The next PlayStation will have an even weirder name than "Vita." A new report suggests that the PlayStation 4 is codenamed "Orbis" for now. The same report also contains a number of interesting details about the console.
According to Kotaku, the Orbis sports an AMD x64 CPU and AMD Southern Islands GPU. The GPU will be able to display games at a resolution of up to 4096x2160. Furthermore, it will support 3D games at a resolution of 1080p. Full games will be available in Blu-ray or digital form.
Unlike the PS3, the Orbis won't flirt with backwards-compatibility - it simply won't offer it at all. You won't be able to play any old games on the console. That's no big shock, though. Sony's making nice money off releasing their old PS2 games as HD remakes.
The console will also restricts the ability of users to play used games. When you start up a game for the first time, you'll need to lock it to your PSN account. This means you'll need to have your console hooked up to an Internet connection just to get it started. Someone else who tries to play that copy of the game with their own PSN account will be limited in some way (no multiplayer?). It doesn't completely eliminate the used games market; it simply provides publishers with a uniform solution to the issue so they don't have to devise their own "Online Pass" features.
The first Orbis dev kits were reportedly sent to select companies earlier this year. Beta units will be shipped around the end of 2012. Sony plans to ultimately release the Orbis to the public at the end of 2013.
Sony declined to comment on Kotaku's report.