Developers are receiving a new version of potential PlayStation 4 development kits with a final batch expected next year, according to a report by VG247.
Anonymous sources told the site the dev kit, code-named Orbis, is currently being shipped in a modified PC case. The report confirms Orbit uses Blu-ray and is not being built in Japan.
This is the second version of the Orbis dev kit being shipped out to game developers. The first version was basically just a graphics card. A third batch is expected to be distributed in January with a final version to be shipped next summer.
U.S. developers who are receiving the kit attended a disclosure meeting at Sony’s headquarters to learn what the machine is designed to do and get the specifics of the hardware. Sony has only called the machine Orbis and has made no reference to the PlayStation 4. VG247 reports Orbis will be officially announced at an event just before E3 next year.
Kits have either 8 GB or 16 GB of RAM. The PlayStation 4 hard drive is expected to have 256 GB of storage space. However, it is not clear if that will be standard or solid state drive.
Sony is hoping to avoid the problems involved with launching the PlayStation 3 by developing Orbis into something that is affordable but is also in line with current technology.
The dev kit also has WiFi and Ethernet connectivity with HDMI out, the same input and output included on the PS3.
However, there are enhancements to the UI. Gamers will be able to press the PS button on their controller during a game and navigate to anywhere in the system. For example, players will be able to pause a game and purchase DLC before seamlessly switching back to the game. The system is also designed to receive system and product updates in the background as it will always be in stand-by mode. That means background downloads can be accepted to make sure players can receive new content without the pain of waiting for downloads.