Since the first rumors sprang up earlier this year, the next PlayStation has always been codenamed Orbis. It has remained that way until yesterday when a new rumor began circulating that suggested the PS4 was getting a new codename.
According to SemiAccurate, the PS4 is now being called Thebes by those working on it. The Orbis name may still be present as the Thebes name may apply only to the chipset whereas Orbis refers to the console as a whole. As for the chipset, it's still rumored to be using the AMD CPU/GPU that was reported on back in early November.
As for the launch, it's now being reported that the Orbis/Thebes/PS4 will launch in either Spring or Autumn of 2014. If that's the case, that would put Sony's next console behind the Wii U and the next Xbox. The report says that Microsoft is still planning on launching its next Xbox in late 2013 with chips entering mass production before the end of the year.
So where does this leave Sony? If true, Sony will be behind the curve yet again when it comes to entering the next generation market. That doesn't seem to be a problem for the company as it has already stated that it doesn't matter who's first, but rather who's best. The extra time in development could lead to the PS4 being a more powerful system with more features than Microsoft's machine, but the delay could also undercut demand for Sony's machine. Many gamers buy only one gaming console, and an early launch for Microsoft's machine could mean that many will choose it over whatever Sony has cooking.
Regardless, both companies will need to show off their respective next-gen consoles at some point next year, either at E3 or some private event. Microsoft and Sony need to reaffirm that they're dedicated to the next generation of gaming and show that there's something to look forward to. Gamers might even be willing to wait an extra year for Sony's machine if its initial showing is impressive enough.[h/t: CVG]