While the official reveal of Sony's next home console could still be months away, if not longer, Kotaku has today learned some important details concerning the PlayStation 3's successor.
For one, the console's name—or at least its codename/working title—is apparently Orbis. And it's being planned for release in time for the 2013 holiday season.
The details in this story come from a reliable source who is not authorized to talk publicly about next-gen hardware but has shared correct information with us before. What they're telling us in specifics matches much of what we've heard and reported in generalities in recent weeks.
A Sony spokesperson declined to comment about these details, citing the company's policy not to comment on "rumors or speculation."
WHAT'S IN A NAME
Orbis. Say it out loud. Sounds a little like the word "four", doesn't it? Only it doesn't make the next PlayStation sound like a bad horror movie sequel.
It's also a name loaded with meaning. The word "Orbis" itself, from Latin, means circle, or ring, or even orbit. Not terribly helpful. Combine it with the name of Sony's new handheld system, though, and you have the common term Orbis Vita (or, in strict Latin, Orbis Vitae). Which means "The circle of life". Could the Vita be playing a very important role in the development and use of the next PlayStation home console? Maybe!
Such symbolism also suggests that rather than being a codename, like most companies employ when still developing a console (think NGP, or Durango), this might actually be the machine's final name. We don't know that, though, so keep an open mind about things.