New PlayStation 4 dev kits sent to studios

The next PlayStation has received a hardware update – before the console has even been officially announced.

VG247 reports that new versions of the PS4 dev kit, codenamed Orbis, are now being shipped to developers around the world.

This will be the second of four dev kits due before the PS4 launches. The previous version was basically a graphics card, while this iteration is housed in a modified PC card. A third version, said to be close to final specifications will be sent out in January, with the final dev kit arriving in the summer.

Few details have emerged about the actual hardware itself, but VG247’s sources claim PlayStation 4 will once again use Blu-ray and comes with a 256GB hard drive "as standard".

It is also based on AMD’s A10 APU (Accelerated Processing Unit), which is essentially a combined CPU and GPU.

Developers claim Sony’s hope is for PS4 to run 1080p60 games in 3D with "no problem", and to give users more access to everything the system has to offer while they’re playing games. For example, they will reportedly be able to buy DLC from the PS Store mid-game before returning to gameplay.

Apparently system and product updates will be handled in the background and PlayStation 4 will "always be in standby mode".

More details on the gamepad are expected this month, while developers claim Orbis will be officially announced "just before E3".

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