It's all but officially confirmed that Sony will be revealing its next-generation PlayStation console – codename "Orbis" – at a February 20 event in New York City, with eager gamers able to tune into the event online to watch Sony parade its new console around the stage. Assuming, of course, that all of the pundits' predictions for the new console's release prove true – and there are plenty.
That means two things: First, Sony will officially beat competitor Microsoft to the punch as far as new console reveals go. Second, there's going to be plenty of information coming out of the woodwork as we approach February 20 as far as what's in the new PlayStation, what it might feel like to operate the new PlayStation, and just how Sony's new console will stack up against Microsoft's similarly undisclosed (for right now) but highly rumoured system.
So, in that order, let's take a look at some of the biggest rumors so far surrounding the new PlayStation console.
First up, one of the new leaks suggests that the new PlayStation is going to come with DVR-like recording capabilities. Not for TV shows, mind you, but for games – rumours suggest that the console will be able to record up to 15 minutes of continuous gameplay. Which means that a gamer could nail a particularly challenging part in his or her favourite title, pause the game, review the footage, and then upload screenshots or video clips of said accomplishment to an online system (here's hoping it's YouTube-friendly).
We've chatted about the potential changes to the PlayStation controller previously. Those are still mostly in play, but a few more details have leaked out as to what the potential design might actually look like. According to a report from Edge magazine, the new PlayStation controller will be exactly the same size as Sony's previous DualShock controllers. However, the area currently occupied by the Start and Select buttons will be replaced by a PlayStation Vita-style touchpad – allowing gamers to interact with their systems using simple finger gestures but not in a matter as fancy as, say, the Wii U's controllers with built in touch screens.
Finally, there's the big comparison: Just how beefy will Sony's console be when stacked up against the capabilities of Microsoft's rumoured machine? According to the latest reports, Sony will actually have a faster console – 1.84 terflops of computing power to the new Xbox's 1.23 – but Microsoft's console will have double the memory (8GB) compared to Sony's. That's all assuming, of course, that either teraflop figure actually holds true, a topic of much debate over the past week or so. Both systems are rumoured to run eight-core processors and support Blu-ray playback.