Foreign Languages Kill Your Video Game Bullsh*t Detectors

There's an image floating around online. It's rumoured to be a "major specifications" sheet for the PlayStation 4. Personally, I don't buy it.

The PlayStation 4 is coming. It's inevitable. Kotaku first broke that the console is codenamed Orbis. This "major specifications" sheet, however, certainly can be disputed. However in Japan, websites and blogs are focusing at the specs it shows — as if they were gospel.

Bullshit detectors are important for ferreting out rumours. It's your gut that tells you whether something passes the smell test. One of the best ways you can tell is simple: does it sound real?

It's for this very reason that folks trying to pull off a phony rumour use foreign languages to help mask their ruse. There's an element of, oh, it's in a foreign language, and so it must be real. Moreover, since it's in another language, this makes it difficult for non-native speakers to see if something passes the smell test. If you don't speak the lingo, your gut is of less use.

These are the same reasons why this spec sheet is spreading through Japanese cyberspace, where most readers are overlooking the text. I'm not here to dispute the specs, but rather, to focus on the words.

It's the text at the top that is sending off alarm bells for me. Let's have a look:

The PlayStation 4 will represent a massive generational jump. With a Q4 2013 and an expected effective 10 year life cycle, the new system will epitomize the concept of a 'future-proof' system. Way ahead of the competition spec-wise and solving all major critiques to the PS3 — including the presence of full backwards compatibility and an extremely accessible development platform — the PlayStation 3 will conquer and please all spectrums of the market, players and developers alike.

There are many words and phrases that simply do not appear in public Sony documents. This paragraph doesn't speak "Sony speak". It just sounds off, and there are some typos (it's "10-year", not "10 year"). What's more, there's sentence structure that Sony simply does not use in public materials.

Granted, this is purported to be an internal document, so there could be discrepancies, sure. It still doesn't pass the smell test, for me at least.

This rumoured document sounds less like a spec sheet and more like a wish list — especially how the PS4 will be "solving all major critiques to the PS3 — including the presence of full backwards compatibility". What does that mean, PS4 backwards compatibility for the first PlayStation, too? Some words sound off, too, like "critiques". Other instances that Sony has used the phrase "future proof", it has done in quotes. However, it did not italicize it or use a hyphen. Here, it does.

What's more, this is supposedly a Sony Computer Entertainment of Europe document, so wouldn't the word be "epitomise" and not "epitomize"? Sony Europe used "epitomise" on its official website. Why the change now?

And finally, that last sentence ("the PlayStation 3 will conquer and please all spectrums of the market, players and developers alike") sounds awkward.

These are the things that send off alarm bells for me, even more than the specs listed in the doc. For an internal document, for a document that Sony is apparently showing developers, you can bet that the language would be as uniform, as clear, and as economical as possible. And you can bet that Sony people would have combed through it to make sure it's correct. This sort of thing is supposed to make developers want to get on board.

All this doesn't matter outside the English-speaking world. There are numbers, and they are on paper that says Sony. Good enough, eh? Well, no.

I will say this: whoever wrote this has a strong working knowledge of Sony — at the restricted and trademark signs appear to be appropriately labelled. Now whether that person actually works at Sony, that's another matter entirely.

Read the document below and judge for yourself.

(Top photo: auremar | Shutterstock)


    Well with those specs, especially all the drives it would be fvcking expensive.

    Didn't Sony say they were moving away from the Cell CPU architecture?

      Correct. Sony have scrapped Cell, admitting it was just too unfriendly for developers.
      It will be an AMD machine, extremely similar to the next Xbox.
      AMD will be inside both the new XBox and Playstation, making them very similar machines, which will make it extremely easy for development and cross console compatibility.

        I like the CPU they described on the sheet. I'm imagining 16 Cell processors taped together in a ball.

    silly kotaku -- you could of just mentioned that the sheet claims the PS4 will use a 144 core CPU. It will not, especially not as 16x CELL Broadband engine's tied together.

    As much as I would love a PS4 to be universally PS-anything compatible I certainly don't believe it.

    While there may be merit in making it PS3 backwards compatible I doubt it will be PS1 compatible.

    "And finally, that last sentence (“the PlayStation 3 will conquer and please all spectrums of the market, players and developers alike”) sounds awkward."

    Probably because it should say Playstation *4*, not Playstaion *3*

    seems a little bland for a product to be sold to developers. If Sony were trying to sell something to developers, giving them a print out of specifications doesn't give it much juctice, i'd expect more of a folder type presentation with specs etc to show what they are planning, rather a one page print out of specifications and nothing else. Then there's the release date, if at all plausible, it would have to be announced this year at E3, which is unlikely with the only slight possibility it could be due to the fact the next installments of major franchises are due soon including Infamous 3, Uncharted 4, GT6, KZ4 etc.
    Wouldn't hold my breath on it, but we'll see what happens over the coming weeks.

    It's certainly a nice wish list, but I doubt Sony wants a repeat of the PS3. Now, if it had had specs below what is rumoured for the next Xbox, that I could believe. Oh, and the full backwards compatibly? Never going to happen.

    Erm ... Guys.
    This is simply complete BS. Integraly.
    There is no such thing as a 16 PPE/128 SPEs Cell, and you will not see a console with 20Gb of Ram for many more years when a gaming PC can do just fine between 4 and 8Gb. 10gb of Video Ram? Really?
    2160p ? Was there a new HD video standard over night?

      " HD video standard..."?

      No...the specification has been around for a while. QFHD, 3840×2160...2160p, "Quad HD" as opposed to "Full HD". Sony announced it will release QFHD hardware somewhere between 2010-2020, along with 10TB optical discs.

      ...should I even mention 4320p (7680x4320)?

    I dare say the HDMI spec is where it clearly shows its a fake. If the device is "future" proofed then how can they put into today's HDMI standard. Sony would be well aware of the future HDMI versions.

    secondly that piece of paper makes no sense. Why could a developer do with something like that? Wipe his ass with it is my best guess. Developers need the SDK not a piece of paper telling them a bunch of lose specs that "may change". Anyone who can dev a game off that would be so smart they would be capable of world domination (with sharks wearing lasers).

    Why would Sony send out something like that to the devs? To piss em off? Not even Sony is that stupid.

    For those who want to see a better version of the image you can find it here:

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