Orbis unmasked: what to expect from the next-gen PlayStation

Digital Foundry presents hard data on the technology inside Sony's new console... and its upcoming Xbox rival.

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TheGamerDood1672d ago (Edited 1672d ago )

Yes! Bring on next-gen!

AsimLeonheart1672d ago

YEAH! Finally some solid and reliable information.

deadpoole1672d ago (Edited 1672d ago )

Well PS4 is going to be beast if given specs are true.

And about ppl confused/worrying about 4GB DDR5 vs 8GB DDR3 ... well lemme try to explain in this way.

Would u rather have 12 Cylinder 500Hp car or 8 Cylinder 1000Hp car for racing / performance / speed (exagerrated oversimplification).

The other thing you have to realize, with higher resolution texture even 8GB wouldn't be enough to buffer all the texture because if you might have seen ID5 Tech press conference where Carmack said that uncompressed megatexture file size for the demo was about in 10s of terabytes.

And following taken from Wikipedia about "id Tech 5" ...
"The initial demonstration of the engine featured 20 GB of texture data (using a more advanced MegaTexture approach called Virtual Texturing,[2] which supports textures with resolutions up to 128,000 × 128,000 pixels), and a completely dynamic and changeable world. This technique allows the engine to automatically stream textures into memory as needed, meaning that developers need not concern themselves with memory restraints or texture limits."

It seems that what we need is faster RAM (offering optimized buffering/caching/virtualised solution in sync with HardDisk for loading and offloading texture file) then the slower large size RAM because that will create a bottleneck and result in texture popups, lower draw distance, constant loading screens, frame hiccups etc (which I hate the most).

darthv721672d ago (Edited 1672d ago )

Your "horsepower" POV seems more akin to the actual speed/performance of the cpu/gpu.

When looking at memory you have to think about storage. So it would be more like having a 4 passenger car vs an 8 passenger car.

The 8 passenger holds more in one trip but the 4 passenger would have to make two trips to move 8 passengers. It would just drive quicker to compensate for the lack of passenger room.

Marquis_de_Sade1671d ago

"Would u rather have 12 Cylinder 500Hp car or 8 Cylinder 1000Hp car for racing / performance / speed (exagerrated oversimplification)"

You forgot to include daft and erroneous in those brackets there.

nukeitall1671d ago (Edited 1671d ago )


It is actually far worse than that.

There is a magnitude of 1000 when going from RAM to hard disk (which is as fast as it gets when it comes to permanent storage these days).

That means if all the data fits in 3.5GB RAM then you will outperform others, but once you go past that 3.5GB RAM you will be severely hampered and significantly (think 100's of times slower) in getting more data.

This is a similar problem that the current PS3 has, with it's dedicated 256MB of graphics memory. It's way faster than the Xbox 360's 512 MB RAM, but PS3 still get plenty more texture popins than the Xbox 360 in games like Rage who uses mega textures and is a perfect example of this.

So who's got it right? How much RAM do you need to output native 1080p with all the glory. Keep in mind that this includes the OS, and all the other background stuff running, not just the graphics. As far as I can tell both uses a shared memory architecture.


"Would u rather have 12 Cylinder 500Hp car or 8 Cylinder 1000Hp car for racing / performance / speed (exagerrated oversimplification)."

That is a way oversimplification, but it depends. How far am I going, how much gas do I have and how gas efficient?

We all know, the more HP a car it is far more likely to use far more gas. You might just find yourself out of gas.

Point being, who (MS or Sony) has the distance guessed correctly?

Nobody knows until we are well into the next generation (or this generation if you count Wii U).

1Victor1671d ago

d°0°b hell yeah 1080p 3D or so the rumors say

deadpoole1671d ago (Edited 1671d ago )


Well even your analogy (regarding 4 Passenger car vs 8 Passenger Car) further proves my above mentioned point regarding why 4Gb DDR5 is far more beneficial/superior then 8Gb DDR3.

First, 8 passenger car will be slow to the destination, second, only 4 persons will be able to get out of the car at any given time, time consumed for first four pasengers to get out, then remaining four passengers to get out (bottleneck) and after that slowly head back to pick 8 more people, time consumed to load 8 people , first four then second four (bottleneck) and then again slowly trasnport back to destination and repeat above process (texture popups, loading screens, frame hiccups etc).

Whereas 4 Passenger car, will be able to deliver 4 passengers much faster to destination, offload, once 4 passengers offloaded (no waiting there), will head back fast, pick another 4 (no waiting there), come back and offload. (thus in sync and continuous streaming process).

