Sony's successor to the PS3 will be announced before E3 2013, according to anonymous sources.
Rumors have been flying about Sony's next generation console for months and months. Earlier this year, a "credible source" revealed that the successor to the PS3 would be called the Orbis and released in late 2013. According to new revelations from VG247's anonymous sources, these rumors are accurate, and the second of four Orbis dev kits is shipping to game developers this week. Unlike the first dev kit, which was basically just a graphics card, the second iteration was described as a "modified PC."
A "disclosure meeting" was held earlier in the week for some US game developers, in which Sony only referred to its next console as the Orbis, not using the words "PlayStation 4" at all. The sources also revealed that the Orbis is based on the AMD A10 APU series, with the system's APU a "derivative" of existing hardware and "based on A10 system and base platform." Sony's ultimate goal is to have the hardware run 1080p60 in 3D with "no problem." Other specs include a 256GB hard drive "as a standard" and "either 8Gb or 16Gb of RAM." Not surprisingly, Blu-ray, built-in Wi-Fi, ethernet connectivity, and an HDMI output will all be back for the next generation.
The Orbis also reportedly has a redesigned user interface, allowing users to seamlessly switch between applications by pressing the PS button on the controller. It can also perform background updates, with the publisher "trying to make it as fluid as possible." Though the machine "isn't a slouch," Sony is trying to avoid the mistakes it made with the PS3 launch by making the Orbis "very affordable."
The sources said that the system will be announced just before E3 2013. The third dev kits are due out in January, with a final version going out next summer. If this is true, that implies that Orbis will be out by the end of 2013. Of course, none of this has been verified by Sony, and we probably won't get confirmation until the PS4, or Orbis, or whatever it ends up being called, is formally announced.