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What should the PlayStation 4 be called?

In three days time we'll almost assuredly get some concrete details about the PlayStation 4. Perhaps what it looks like. Maybe how its controller(s?) work. How about launch games? Oh, and what is this thing actually going to be called? Will it be dubbed PlayStation 4? Or might Sony do a bit of rebranding and go with PlayStation Orbis or Thebes, two of its rumored handles? Perhaps something entirely different? There are a lot of questions, and very few answers.

If history is any indication, it'd almost be safe to assume that Sony would follow established conventions and go PlayStation 4. After all, it's a logical, easy-to-grasp iteration of the PlayStation name, and it'd leave no room for confusion as to what the device actually is.

But consider this: Sony's second handheld gaming device wasn't called the PSP 2--it was the PlayStation Vita. Why? Well, largely because calling the device a "PSP 2" would limit the scope of its functionality in the eyes of consumers. PSP was a handheld console that could also play movies and had weird proprietary UMD discs and one freaking analog stick. But the PS Vita was billed as a whole new machine, a mobile device that had everything and could do everything. You could browse the Web, play games, listen to music, watch movies, stream content, take pictures, Tweet to your followers, and check your Facebook.

So, why might Sony opt to call its new console anything other than the PS4? Well, it would certainly be within Sony's best interest to rebrand it as a machine that should be in every household, not just those of gamers. A PS4 plays games--but a PS Orbis? It plays movies, music, lets you browse the Internet and Tweet and Facebook from the comfort of your couch. Yes, you can do all of this with your PS3 already, but the PS4 name would put a spotlight on gaming functionality, not multimedia functionality. Plus, slight rebranding might help disassociate the next console from the PS3's mishaps--namely its shaky, expensive launch.

Then again, going with anything other than PS4 means Sony will run the risk of alienating some potential buyers. You'd have a pretty good idea of what someone was referring to if they mentioned "PlayStation 4." But what about if you overheard something to the effect of, "I just bought a PlayStation Orbis!" Would you know what that was in reference to if you hadn't been following next-gen news? Probably not. And we can't forget about the rather poor performance of the Wii U, thanks to Nintendo's failure to establish what, exactly, the device was in the eyes of consumers.

There are valid reasons for why Sony may or may not go with PS4. On the one hand, it would clearly establish the primary focus of the new console, and the iterative PlayStation brand has become a household name for many. On the other, going with Orbis/Thebes/whatever gives Sony a chance to rebrand its upcoming console for a broader audience.

What do you think? Will Sony go with PS4 or something entirely different, and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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28 comments

  • bellium - February 19, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    Would be awesome if it was called "The Playstation"
  • peaceful765 - February 19, 2013 1:32 a.m.

    Collin? Dave? Edwina?
  • 7-D - February 19, 2013 1:21 a.m.

    I think they should call it the "BossBox" so it's directly all up in Microsoft's face. They could style like an old 80s Ghetto Blaster too.. humongous size and all.
  • Hig1134 - February 18, 2013 12:51 p.m.

    PS4. Easy Peezy!
  • mbavalo - February 18, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    When someone goes to the store or electronics shop looking for a PlayStation, what do they want to do with it? Play Games! With all this buzz about next gen machines dominating your living room, it just will just be an unnecessary expense paying for all the extra hardware to stream your movies and record TV, I want a console just for the gaming part, and for that, I want a PS4, not Orbis.. though Orbis is still a cool name, BUT JUST KEEP IT PS4!
  • artcellrox - February 18, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    "A PS4 plays games--but a PS Orbis? It plays movies, music, lets you browse the Internet and Tweet and Facebook from the comfort of your couch." ... but... I don't want all that in my Playstation. I want games, games, and really, just more games. That's what made the PS1 and PS2 so awesome for me. Besides, I can do all that other stuff on my laptop too, which I can easily carry to my couch as well. =/
  • Fox_Mulder - February 18, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    Why is the Vita being talked about in the past tense? Is it already dead and I don't know it?
  • tomasspipass - February 18, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    How about PS:4CE or Playstation RiVita? Just throwing those out there
  • Rhymenocerous - February 18, 2013 5:15 a.m.

    PlayStation 4 please. No farting about.
  • 7-D - February 17, 2013 7:35 p.m.

    I heard that 4 in japan is 'shi' which means 'death' (as straygator touched on), so it's kind of ominous to go with "PS4" in it's homeland. Though they could call it PS4 in europe/us and something else in Japan? Wouldn't be the first time. I'm not feeling 'Orbis' personally but i'm sure i'll live with it. Find out in a few days!
  • Shinn - February 18, 2013 2:08 a.m.

    'Shi' used to be 4 in the Japanese numbering system, but it switched to 'yon' many years ago. You'll hear 'shi' being used in a lot of situations though, such as old names, and counting as part of a ritual (like in karate), but for general counting or descriptions or anything named in the last few decades 'yon' (or its equivalent in the dozens of specific counters) will be used. So, in short, 'shi'/death does mean 4, but it's considered correct to use 'yon' in most situations. (Although saying 'shi' is not considered wrong)
  • DragonLord23 - February 17, 2013 6:39 p.m.

    The Playstation. Reboot.
  • minimaxi - February 17, 2013 6:58 p.m.

    And the launch title would be Final Fantasy. Without any numerals nor subtitles. Mass confusion ahoy!
  • sandplasma - February 17, 2013 6:04 p.m.

    EStation for Entertainment Station signifying both entertainment and games. EStation4?
  • garnsr - February 17, 2013 5:41 p.m.

    Playstation Racing, clearly, with Naughty Dog leading.
  • GamesRadarCollanderCooper - February 17, 2013 5 p.m.

    Okama Gamesphere
  • JAZ9030 - February 17, 2013 4:45 p.m.

    They should call it the PS4U.
  • minimaxi - February 17, 2013 6:55 p.m.

    A-ha!
  • taokaka - February 17, 2013 3:22 p.m.

    well now that the playstation trilogy is over they'll probably milk the series for spin-offs. It'll probably be something like; PS: resurrection, PS:revelations, PS: ascension, etc. And knowing sony they'll release a triple pack greatest hits including a PS3 and HD remakes of the PS1 and PS2 just prior to release of PS;*insert generic spin-off name* to hype it up.
  • austin128 - February 17, 2013 10:56 p.m.

    Hahaha brilliant! xD

Showing 1-20 of 28 comments

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