Our source — the same reliable source who back in early 2012 told us the codename for Sony’s next console and the codename for Microsoft’s next console — tells us that there are two models planned for the new machine, and that pricing won’t be announced until later this year, possibly around E3. The current plan, our source says, is to release them at $US429 and $US529, but that could change.
Although nothing is confirmed just yet, as we get closer and closer to the release of Orbis, which Sony is expected to officially announce during an event in New York City tomorrow night, we continue to hear more details about what will ship with the new hardware. Back in January, we learned about the PS4’s new controller, which has a small touchpad in the centre, and the fancy new user account system that will allow multiple people to log into one console at the same time.
New information revealed by our source suggests that on top of all that, you’ll also be able to control the PS4 remotely from your tablet or smartphone. You’ll be able to use a mobile device to chat with your PS4 friends or buy games which are then automatically downloaded to your machine, our source says.
Orbis is also following the path first set by Xbox Live: our source says “most” of the PS4’s online features will require a premium subscription to use. Sony’s new online service will be called PlayStation World, our source says, replacing PlayStation Plus.
(No word on whether that’s related to PlayStation Cloud, domains for which Sony registered on Friday. We couldn’t find any domains or trademarks registered for PlayStation World.)
Some other tidbits: our source says that every PS4 will come with a PlayStation Eye; that a new spectating feature will let you watch other friends play games from your console’s dashboard, even when you don’t own the game they’re playing; and that the console will support local network play via Vita.
Also via our source, some new photos of a PS4 prototype controller, which match up with other photos that we’ve seen and verified. One is above. The other:
Current photos of the PS4 controller are inconsistent with some of the information we’ve received. For example, we’ve seen Orbis documentation that details a “share” button, and Edge magazine corroborated that not long after we reported it, saying that the controller’s share button will record gameplay and allow you to share it online.
This controller doesn’t seem to have a share button at all, although it’s possible that the functionality has been wrapped into the all-purpose PlayStation button, which is a carryover from the PS3’s DualShock controller.
Pictures of the prototype controller also match up with what we’ve reported about the touch pad and LED light, which you can see on the controller’s back in the photos we’ve received.
We’ve reached out to Sony for comment and will update should they get back to us. Sony is expected to announce their new console tomorrow night at an event in New York City. Kotaku will be there reporting news as it happens.