While Sony has remained silent on the next iteration of its home console, details are beginning to emerge, with sources close to VG24/7 reporting that Sony is beginning to share its plans and specs for the PlayStation 4 with key partners.
The electronics giant is believed to be currently conducting briefing sessions with select US software developers on the capabilities of the PlayStation 4, which is being referred to only by its code name: Orbis. Some game publishers are believed to be taking delivery of an enhanced version of the console's development kit now, with version one understood to have been little more than a graphics card. The current "modified PC" update, and January's upcoming third refresh, is believed to be indicative of the final specs, before the unit is provided "next summer" (in the US), ahead of a predicted pre-E3 reveal of the device to the public.
Sources went on to disclose that the console will be powered by AMD's A10 APU, a combination CPU and GPU single chip, with dev kits featuring either 8GB or 16GB of RAM, a Blu-ray optical drive, and a 256GB hard-disk drive. Ethernet, HDMI, and Wi-Fi functionality are all believed to be making the jump from the PS3 to its successor.
Sony is also reportedly briefing developers on some of its intentions for the device, with suggestions that the user interface on the next PlayStation will be overhauled and that activating the PS button on the controller mid-game will allow users to explore any part of the system, including the PlayStation Store to buy DLC, without the need to leave the active session.
While no pricing details are known, tipsters confirmed that Sony's approach with its next console is to offer something "very affordable" that "isn't a slouch."
GameSpot contacted Sony Computer Entertainment, which declined to comment on the rumours.
An analyst report had predicted that both Sony and Microsoft will have their respective future-generation consoles on store shelves by the end of next year. Sony's PS4 is rumoured to boast the same graphics card as Microsoft's next Xbox.
For more on the PS4, check out GameSpot's rumour roundup feature.