And the rumored PS4 specs paint quite a picture.
According to the report, the PS4 dev kits that game studios are currently working with pack an AMD A10 APU (a combo CPU/GPU), between 8GB and 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and a Blu-ray drive,
Also part of the package is standard ethernet, HDMI and Wi-Fi capabilities.
This in-development version of the PlayStation 4's hardware (reportedly codenamed "Orbis") is supposedly capable of running video games in 1080p in full 3D and at 60 frames per second without slowdown, something current gaming hardware is simply not capable of.
In addition, the PlayStation 4 will reportedly feature a new UI that makes it easier to perform multiple functions on the console at once, like entering and exiting gameplay while installing updates in the background.
Sony's PlayStation 3 got off to a rocky start when it launched in 2006, due in part to the high cost of its advanced components.
That cost was passed to consumers, who paid $500 (UK£311, AUD$482) to $600 (UK£374, AUD$578) for a PS3 console. That's a few hundred more than the competition was asking at the time.
The powerful specs described in the latest leak might seem to suggest a high price tag, but as BGR pointed out, dev kits are often more robust than the final product: the PS4 that makes its way to consumers could be less impressive.
BGR also reported that the PlayStation 4 will be "very affordable," so that may indeed be the case. For what it's worth, this PS4 dev kit was not made in Japan, according to VG247, though it's unclear whether that affected the expected cost.
Time to pass the torch
Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 were released in 2005 and 2006, respectively, and previous generations of gaming hardware have rarely lasted so long without new consoles coming out.
So the PS4 and Xbox 720 are expected to arrive relatively soon.
Regardless, the PS3 will stick around for a while: PlayStation's Vice President of Hardware Marketing John Koller told GameSpot in September that Sony is "going to continue supporting the PS3 for the next few years."
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