7970m GPU DDR5 RAM and Console RAM 4GB DDR5 has to match along with same memory interface width(which in case of orbis it does)

"We all know, the more HP a car it is far more likely to use far more gas. You might just find yourself out of gas".
Well fuel over here is Electricity which is continuous, constant and available, unless there is a blackout or something, then there are far other real world important things to worry about then fuel for console lolllll.

Example check this video out.
This guy is having GTX470 1.28Gb GDDR5 Graphic Card and slower DDR3 Memory RAM ... this is exactly what you can expect from slower Memory RAM when data is transferred from slower DDR3 Memory RAM to faster DDR5 GPU RAM. (texture popups, loading screens, frame hiccups etc).

vulcanproject1671d ago (Edited 1671d ago )

According to these specs, PS4 will not be a beast. It seems the days of really cutting edge consoles are long gone. However it has a high chance of being the fastest console by a decent distance if thats what you worry about.

I said it wouldn't be a beast in the sense that the specs provided here suggest the machine will not actually be as fast as a 7970M either, detuned slightly. If the performance figures are remotely accurate, then something like a desktop Radeon 7850 @ 1.7 Tflops. I had mooted this sort of performance level in past comments....

This is plenty to give a pretty decent jump over PS3 and xbox 360, and also control costs quite well. But it would have no real hope of competing with a high end desktop PC, especially not by the time they arrive and PC hardware has moved on another step this summer.

Just under 2 teraflops, when the gigahertz edition 7970 pushes a solid 4 Tflops and the replacement for that due this summer most likely around 5-6 Tflops.

So it'll be fairly modest by the time it might launch. The advantage of being a closed platform so that developers can exploit the hardware better than PC will certainly still be there, but not to the effect of cancelling out that sort of performance gap. Potentially 1/3rd the performance of a high end single card by the autumn of 2013.

As long as it is enough for the developers really to do what they want to do and fulfil their ambitions and what they want from the next generation, that is the most important thing to them.

The other thing is just that it is affordable and sustainable as a platform and that is important to everyone as well.

So a beast? Not with these specs, but good enough? I would say so.

1671d ago
AsimLeonheart1671d ago (Edited 1671d ago )

Many people are comparing the RAM configurations of both consoles but one important thing that many are forgetting is the amount of RAM reserved for the OS. Orbis reserves only 512Mb of its 4Gb of GDDR5 RAM which is roughly 12.8% of the total RAM, whereas the Durango reserves 3Gb of its regular 8Gb of DDR3 RAM which is about 37.5% of the total RAM. Therefore the Orbis will have a higher ratio of RAM available to the developers.

joab7771671d ago

You watch...It will be the same thing. The ps4 will boast better tech, but Durango will make up the difference with architecture. They will be very similar with PlayStation holding first party advantage and Xbox having the better multimedia. It just will. I work in a town that had 3 restaurants. While ours kicked everyone's ass, we were sad when one closed because it's bad for business in town as its a tourist area and a destination. Less to do = less ppl.Sony and Microsoft know this as does Nintendo. Nintendo likes having the lesser console that plays to children and non gaming adults. Sony and Microsoft don't want the other to have a huge advantage but they don't want to be too far ahead either. The antagonism plays well for both. Having both increases the popularity of consoles. If one is dominant, many of the other fanboys may go to PC, strengthening its hold. I may be wrong but it makes sense.

ChrisW1671d ago

Let me explain really quick the biggest misconception that people are having about RAM here.

There is minimal to no difference between DDR3 and DDR5 in terms of clock speeds. You can count MHz and make the numbers look really big, but that's "millihertz"... meaning it's a very SMALL number.

ABizzel11671d ago

Once again "if this is true".

Then this is everything Next-gen should be. No one will be disappointed and the PS4 will be on par with mid-high PC's Day 1 (think look up 7970M, HD 7870, and HD 7950 for PS4 graphics comparisons if the rumors are true).

tee_bag2421671d ago (Edited 1671d ago )

I think some people are confusing the Laptop 7970m with the desktop 7970.
Both are great but totally different. 7970m is a mobility laptop gpu, a damn good one at that but it's not as powerful as a desktop. I'm not try to poo poo on the excitement here, but just so you know.

ElectricKaibutsu1671d ago (Edited 1671d ago )

I'm as excited as anyone for the PS4 to come out, but I'm confused. Since this is a rumor where's that little bar the top that let's you vote on whether or not it's true?

TheGamerDood1671d ago

yo seriously I can't wait for them to debut the new hardware already so that we can move on to the most important thing...the games!

nukeitall1671d ago

In the end it is an overall system of different parts i.e. the entire architecture. How do you make up for the deficiencies and did you anticipate correctly what will be more important. Basically, it is the entire architecture.

There are always trade-offs!

What worries me more is, why is MS demanding 3GBs of memory for OS, while Sony only 512MB?

