(Pocket-lint) - Orbis may sound like a brand of chewing gum to some, but it's being touted as the codename of the next console from Sony - in effect, the PlayStation 4.
But Pocket-lint is starting to wonder if that really is the case. Is the next-generation machine really going to be called PS Orbis? Or could that actually be the working title for an entirely different product - a rival to Microsoft's Kinect, perhaps?
New evidence uncovered by gaming website Kotaku leads us to favour the latter, even though many sites are claiming it's further proof of the former.
A tipster spotted a couple of illustrations on the website of design company Coque Design and saw fit to release them to the world. And before they were promptly taken down by the firm, they were titled, "Illustrations & Sketches for new PlayStation Orbis features", which at least confirms that Sony is working with that specific name in some form.
But what makes us believe that Orbis could, in fact, be a Kinect-alike (or a next generation of Sony's own PlayStation Eye) is right there in the content of the images. If the PlayStation Orbis is the next console from the manufacturer, where is it? What we can see is a wall-mounted camera device/motion controller and a linked smartphone; what we don't see is a chunky box-like object with a curved exterior.
It would make sense for Sony to want a similar proposition to the Kinect. Its PlayStation Move controllers have never set the world alight - no matter how much they make you feel like an air traffic controller. In comparison, Microsoft's Kinect has been phenomenally successful, having sold an estimated 18 million units in just over a year.
There's a further clue that leads us to believe that the object in question is a motion controller as well as a camera. In one of the illustrations, a girl is playing a dance game (the other is clearly a SingStar style affair with a playlist controlled by a mobile device), of the sort that works well with the Kinect. On top of that, it seems that video of the players can be streamed to other devices, making the affair a more social network-style experience.
We've previously mentioned that, in Latin, Orbis means circle or ring, but it can also mean world, so we don't think it's a massive leap of faith to think that Sony is looking for a device that makes global social gaming more accessible - even to those who aren't particularly gamers to begin with.
What do you think? Will the next console be the PS Orbis? Or do you think we're not too far off in thinking it's Sony's answer to Kinect instead? Let us know in the comments below...