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All signs point toward a PlayStation 4 unveiling in February
All signs point toward a PlayStation 4 unveiling in February
January 31, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi

January 31, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi
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    60 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



It looks as if Sony Computer Entertainment is going to unveil the successor to its PlayStation 3 console in three weeks.

On Thursday the company tweeted a link to an event on February 20, simply saying "See the future."

The event page itself offers no details, but Gamasutra understands that its next console -- currently going by the codename of Orbis -- is set to be revealed prior to this year's E3 in June, so the timing would fit. We can further confirm that Sony is currently demonstrating the system to developers in private meetings.

Just yesterday Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello said that his company is investing $80 million dollars in software development for what the company is referring to as "gen 4" consoles (presumably also including Microsoft's next system) during this fiscal year alone. While he didn't offer any details as to the nature console, he did remark that the company does not see Nintendo's Wii U as being in the same category.

"We see a pretty sharp distinction, and unfortunately I'm unable to go any further than that," he told investors in a conference call yesterday.

We'll have more on this announcement as soon as more information is revealed.


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Comments


GameViewPoint Developer
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So Sony is first out of the box then. Going to be the most interesting year in the gaming world we have had for a long time.

Ultimately I don't care what they reveal, and the same goes for MS, just make it interesting, make it something which really moves things forward, which allows us to play the kinds of games which can only be played on the next gen. All the innovation has come from mobile over the last 5 years, it's time the console makers stepped up to the plate.

Joe McGinn
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"Ultimately I don't care what they reveal, and the same goes for MS, just make it interesting, make it something which really moves things forward, which allows us to play the kinds of games which can only be played on the next gen."

Hell. After the last e3 I'll be happy if they just show it running some games!

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GameViewPoint Developer
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I mean, what got (or used to) people excited about Apple announcements is you never quite knew what to expect, but you did know it was going to be innovative (and beautifully designed), something that might well create a whole new ecosystem. And it's been like that for mobile over the last years, whether it be from Apple or samsung.

The PS3 and 360 were right for when they were launched. But now we need something which is right for now and the next 5 years. If they just launch a mid/high end PC in a shiny case it's going to be the end of consoles under the TV a lot quicker than it would be anyway.

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Doug Poston
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>"So Sony is first out of the box then."

If you don't count the Nintendo Wii U. ;)

>"People want new consoles because they want better graphics."

I don't think this is the case anymore.

Wii sold almost a 100 million units because it allowed you to interact with your TV in a new way. One of the 360's biggest advantages (at least in the US) is its integrated online experience

4K TVs are here, but it's going to be several years before they're in enough homes to make a difference (HDTVs were introduced in the 1990's). So better graphics are only going to get you so far.

Chris Hendricks
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"If you don't count the Nintendo Wii U. ;)"

Given that many people didn't count the Wii as a challenger to the PS3 and Xbox rivalry, it comes as no surprise that the Wii U doesn't count as a PS4 challenger as well.

Andrew Dobbs
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Dan: Touch screens are a gimmick? Zuh?

That's so absurd, I should probably resist the urge to reply... or maybe at least I can summon the willpower to not submit this comment.

Nope, I can't. Just look around you once or twice a day and you'll probably see someone using a touch screen.

Zach Lyle
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Chris: I doubt Nintendo has any interest in the console cold war between MS and Sony. They know where their money is at: 1st party games.

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Joe Zachery
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This all sounds like the same thing they said for the PS3, and Vita. I see a very powerful, but very expense console coming from them again. You think after the PS3 losing the world market to Nintendo, and the American market to Microsoft. Then the failure of the PSP in the states, the bombing of PSPGO, and current failure world wide of the Vita. Sony would try something a little safe this time. Well we share see lucky for them the got that music, movie, and TV money to cover them. Oh they aren't doing to well either.

