Jan 24 2013 6:00pm

Gaming Roundup: Console Wars 2013 - Playstation 4 Edition

Console Wars 2013 - Playstation 4 Edition

While the image above hearkens to a simpler time in console competition, the modern day battle is no less heated between contemporary industry giants Sony and Microsoft. What will the next generation of consoles bring to the table? We received a small taste late last week when plans leaked detailing the processing power, control scheme, and graphical output of Sony’s next contribution to the field—the PlayStation 4, code-named Orbis.

The console will pack an eight core AMD processer clocked at 1.6 GHz and 4 GB of RAM. Although 4 GB might seem somewhat underwhelming, especially considering the next-gen Xbox, code-named Durango, will pack 8 GB of RAM, the PS4 will use DDR5—ultra-fast, cutting edge memory—while the Xbox will reportedly stick with DDR3. Additionally, the rumored PS4 specs have more raw processing power than rumored Xbox specs.

In terms of graphics, the PS4 will, in keeping with it’s AMD theme, be powered by a Radeon GPU. In terms of sheer power, PS4 specs seem as though they will outpace those speculated to be part of the Xbox 720, a few details of which we discussed in this column a few months ago. However, anything can change prior to release, and it will be interesting to see how, and if, either Sony or Microsoft react to the other showing their hand.

Another rumor floating about suggests the PS4 controller will incorporate biometric sensors as well as a touch-screen, potentially bringing it closer to a Wii U controller than its PS3 predecessor. It’s difficult to imagine a complete departure from the classic PS controller, which has become iconic in its design, comfort, and functionality, but the times, they are a-changin’.

The downside of the leaked specs? The processor and GPU selection virtually guarantee that the PS4 will not be backwards-compatible with the PS3 (a personal pet peeve and an increasing transitional trend between console generations), so you won’t be able to consolidate your consoles if you’ve got PS3 classics you wish to keep around.

In other gaming news this week, The Elder Scrolls Online opens up for beta applications, the Wii U will be home to a new Zelda game, and THQ goes belly-up, auctioning off most of its franchises and projects in the process.

  • Zelda in HD? Believe it. Nintendo just announced that an HD cut of Zelda is in development for the Wii U.
  • Take Two is the proud new owner of the video game licensing rights to the lucrative WWE universe.
  • Finally, in the biggest (and most unfortunate) gaming news of the week, THQ has disbanded entirely, laid off its staff, and auctioned off all their video game franchise rights, with Sega, Take Two, Crytek, and Ubisoft getting in on the action. Best of luck to all former THQ employees, and here’s hoping they’ll land on their feet.

If there are games you’d like us to cover or blogs you think we should be following for more news, please let us know @tdelucci or @pritpaulbains.

William Carter
1. wcarter
Any news specifically on THQ's Darksiders franchise?
Ian Johnson
2. IanPJohnson
Wow, Nintendo's making a new Zelda game for the WiiU? What a SHOCK.

Seriously, was this at any point not going to happen? Every time Nintendo publishes a new Zelda game, it's like a license to print yen.

Not that I'm saying that they're bad games, mind you. The Zelda series remains my all-time favorite game series. It's just that the fact that Nintendo is making another Zelda game barely registers on the shock-ometer.
Pritpaul Bains
3. Kickpuncher
@1 - Good question. The last we heard, the fate of the Darksiders franchise is still up in the air, but there's too much promise there for it to go unclaimed - only a matter of time, I think.
Marcus W
4. toryx
It seems kind of strange to me that Sony is issuing all these new special releases of the PS3 just before the PS4 comes out, particularly if the new system isn't backwards compatible with the PS3 games. I guess they could be eliminated their remaining inventory by painting some of their slim editions and releasing new hard drive sizes but it seems counterproductive toward building their fanbase to entice people with these custom systems that will be obsolete so soon after.

Or could it be because the PS3 games won't be compatible on the PS4 that they're pushing all the modified consoles, in hopes that people will keep playing both?
William Carter
5. wcarter
@toryx 4

Sony has a reason you can bet on it. They only stopped selling new PS2's in Japan a couple of months ago. It was far and away the best success story Sony has.
Just a theory, but it could be they are hoping that sales on new PS3's will continue for a few years despite the lack of compatibility. After all, the system is also a pretty good multimedia hub completely aside from just videogames.
Whether or not that is actually their plan, or if it will work remains to be seen of course.

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