Though Nintendo has been strangely forthcoming with details on its next-generation consoles — the Wii U is launching this holiday season, about 18 months after it was first unveiled — both Sony and Microsoft have been more characteristically quiet on future plans. That hasn't stopped a number of unconfirmed reports from trickling out about the next Xbox "Durango," and now Kotaku has what it claims to be details on the PlayStation 3 successor, Orbis, coming in time for holidays 2013.
That isn't to say Orbis is a codename destined to be dropped before launch — "Orbis Vitae" (i.e. PlayStation Vita) is Latin for "circle of life," and Sony may not be able to resist such great wordplay. Internals reportedly include an AMD x64 CPU and AMD Southern Islands GPU that can output at 4096 x 2160, which is in the range of what's considered 4k resolution. (Sony's home theater division is already toying with 4k content scaling and 4k home theater projectors.)
Games will be available as either Blu-ray discs or PSN downloads, but even in the former category of physical media, Orbis is apparently locking titles to PSN accounts so as to lock down on the used game market. (Microsoft is also rumored to be looking into anti-used game measures for Durango.) Also out of the picture? Backwards compatibility for PlayStation 3. We're guessing a move away from the once-infamous Cell processor makes emulation something of a major pain.
If Kotaku's report is accurate and dev kits are starting to be shipped to key studios, we suspect the whispers will only grow louder.