GameViewPoint Developer
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It really depends on what they unveil, what I would say is that the room under or in the TV is still up for grabs, no ones got it all to themselves, it could well be that in 5 years time everyones got the new PS4 and microsoft is where Sony is now, and this is coming from someone who is a fan of the 360.

Allan Munyika
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While innovation on the hardware side is usually the topi of interest at anytime before the impending release of a new generation of consoles, I would like to hear more about the innovative ways Sony and MS are going to market and sell their next generation of consoles. In the current, adverse economic environment and at a time when cheap mobile and indie games are ubiquitous, the factor of price can not be understated. I would like to hear more about early payment plans and bundles more than I want to hear about how many pixels these new machines are going to be pushing.

James Yee
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Okay guys lets play "Call it." :)

What do you think they'll unveil?

Based on the "Off the shelf" rumors I'd say a quad core processor tied to a video card similar to say a GeForce GTX 480. It'll have an SSD tied to a 500 GB HD to create "Blazing flast load times." It'll still have a Blue Ray player and 2 USB 3.0 ports. Probably weigh a metric ton or so too and be shiny.

The system will be "Backwards compatible with your PS3 controllers including the Move." Since it's just bluetooth anyway why not if I'm dreaming eh? :)

E Zachary Knight
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Some solid state memory for the OS would go a long way in performance though. And it doesn't have to be incredibly big. 16 gigs would do.

Daniel Boy
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@Christian
James is not talking about a 500GB SSD but a small cache SSD and a larger storage HDD.

@James
"Based on the "Off the shelf" rumors I'd say a quad core processor tied to a video card similar to say a GeForce GTX 480."
As far as rumors go you're in the right ballpark. The CPU should be an AMD eightcore based on Jaguar. The GPU also by AMD and somewhere between the 7770 and 7870.

James Yee
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Yeah like Daniel Boy said, I'm talking about a dual drive set-up. E Zachary Knight is probably right in a 16 gig "on board SSD" type thing with a 500 GB (since that's what they have in their new slim) HD.

Carlo Delallana
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If this doesn't have Giant Enemy Crabs™ and Riiiiidge Racer then I am disappoint.

Groove Stomp
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@Joe Zachery The specs that have been leaked so far for the PS3 highlight a very conservative "next gen" system from Sony. That is, if the leak is to be believed. It basically looks like a current upper-mid-level gaming PC in a box; akin to the original Xbox for it's time.
This would probably actually be a really good move for Sony. It would be a system that is very easy for developers to wrangle, and they could source parts externally very easily.

As far as the actual next-generation of consoles goes; relatively underpowered, very tightly closed systems with obtuse, restrictive DRM are probably attractive to *an* audience. I know I'm not in that audience. :|

Kyle Killian
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My money is on something big for the Vita. This event is only 5 days after the 1 year anniversary of the Vita's release in North America. And, while there have been some pretty solid release for it in the past few months, this is a great chance to start hyping up some games prior to E3. I feel like the information on KZ:M and Tearaway yesterday were only a taste to get people excited about the Vita prior to a big blowout.

james sadler
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It would be smart for them to show off the Orbis now versus waiting for E3 like MS. They have to come back as much as possible from the latch luster launch of the PS3 and Vita and outpace MS if they want to survive the 4th gen. I initially thought MS would come out first again with the PS4 a few months after like with this current gen, which probably would have killed Sony off in the console arena. Smart move by them to go head to head with MS this time around. MS proved that you don't need super high end hardware to get the audience so I'm sure after the debacle of the PS3 they're going for a more conservative approach with the PS4.

I remember seeing a unit Sony had attached to a 4k TV at CES that just said 4K in illuminated letters. I wouldn't be surprised to find that it was really a PS4 in disguise. The tag next to it only said "4K media player." With 4K tv's hitting later this year I wouldn't be surprised to see at least Sony capitalize on providing the first 4K gaming system, though I doubt anyone will be making 4K games for awhile.

I doubt this event will be specifically for the Vita. That would be a terrible move on their part. I'm sure they'll show some Vita stuff in relation to the new console, but this year is all about the 4th gen so its time to start playing the "first" game.

