The lights are on
Update: Sony has provided a comment that, while being ambiguous about the actual RAM requirements for the OS, clarifies a bit about how the system utilizes its memory. Please read this story for the full details.
A new report states that Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4 console reserves 3.5GB of its main system memory for its operating system – slightly more than its competitor, Microsoft’s Xbox One, has taken heat for doing.
Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry cites “a well-placed development source” for its claim that the PlayStation 4’s operating system keeps 3.5GB of its 8GB of RAM to itself, leaving only 4.5GB for games to use. However, the documentation shown to the publication says that another 1GB is available as “flexible memory” that can be used on a limited basis when not being engaged by the OS – but that incorporating this additional gigabyte is a difficult engineering task for developers.
The Xbox One keeps 3GB reserved for its operating system at all times. Microsoft’s rationale, presumably shared by Sony if this report is accurate, is that the positive aspects of instant application-switching outweigh the limitations such a system imposes on game developers.
Microsoft’s console also reserves two of its eight CPU cores for the operating system’s use. Digital Foundry has published a purported screenshot of a Killzone: Shadow Fall development tool that the website says strongly suggests that the PS4 likewise makes only six of its eight CPU cores available to developers.
Digital Foundry also cites other sources “close to Sony” as saying that the company could downsize the operating system’s memory footprint later in the console’s lifecycle with optimizations that increase its efficiency, whereas the Xbox One’s 3GB allocation is more or less set in stone.
We've reached out to Sony for comment.
[Source: Digital Foundry]
Our Take:Those supposed advantages that the PS4 was set to enjoy over the Xbox One sure seem to be dropping like flies, don’t they? I’m no fan of the unbearable wait to bring up the Xbox Guide or the somewhat more manageable delay in calling up the PS3 XMB, but reducing your system’s available memory by 43 percent is a high price to pay. RAM is the most important resource for many new modes of gameplay and other innovations that developers are looking to create on next-gen consoles. I’m all for my friends list instantly popping up on screen when called for, but do I want that at the cost of another 20 AI-driven characters active in the world? That’s a much harder question.
4.5GB of GDDR5 is still a huge bonanza of high-speed memory for developers to work with in 2013, but will we still be saying that in five years when Nvidia is rolling out unified CPU/GPU architecture with 16GB of similarly fast RAM for $200 tablets? As sexy as the PS4/XB1 tech specs are today, remember that they’re broadly similar to mid/high-end PCs available right now and that technology gets faster and cheaper every day. Ten years is a long time to lock in a hardware spec for, and I question the wisdom of both Sony and Microsoft cutting their systems off at the knees like this.
if it is true i will cancel my ps4 pre order...
3.5 GB should read 2.5 GB.. the source article was updated yesterday:
Well, more to the point, the source article has been updated to show 5.5 GB available for games and no comment on the OS RAM.
2.5/8 is closer to "One Third" than "Nearly Half" so you might want to update the headline also.. at least..
I partly agree with you.
While the amount of ram is important, I, as a user, only want a next gen system that works as advertised and game developers need to do something they forgot long time ago "optimization".
On the other hand, Sony has a history of crappy and sluggish operating systems (look at the xperia, with specs of a monster and speed of a turtle, or the sluggish ps3 xmb which they never optimized or updated for a better interface)
I only hope things turn out well for the ps4, since they have been showing that they learned from past mistakes.
So if technology grows so fast, and xbox1 and ps4 are getting more similar, then the only thing left to consider must be the price of a console that will be advanced for maybe 4 or 5 years?
What would sway you to switch?
That’s really the question when it comes to making a purchase for the next gen systems. Do you stay with a brand that you’re familiar with or move towards one that offers new and exciting experiences.
Even though I’m an Xbox 360 owner, it was great to see that the Playstation 3 has caught up (and reportedly passed the 360) in lifetime sales. Quite frankly, we all win with the competition.
I have been a home console owner for a long time (Atari 2600, Intellivison, Colecovision, Genesis, Playstation, Playstation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360). Up until the original Xbox introduction, there really hasn`t been two systems on the Mature Gaming market that has sparked such an introduction of services outside of the conventional gaming experience.
While the equalling of the bottom line has mostly been at Sony`s expense (Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360 effectively split the 150 million PS2 sales), the introduction of the Playstation Network and Xbox Live have opened up the possibility of in-game and out-of-game activities. The innovation has been quite astonishing and I`m not sure that we would have seen that level of ascent had not there been two power players in the market.
When it comes to next gen offerings, things can only get better. Microsoft has already changed it`s policy on DRM (although I really wonder if game publishers had pushed them to offer the limited sharing game sharing capabilities and market it as such that MS took the consumer backlash), offered free games for Gold Members on Xbox Live and stepped back from the Indie/Publisher relationship requirement.
While this might seem as just catch up opportunities, it is response to company announcements and the resulting consumer response. If the market wasn’t as split as it is, and thus the competition for your console dollar, we may be in a position of living with what one single company thought of what your console experience should be.
While I have only noted some of the changes of Microsoft’s vision, it is only because I am more familiar with their 360 products and thus able to work their direction into my current thoughts about what I would like to see for the next 10 years. I am sure that some PS3 fans, digging deep down, could come up with some equal concerns about Sony’s direction and choice of offering (unfortunately, Sony’s lack of transparency on memory allocation available to developers could lose them their E3 pr advantage).
Based upon everything to this point, I actually don’t expect a clear cut winner between the two systems. If anything, I might give the 360 the edge due to it’s living room experience and tie in to TV. Not being a cable subscriber, it may be a feature that persuade parents to assist with a game system purchase for younger players. Regardless, the extreme similarity between the two systems, aside from their marketing departments ability to procure exclusive games, leads me to only choice. Stay with what I know.
Headline is still wrong.. sony has clarified that the OS will use less than 2.5 GB memory, which is nearly 1/3 but not nearly half
Sensationalist, inaccurate headline. How much more biased could GI be?
Rumor: PlayStation 4 Reserves Less than 1/3 of RAM for OS, and actually we don't know how much RAM the OS uses, but at least 5.5 GB is available for game developers to use.
Needs correction: "slightly more than its competitor, Microsoft’s Xbox One, has taken heat for doing" should read "less than" or really just delete the sentence that no longer means anything since the original claim is false.
Eh, w/e. Game are still going to look good and play well so who cares.