Shunal DokeJan 02, 2013 13:20:08 IST
Production of one of the most important consoles of the previous generation—the PlayStation 2—has been stopped in Japan. According to Famitsu, Sony has told Japan's retailers that it will not be providing any more PS2s for sale. The current stock is the last stock of the console in the country.
While the console may be on its way out, development for it continues. This was especially evident when the PlayStation 3 was launched—the PS2 outsold it for the first three months, and saw the release of many games such as the critically acclaimed Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. To this day, yearly installments of the FIFA series also get ported to the console.
Sony has shut down production of the PS2 in Japan
While there is no indication of Sony ceasing production of the console in other countries, it is a sign that it could be starting production of its next-gen console, which is dubbed 'Orbis'. The company could be diverting its manufacturing resources towards the next-gen console.
Currently, it is rumoured that the PlayStation 4 would be released in the spring or autumn of 2014. These rumours are adding fuel to the fire, thanks to reports that developers already have their hands on the developer kits for the system. Sony has been using the term Orbis when referring to the machine. There has been no official record of the company calling it a PlayStation 4.
There are set to be four versions of the Orbis kit being shipped to developers. A previous version was essentially a graphics card. The newest version is a “modified PC”, and the third will be closest to the final specifications and will be sent to developers in January.
The Orbis, according to VG247, is based on the AMD A10 APU series. An APU—which stands for Accelerated Processing Unit—is a combination of a GPU and a CPU. The PS4’s hardware is “based on A10 system and base platform”.
One of the biggest changes coming to the system is in the form of the interface. It's said the new interface will allow you to go anywhere while playing a game. This is not possible in the PlayStation 3 as some options require you to exit the game before using them. An example given was buying DLC from the PlayStation Store in the middle of a game and then seamlessly returning to play.
Microsoft's next console, rumoured to be named either the Xbox 720 or Durango, might be seeing a release in late 2013. The rumours are also gaining momentum because of the fact that developers have already gotten their hands on devkits for the 'Durango'. This could also force Sony to unveil the next PlayStation, as again, developers have already gotten their hands on devkits. Looking at the game release schedule, and how there aren't many big titles set to be released after May, this could point towards the next-gen consoles from both Sony and Microsoft being closer than we think.
Back in mid-2012, the developer kit for the next Xbox was leaked. A supposed Xbox 720 'Durango' developer kit was posted on a developer forum and was offered to the public for $10,000. The developer kit resembles a traditional PC tower running a debug launcher, which caused many people to be cautious and sceptical about whether the prototype was authentic. EuroGamer’s Digital Foundry reached out to the source of the leak, and after following up with multiple developers who are working on next-gen projects, they came to the conclusion that the hardware was real.
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