As much as I hate console rumors, probably the most terrible idea I've heard about the PS4 is that it wont be backwards compatible. This is one of the reasons I haven't upgraded from PSP to Vita yet. Unless they offer some way of getting digital versions of games already owned on the PS3 why would I want to have a PS3 and PS4 hooked up to my TV at the same time? I have an original PS3 and I'm sure the new PS4 will be just as big. That's a lot of real estate. The lack of backwards compatibility in the 360 was one of the big reasons I didn't upgrade from the original Xbox for almost 2 years. I can understand them not doing it though. The tech needed to convert from the PS3 style of processing to a more standard processing may be too much to try and deal with. It is just a reason for a lot of people to hold off on purchasing a new console (especially with only a few decent launch titles).

Jeremy Reaban
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The worst part is that even if you happen to have digital PSP games, there's a good chance they won't work on the Vita. Only about half my PSN library works on the Vita. If I had a PS3, more would work, but I'm not spending $300 just for that.

james sadler
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I hadn't heard about the issues with the backwards comp. on the Vita until I was researching some of the stuff on PS4 rumors tonight. Sony really hasn't been making good decisions with their hardware stuff lately. I just hope that they've learned from their errors, and the terrible sales numbers of the PS3 and Vita, what what to do with the PS4.

james sadler
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Yes the 360 was slightly better hardware than an average PC at the time, but it is miles behind the PS3's hardware. They played a smart game of "release first" and cut their hardware specs to use what they could to beat Sony out of the gate. I'm pretty sure I've read just that somewhere. It was a next gen console that still used DVD media. Some people say that they can't tell the difference between a PS3 game and a 360 game, but I can pretty easily. Of course it depends on the developer though, if they took the time to take advantage of the PS3's hardware perks. I won't say that the PS3 is the greatest thing on the planet, since I usually play my 360 slightly more, just that their strategy was well done.

John Gordon
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Bet they don't announce the price on Feb. 20.

Kujel Selsuru
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Honestly I could care less what sony announces, they've never made a machine that interested me and I doubt they will start now. I'll stick with more innovative hardware like the Wii U and more innovative software like what will likely be found on the Ouya. Pixel counts and terraflops mean nothing if they can't make interesting new games and instead focus on graphics which MS and sony have been guilty of for years.

Andrew Chen
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PS1, PS2, PS3 (and I guess XBox, XBox 360) none of those had games worthy of drawing your interest? Wow.
In particular, the first two Playstations, by virtue of being the defacto market leader, saw support for a large majority of the big game titles of those eras.

Kujel Selsuru
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@Andrew I was saying sony has never made a machine that interested me, hell I'd never even heard of playstation before getting an Xbox 1 in 2002. I loved the games on the Xbox 1 and the first few years of the 360 but since the push for more non-gaming on their they just aren't as interesting a system.

Probably the reason I'd never heard of playstation for so long was I was primarily a PC gamer until the Xbox (but always loved Nintendo consoles) and sony never marketed it's stuff to me. I avoid sports, I don't listen to a lot of music, I'm not much of a partier, etc. Oh and until I moved out of my parents place me internet access was very limited as they chose to live way out on a back road and to this day are lucky to even get 28k speeds on their dial up connection.

Doug Poston
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@Kujel: "Honestly I could care less what sony announces"

As somebody who makes his living as a game developer, even if you don't develop for Sony you should at least watch what they big players are up to (IMHO).

Chris Hendricks
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@Andrew "PS1, PS2, PS3 (and I guess XBox, XBox 360) none of those had games worthy of drawing your interest? Wow."

While those consoles did have a few games that interested me, nothing was enough to sell a system to me. Only the Wii has done that (which, I suppose, says a great deal about the kind of gamer that I am).

