Over the past couple of months we’ve read article after article on PlayStation 4 rumours. But instead of reporting on more speculation, lets take what we’ve heard, what we’ve read and what the past has taught us and use this to construct the PS4 (while looking at some cool PS4 concepts along the way).

Will Sony’s next console actually be called the PlayStation 4?

We’ve read the rumours of “Orbis” but this would be a codename, a working title, something the developers say to each other months before the rumours leaked, so no one knew what the hell they were talking about. PlayStation is a name far too big and far too well-known. When gamers hear “PlayStation” they want the next one. When parents hear “PlayStation” they either want it themselves or know exactly what they should buy for their kids (a good excuse to play it themselves). We’d be VERY surprised if Sony didn’t call it the PlayStation 4.

ps4 concept 1

We really like the return to the original PlayStation's colour. The design is sleek, high tech but not overdone. The pad is also a cleaver re-design without changing what made it so popular

How powerful will the PlayStation 4 be?

AMD have been reported to have lent their CPU’s and GPU’s to PS4 technology. These are the very latest in PC hardware and will enable the PlayStation 4 to hit resolutions of up to 4096×2160 and even handle 3D games at an impressive 1080p. However, the main issue isn’t really how powerful the PS4 can be, (as advanced technologies will always exist from the likes of AMD and Nvidia, due to PC gaming) it’s how developers will take to it.

Remember, the PS3 had a hard time with developers when it first hit the shelves and its technology made the system a runner-up, when certain games went multi-platform (take Bayonetta for example). Such difficult technology actually had developers creating for the 360 (its PC-like technology was a hit with PC-using developers) to then rush a PS3 conversion immediately after. This is something we think Sony have learned from. Assuring developer-friendly tech instead of just powerful tech, is the key to winning the next-gen war.

ps4 concept 2

This PlayStation 4 concept looks like it would suitably fit in Commander Shepard's cabin. Limits space for that new AMD technology, but it's still a great looking design

Will the PlayStation 4 block used games?

Ah, this is something everyone seems to be reporting on, but not actually thinking about. Pre-owned games turn the cogs of the games retail industry. Whether developers, publishers and console manufacturers like it or not, pre owned PS3 games currently help keep many games retail stores afloat. Take this, and add it to a customer right to buy, own and sell the products they’ve laid down their hard cash for and you get a pretty good reason why the PlayStation 4 WON’T block used games.

However, although Sony (and all other console manufacturers) may hit a brick wall with the complete blocking of pre owned games, this still doesn’t stop them making the used game a tougher decision for the customer. Right now, online passes and additional DLC are working well for developers (with Rocksteady even making pre owned users pay for stripped retail content) but we’re pretty sure Sony and Microsoft will have other plans up their sleeves.

Although we predict Microsoft will be the most scheming with this, rumours have already surfaced on Sony using PSN (or SEN) just as PC games use Steam. This means each PS4 game will need registering on SEN before they can be played. Could Sony get away with this? Possibly. Although this would partially go against what we explained above, (as they still wouldn’t technically be “blocking” games) rumours have also come to light of the PlayStation 4 allowing pre owned games to be played…but on a trail basis. Possibly turning your pre owned game into a PlayStation plus trial download. You’d have to pay to unlock the full game.

It’s a very crafty way around this but it would depend on how much Sony would charge for this “unlock” that would determine if the courts would take action. Remember, not being able to fully play something the customer has purchased from a retail store, could still be brought up in courts. This is a method Sony are bold to look into and one that could create an on-going legal fight.

ps4 concept 3

Playing more to the PS2's design, this PS4 concept offers plenty of space for the latest AMD technology, but may be problematic with small rooms

Will the PlayStation 4 be backwards compatible?

Nope. Sorry to be so blunt but we honestly can’t see this happening. Why? Easy. When the PS3 was first released we were all excited to be able to play our PS2 collections. But then certain people in Sony HQ realised the money that could be made by recoding PS2 classics, for purchase on PSN. Suddenly all PS3’s were shipped without compatibility…

PS3 games are newer, more expensive and many are already up for sale on SEN. This makes it incredibly unlikely that Sony would even consider PlayStation 4 backwards compatibility. It’s unfortunate, but hey…at least it supports developers, right?