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.
Microsoft has been doing a lot of work to get fans back and for anyone looking for "the most powerful console" this will hurt Sony's image. I don't worry about the most power, I want the one that will bring me the best experiences and I continue to feel that Sony will provide me with that experience. Most games will be multi platform and will work on a set of specs that both consoles share so any edge one has would be lost there. Next gen titles will look great on the consoles, and yes, PC games will always look better than consoles. When gamers are choosing their console, it shouldn't be about which one has more under the hood, but which one will provide them the most enjoyment with their games and online communities.
If this is true it sucks, IMO. When I'm playing a game, I'm playing the bloody game and don't give a rats arse about much else going on. If I'm playing COD or Skyrim or whatever, that's really ALL I'm doing...so what else is going on that needs almost half the systems RAM? Does anyone really care that it takes 10 or 20 seconds to go from your game to Netflix when you're done playing, and vice-versa? The sad thing is that 3rd party developers are going to be developing to the lowest common denominator, so even if one system only used 1gig and the other used 3.5 I doubt developers are going to change much. Xbox and Sony should both pull their heads out and make the best GAMING system they can. Does anyone really care about instant app switching???
Why do people find Digital Foundry as a source of fact. To start off, none of these games are finished yet. They are on development hardware, which means that the performance may not be the same as the real version.
Also, people should know that framerate analysis for a game can't be taken from a livestream of a conference.
Ehhhh, I'm not so sure. This is from an unspecified source and until Sony confirms I can't help but be suspicious of this. They explicitly stated 7 gig of RAM for games, and I doubt they'd say a complete lie and risk the P.R nightmare.
Wow that extra bit is dead on. Though I believe you mixed up the Xbox Guide and XMB. The XMB is horrendously slow while the Guide is fast.
They way I see it, the new systems are stealing 43% of why I'm buying them to do things I don't care about: I just want to play awesome GAMES!
It's nice to know for once that fanboys don't blindly follow as much as I thought they did.
This kind of "report" resembles something from "The Onion"...
4Gigs for OS... Ok: what are they packing? The latest Windows 8 and on top of it, through virtualization, the latest Ubuntu and the latest OS-X??? All full featured and running all fraking possible services??? C'mon...
Journalism requires investigation and validation of sources. Otherwise it becomes something like "Facebook discussion" where the most blatant nonsense is taken at face value.
The worse thing is that I've seem this "information" replicated in several "news forums" and nobody had the presence of spirit to say: oh... this is just bs...
4 GB for gaming is still a CRAZY amount of Memory. Both consoles require a lot of RAM for the OS to be able to perform all the features it has running in the background. (Like downloading while playing a part of the game.) Early in this life cycle I even doubt if all 4 GB will be fully used for most games.
Oh the journalist is questioning software and electrical engineers? Ok bro...
Rabble Rabble Rabble!
Haha Knew it was too god to be true
Hahahahahaha. Suck on that Sony fanboys.
Every day the Xbox 1 looks better and better. It is a shame they have a bunch of idiots planning their marketing.
This is disconcerting, but I'll wait and see what Sony has to say about this.