Jonathan Jennings
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I'm in the minority but i am perfectly content with my 360 and PS3 , maybe i m just too ignorant of what goes into console development but to me if development costs stifle innovation and make every game have to be a monster hit in order for publishers to get a return why would rolling out new consoles be the answer and not maximizing the game quality possible on current gen consoles while the development costs fall over time. maybe I don't understand the console cycle correctly but wouldn't it theoretically make more sense that your consoles and games would continue to get better as the system ages?



again i know i am in the minority but i'm not excited for a PS4 or the next xbox the way i was with the ps2- ps3 and xbox -xbox 360 transitions. I truly am ignorant to the capabilities of current gen hardware but are our systems truly so restrictive that we need to roll out something bigger and better to provide better gaming experiences?

Kujel Selsuru
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Not really but publishers think that their constant flood of shooter sequeals isn't the real reason game sales have been in decline for a while now and claim new consoles will help their bottom line.

C L
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I'm in that minority with you. I feel like I *just* purchased a PS3 and an Xbox 360, and honestly when I look at the graphics on either of these systems, there isn't a single cell in my body screaming "I need more!"

I fear I'm reaching a saturation point with all of these peripherals. Phones, tablets, laptops, PCs, consoles, handhelds...who has all of this money!

Alex Nichiporchik
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Please-please-please don't try to pull off the same thing as last gen. Do not reveal an overly expensive piece of hardware that a lot of developers need to put a lot effort into. Please?

Calling it -- Gaikai should somehow be integrated into the hardware.

GameViewPoint Developer
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I'll be very surprised if they haven't learned the lessons of the PS3. You would of thought they would have a use for Gaikai somewhere. I'm guessing launch it in the console and then over the next 3-5 years roll it out in the TV's.

Maurício Gomes
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The most funny thing is that I've been waiting for the release of Final Fantasy Versus XIII and Last Guardian since they were announced to buy a PS3.

I still did not bought a PS3... those games are still in development (not cancelled at least), and Sony will launch PS4 soon...

I might say that something went very wrong with this generation and too hard to use hardware... It is almost as bad Sega Saturn and its crazy several specialised chips.

Johan Wendin
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"See the future" through this touch screen controller - capable of rendering a different view than on the TV.

What do you mean already exist? Look - we've got a plastic ball here on top that can change colors. See?

Joshua Griffiths
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I'm genuinely more interested in the Ouya than a new Playstation or Xbox. I think they both have some life in them yes, but with so much stagnation due to rising costs, I just don't see how even more expensive hardware is going to solve the problem or bring anything new to the table.

Jonathan Jennings
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my sentiments exactly

John Flush
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Well, if it is a PS4 the feature I'm looking for is backwards compatibility. No backwards compatibility in a system basically makes it hard for someone to switch from one console brand to the next. In my case I don't own a PS3... but the exclusives lists has now nearly convinced me a few times. If the PS4 had it, anyone that is in the same situation as myself now knows exactly which console has the most games to play out of the box. Backwards compatibility doesn't do anything for those that already had the previous console by the manufacturer.

One of the largest selling points of the Wii for me was I could jump right into the GameCube library. The X360? I was on the PS2 at the time, now I could jump into X360 and Xbox games... instant bigger library.

If the PS4 said, "Sure all those exclusives you wanted to play are at your fingertips." it would be a no-brainer for me.

Bob Johnson
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BC is over-rated.

Something no one is going to say they don't want. But also something that in practice is rarely used by most.

Simon Ludgate
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I dunno. I got a PS3 for backwards compatibility. When they took it out and my old system broke down, I bailed on Playstation rather than be stuck with a PS3-only unit.

I would only invest in a PS4 if it had both PS2 and PS3 BC.

Andrew Chen
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Is it even possible for PS4 to be backwards compatible with the PS3 library?
I mean practically, in an affordable mass market product. PS4 architecture (just whispers now, mind) seems to be drastically different from PS3 cell-based.

Doug Poston
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@Andrew: "Is it even possible for PS4 to be backwards compatible with the PS3 library?"

