PlayStation 4, Xbox 720 Rumor Roundup (UPDATE)

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Update (2/15/13): Digital Foundry posts what looks to be a slimmer, possibly more finished version of the rumored PlayStation 4 controller. Notice the apparent headphone jack located at the bottom; could that work in conjunction with the apparent microphone/speaker setup underneath the touchpad? These things are getting juicier every day, eh?

Update (2/18/13): The PS4 rumor train just keeps on chuggin\’ along. The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that Sony is planning on using its recently-acquired Gaikai cloud streaming service to stream PS3 games to the next-gen PlayStation through the cloud. That would apparently allow the new PlayStation to bypass the thorny backwards compatibility issue with its new hardware, satisfying the many gamers who raked Sony over the coals for removing the ability to directly play old PS2 games on later SKUs of the PS3.

For the most part, this sounds like a rather clever way for Sony to both make its base happy and utilize its new cloud gaming infrastructure. Of course, it also opens up a new can of worms, most obviously regarding the latency and connection issues that could arise when stressing the cloud for gaming that heavily. Plus, since everything is over the Internet, what, tech-wise at least, would keep Sony from streaming PS4 games to the PS3?

Per usual, be patient with the rumor mill. Sony\’s big reveal is just two days away, hopefully signaling an end to these murmurs. TechnologyGuide will be in New York to cover the event, so keep it here for future updates if and when they arise.

Update (2/19/13): The PS4 rumor mill should finally (finally!) stop churning tomorrow night, but a handful of last-minute whispers popped up today. First, gaming industry gossiper Superannuation has dug up recent domain registrations by Sony for something called \”PlayStation Cloud.\” That could very well be the official name for the Gaikai integration rumored in the last update above, although it\’ll be interesting to see what other ways, if any, the PS4 will emphasize the ever-growing cloud.

Second, The Wall Street Journal was back with more next-gen PlayStation talk. This time, it \’confirmed\’ a variety of rumors already mentioned in this article, and claimed that the PS4 can be controlled with not only the PlayStation Vita, but with \”smartphones and other portable devices\” as well. Cross-device play is a trend that has become popular within the gaming industry — and in the general consumer tech industry — with things like the Xbox 360\’s Smartglass feature, so a confirmation of this rumor wouldn\’t necessarily be surprising. If Sony were to allow a smartphone to completely replace the PS4\’s controller, though…well, that\’d be a surprise.

Finally, Kotaku has cited a \”reliable source\” that claims that Sony\’s current internal plan is to release two separate PS4 models this November for $429 and $529, respectively. What exactly will make the two models different — other than a presumed storage space difference — was not clear, nor was the rationale behind the seemingly odd price points.

Kotaku claims that a new PlayStation Eye camera will come with every console. It also says that the system\’s PlayStation Plus service will be renamed PlayStation World, and will make players pay for \”most\” of the PS4\’s online capabilities in the process. Again, whether or not that means that PS4 owners will have to pay for actual online multiplayer gameplay, a la Xbox Live Gold, was not clear.

Furthermore, along the lines of the WSJ report, the site says that players will be able to remotely access their PS4 via smartphone or tablet, giving them the ability to chat with members of their friends lists and buy games from \”PS World.\”

And now that the big day is just about upon us, that should wrap up the PS4 portion of this rumor mill for the time being. Keep it tuned to TG tomorrow for more Sony coverage, and keep an eye out for the inevitable next-gen Xbox rumors that will rear their murky heads soon enough.

Update (2/20/13): The PlayStation 4 is official. Read all about it, and get the TG take on Sony\’s next-generation console.

Update (2/22/13): Now that Sony\’s big event is over and done with, it looks like it\’s time to get that next Xbox rumor train back up and running. Both CVG and VG247are citing sources that say that Microsoft is planning on holding its own one-off event to formally announce the next Xbox console sometime in April.

The Redmond clan is still refusing to acknowledge that it is even making a successor to the Xbox 360, but it\’s happening, and one of Microsoft\’s partners has reportedly even registered the domain \”\”With Sony gaining all the headlines this week, eyes will soon be turning to Microsoft to counterattack, and it\’d follow the company\’s track record if it were to hold its own event before sharing the E3 stage this June.

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