenamed Orbis, will release next year, around the holiday season. The system, which will apparently be powered by an AMD x64 CPU and AMD Southern Islands GPU, will be able to run games at a resolution of, wait for it... 4096x2160, and 3D games at 1080p.

The GPU will, in actual fact, be based on the same variety as cutting edge PC GPUs that will be released later this year. It's clear that you're going to have to upgrade your telly to make the most of this monster, and even then it's unlikely any units will be able to fully utilise the available tech, not for a while anyhow.

This specification certainly sounds impressive, but this isn't the highlight of the leak. Instead, this snippet of info comes in the form of the ability of the Orbis to ‘lock' new games to a PSN account. Once a game is loaded up on the unit, it'll be locked to that account, and is only playable for that user. The games can still be sold on, but second hand users will only get a demo version of the title until they pay a fee to unlock the full game.

This fact, if true (remember, this is by no means official news) will no doubt case the Internet's rage meter to go into meltdown, and is going to upset the myriad of game retailers who turn a tidy profit on second hand games. However, considering the various publishers' war against trade-ins, with such methods as online passes, it was only a matter of time until the hardware manufacturers got in on the action, which is further demonstrated by rumours of Microsoft's next console doing much the same thing.

To add insult to injury, the Orbis will also ditch any form of backwards compatibility, so you'll need to hang on to your PS2 and PS3 if you want to play older games. Nice.

Of course, although there's no real reason to doubt the source of this info, as I stared earlier, it's no official statement, so it may not be worth getting all riled up just yet. But, if it's true, Sony's new console, although powerful, may infuriate a lot of people. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. After all, killing the second hand games market is a little more serious than a disappointing game ending...


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