In the spirit of concise writing and potentially lazy journalism, us writers love nothing more than to summarise stuff that has already happened. That said, when it comes to the rumours regarding Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen hardware, it can be hard to keep track of all the speculation that goes around the darkest corners of the net. Whether you’re just really bored, or want to refresh your memory on stuff that probably won’t come true, here’s our rumour round-up on the PS4 and Xbox 720.
Though Sony have spent the last few years ramming home how they are not in the process of developing any new hardware, we recently saw a change of heart when Masaru Kato, Sony’s executive vice president requested increased research and development funding from the company’s investors. Though Kato later denied he was specifically talking about the PS4, it’s hard to imagine he was talking about anything else when we consider that the PS Vita had already been unveiled under the name NGP by then.
As far as what will go under the hood of the PS4 whenever it surfaces, it’s likely to continue using the Cell processor that Sony introduced with the PS3. Though there were rumours of a failed research project with IMB to produce a new processor, it seems a safe bet that Sony will continue to use Cell, especially when you consider how much money the company have invested into its development over the years. No solid rumours have arisen regarding what kind of graphics chip will be incorporated in to the PS4, but we can assume the usual increases in RAM and clock speed will accompany the next generation of the Playstation 4.
As far as storage mediums are concerned, it’s unlikely that the PS4 will make any drastic changes to what we saw with the PS3. A hard drive is a must for storage, but we can only expect the size to be a major increase over current PS3 models on account of the ever expanding amount of content available on the Playstation Network. The PS3’s Blu-ray drive is also almost certainly going to be a key part of the Playstation 4. Though it is one of the more expensive components and was responsible for driving up the price of the PS3, various Sony officials have noted how they don’t feel that consumers are yet ready for a console that uses digital software only. Considering the failings of the PSP Go, It’s not surprising that Sony have taken this stance.
Though it’s unlikely the PS4 will entirely rely on digital content from the PSN, we’ve been promised a redesign of the Playstation Network that could well coincide with the release of the PS4. The more important question is whether or not the PSN will be upgraded to the point where it will be able to compete with Xbox Live. There’s not much speculation on how it plans to do this, but it will certainly be on Sony’s mind.
As far as a release date is concerned, there are a lot of conflicting rumours going around. Developers who claim to have maxed out the PS3 are pushing for an early release, whilst most industry analysts are claiming that we shouldn’t expect any new hardware releases until 2014. That prediction would certainly corroborate with the ten year life cycle Sony have always been planing for the PS3 but, with the Wii U now being announced for a 2012 release, will Sony break their promise and release the PS4 earlier? The speculation is set, but only time will tell what the reality will be. A recent piece of news from MCV states that Sony will be unveiling the PS4 at this year’s E3 in June. PSM4 and their “development sources” have also stated that the PS4 is set to beat the Xbox 720 to market “if only by months.”
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