Sony's OS is way more bloated at 48MB, while MS fits in 32MB on the PS3 and Xbox 360. The situation is that, PS3 can't get cross game chat because of this despite having more memory. Now the situation of memory capacity for OS is reversed?

So what features will be cut or missing next time? What features are MS thinking of that needs 3GB? Even a desktop OS doesn't need that much memory?


One thing to keep in mind are the next generation consoles target a 1080p at 60fps maximum. Nobody is going to do anything more than that, even with 4k in mind. Why put money into something the vast majority can't tell the difference?

What percentage of people will or have a higher resolution TV?

In the olden days, before this crazy resolution war, any extra power would go straight to the screen and be noticeable. We are now at an incremental stage, where things start to be "good enough".

nirwanda1671d ago

@deadpool so even by you example of rage more memory is more important as you could store compressed textures in memory instead of trying to stream them from a slow disk.
For example you could store hundreds gb of highly compressed textures to ram to be decompressed by the cpu core instead of trying to pull it off a disk.
Ram is a hell of a lot faster than any disk based streaming

TAURUS-5551671d ago

and what about 4K ?...thank you sony youre the best.

Saigon1671d ago (Edited 1671d ago )


Maybe they are applying a form of mobile windows onto the Next XBox...

+ Show (17) more repliesLast reply 1671d ago
hakis861672d ago

I'm getting kind of hyped here right now!

Saigon1672d ago

This is a true next gen rumor, in the fact that it gives massive details to every supposedly aspect of each of the systems; of course in comparison to the crap that was sent out yesterday...This article is a good read...

imdaboss11672d ago

Just looking forward to all Sony PS4 first party exclusive games!!

The_Infected1672d ago (Edited 1672d ago )

Can't wait for next gen! Seems PS4 is more powerful according to this article and it seems this might very well be concrete information. I just feel like even though its fast PS4 needs more ram.

jmc88881670d ago

It's not that powerful. A PC made 4 years ago and then had it's graphic card recently upgraded is faster. Not with a top end card, but the mid range models. So I'm not talking the GTX 690 or 680 or 670...even the 660 is faster.

Ram doesn't make games go faster. It can be a bottleneck, but with what that system has, the graphics card won't push hard enough to use it all. So no need to increase it.

But this should be expected since consoles use <300 watts, whereas desktops use 700-1500 watts.

Consoles need to be cheap <$600 and most likely in the $349-499 range...though with these specs I'd say $499 for the basic model.

The sad thing is between now and it's launch we'll have one or two new generations of video cards that will raise the bar beyond it already easily beating next gen consoles.

Hey it'll still be good. I'll buy them. I bought a Wii U even though my PC has a GTX 670. I have no problem buying three consoles weaker than my PC. Because they will be fun regardless.

Looks to me the most powerful next gen console will be 3-6 years behind PC tech by the time it launches. It's pretty sad. Everyone hopes for more, but it just wasn't realistic.

lfclee1672d ago (Edited 1672d ago )

Just checked wow twice the power of Nividia's current gen graphics cards wooooooow!

The_Infected1671d ago

Really? Are you sure? I've not looked into it so I was just asking.

landog1671d ago

ps4 and nextbox will both have laptop gpu's in them, they are nowhere near the power of a gtx680 (current high end pc card)

they will be able to run a game like bf3 on high in 1080p, vs. ps3/xbox360 running bf3 in the lowest possible settings at 704p and still having bad performance and jaggies and screen tearing

ps4/nextbox will be about on par with a 3 year old gaming pc, a HUGE upgrade from last gen ps3/360 which are about on par with a 7 year old gaming pc

jmc88881670d ago

Actually no it won't beat out Nvidia's 4XX series. Meanwhile by the time it comes out there will be a 7xx or 8xx out (depending on when it launches).

That's significantly slower.

Also the GTX 690 is the fastest, not 680.

Also on PC you can SLI them, so you can have 2x 690 or 3x 680. Which would destroy these rumored specs.

Hey it'll still be fun, but let's not get unrealistic

1671d ago Replies(1)
juandren1671d ago

I'm a little disappointed about only 4GB on the Orbis, but isn't the difference between DDR3 and DDR5 the fact that DDR5 "quad-pumps" the data while DDR3 dual-pumps it? Combine that with the fact that we will be seeing higher clockspeeds with DDR5 and I reckon the RAM in the Orbis is indeed more powerful

FGHFGHFGH1671d ago

Yea gddr5 does quad data rate. So a 1000mhz GDDR3 chip would be 2000mhz effective speed vs a 1000mhz GDDR5 at 4000mhz data rate.

josephayal1671d ago

The PS3 can be considered next generation