They could do the brute-force method and have PS3 hardware inside the PS4 (they did this with the PS2). But I don't think they'll do this because of the price of PS3 hardware.

Michael Pianta
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I thought the Super Nintendo was considered fourth gen? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_nintendo

Maurício Gomes
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He is counting the playstation generations...

Bob Johnson
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Exciting. Can't wait to see what they launch. Also can't help but feel they are doomed in the US. Many are tied to Live here. Their digital games are tied to an MS account. And MS has way more money than Sony.

But it is always possible to turn things around with a sweet platform, and launching early and garnering developer support.

And I do sense more grumbling about paying the Live tax than a few years ago. That adds up.

GameViewPoint Developer
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Yeah I think those live points are starting to get a little bit pricey for peoples tastes, especially with the rise of the App stores, F2P etc.

Eric S
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It seems less than a month ago, the public opinion was that we don't need or more importantly want next-gen consoles and now all of a sudden we expect Sony and MS to announce and release within the year. Doesn't this seem rushed?

Tyler Gedeon
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I'm a PC developer but I'm very interested to see what they have in store for us. It will be very interesting to see where the next gen systems take the market, which could be forward or backwards.

A W
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I don't think they will announce PS4 this early.

GameViewPoint Developer
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With all the build up to the next gen and everyone expecting them to land this year, I think it will be a major mis-step for Sony if it's not the PS4, also they need to get out there before MS to stand a chance I think.

Jeff Morin
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Bout time! PlayStation ambiance always sends chills down my spine. Hope they do it big with this one.

Mike Griffin
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Maybe they'll also announce a partnership with Google to bring an Android channel/store/compatibility to the PS Vita, along with a $50 price cut. If the Vita could exist as a dual PS/Android app device, especially considering all the recent moves into Android gaming, it would be in a much better position going forward.

Hell, I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

Likelihood: slim.

Simon Ludgate
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I'm calling for a Playstation 3.5 announcement. Minor revision, like the Nintendo DSi. Nudge up the hardware a little bit, maybe add in anti-aliasing, allow 3.5 games to run on the 3 but be "optimized" for 3.5 (maybe at a higher resolution).

Jonathan Jennings
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yeah I believe Sony wanted the PS3 lifecycle to be pretty long right? I may have misheard bu i think they were expecting a 10 year life cycle. again maybe i misheard but a reboot sounds much more likely than the next playstation.

Kevin Alexander
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Yea but that doesn't do anything to help developers who have struggled to make products using their estranged architecture.

A reboot, does give them a chance to make it easier on the people who write software again (this is why Microsoft had the leg up this gen in terms of ease of development)... Even if it is futile considering Sony's history as a hardware manufacturer, not software; they have a Punchers chance.

wes bogdan
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With ps3 and 360 both having very long runs i expect most gamers and mom's want backwards compatibility with soo many games for current gen they'd decrease the launch lineup ,nintendodoes what sony/ms don't....and cause everyone to keep their current boxes next to their new boxes.

What's the fate of our current digital games on either psn/xblm will sony simply put them on genkai and allow you access to what you bought or will greed dominate all with a that was then this is now pony up or they could offer custom layouts like nintendo in ALL GAMES including dpad mapping for true southpaw we must flip dpad with face buttons as well as analog sticks especially where the vita or wii u are concerned...screens spread out controls breaking southpaw which makes dpad as face buttons needed.

GameViewPoint Developer
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Why have backwards compatibility when you can alter the code slightly, add a few more pixels to the visuals and re-sell it back to someone who already has it.

Joseph Elliott
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If that machine runs PS3 games, I'd be hard pressed not to buy it. I've had a 360 (and Wii) all generation and would have a PS3 if I could justify the funds. There's a lot on that platform I'd like to give a chance.

Honestly, if it doesn't have backward comparability, I'll probably just buy a PS3 instead. They're way cheaper these days. I'm in no rush for a new generation. Who's got the money?


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