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.
Some facts please
I think what everybody is forgetting is that the PS3 only has 512MB of RAM, only half of which is dedicated video RAM.
I switched to a gaming pc this year, after being primarily a console gamer since I was a wee lad. It was a pretty steep investment, but it was worth it. From the graphical fidelity, the mod support for most games,the pc exclusive titles that just don't translate to consoles, and then some, I am one happy gamer.
It's times like this I think both sides should just eat a big old piece of humble pie. In the grand-scheme they are going to do the same thing, I wished the majority of people could just respect and acknowledge people like different system's rather then say which one is superior and inferior, just get the system, play the video game's on it and be happy.
Well well well. I hope you're all happy. Hate to tell you I told you so but...
Kidding but seriously that is what my mother would say.
Maybe I missed it somewhere, but how much ram are the games going to be using that are coming out at release? It seems like the amount of ram reserved for both consoles will be a great advancement for console gamers no matter what. I can't justify comparing console gaming to PC unless we want bi-yearly releases of consoles. I've never been big into PC gaming and that may be a loss for me, but I'm still excited for the next generation of console gaming!
As for people dropping their preorders... WHY? If you were loyal to the console before why back out now? I'm getting an Xbox One no matter what because I have just loved the feel of gaming on the Xbox overall since I first started using it. If you were going to get a PS4 why not still get it? Were your reasons for buying it so weak that the small possibility of lower "quality" games at the END of the PS4's life will make you change sides, or outright refuse to join the next gen.
I doubt all 7GB of ram will be used even at the end of the next generation's life cycle. I guess what I'm saying is the console "war" has become such a p***ing match that we are reading into every little detail way too much and the joy of just being a gamer in a new generation is being lost. I can't saying I'm not guilty because some comments I see upset me as well, but I think we should be excited for the end of this year and the years to come!