Later this year or early next, Microsoft and Sony are widely expected to release a pair of new video game consoles. Details on the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4, as they're often called, have been pretty hard to come by – maybe there will be some sort of augmented-reality set-up on the Xbox, and maybe there'll be some sort of biometric sensor on the PlayStation controller.
But today, courtesy of the tech site Kotaku, comes perhaps the most concrete report on the next PlayStation, which is being tested under the name Orbis. According to Kotaku, it obtained its info from "more than 90 PDFs" of "official documentation," although it is careful to stress that things could still change considerably before the device launches.
Kotaku still doesn't know what the PS4 will look like, nor what kind of shape its controllers will take. Here's what it does know: the console will likely see an eight-core AMD64 central processing unit and an AMD R10XX graphics processing unit – big, powerful stuff. There will be a Blu-ray drive, 8GB of system memory, and four USB ports.
As for those controllers, well, there could be some sort of capacitive touchpad included, in addition to the familiar dual triggers and thumb-sticks.
"There's one other addition to the PS4's pad you won't find on a DualShock 3: a 'Share' button," writes Luke Plunkett of Kotaku. "We're not exactly sure what it does. The most likely use would be to allow users to share some aspect of their gaming experience to Twitter or Facebook. Maybe a screenshot?"
The PlayStation 4, when it does launch, will go head-to-head with the next Xbox and also the recently-launched Wii U. NBC says Nintendo has sold 890,000 Wii U units since October – a solid figure, but not as many as analysts had hoped. Today, in an effort to boost interest in the console, Nintendo announced a new batch of games, including a pair of Zelda titles.