The new generation video game consoles have significantly higher amount of random access memory (RAM) than previous-generation systems, which allows to significantly improve visual quality of new video games. But will 8GB of RAM inside Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 be enough for future video games?
According to Sean Tracy, Crytek’s U.S. engine business development manager, while 8GB of memory is enough for contemporary video games, it is easy to fill it up. Eventually 8GB may even not be enough for the upcoming titles that will sport more complex scenes as well as higher-quality graphics.
Both Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One have 8GB of unified memory. Since 8GB are used to store everything – from operating system to textures for graphics applications – in many cases the amount of RAM may be a limitation.
“I would have to agree with the viewpoint that 8GB can easily be filled up, but also keep in mind that developers don’t necessarily even have access to all 8GB of it. For example the Xbox One retains some of the RAM for OS purposes,” said Mr. Tracy in an interview with GamingBolt. […] We will soon find that the computational requirements of games will quickly hit the ceiling of a few gigs of RAM. We already had to manage quite intensely our memory usage throughout Ryse and this will be one of the limiting factors surely in this generation.”
The PS4 has 8GB of fast GDDR5, whereas the XB1 features 8GB of relatively slow DDR3 memory. Thanks to higher bandwidth the GDDR5 provides, it is possible to get higher quality of graphics on the PS4 compared to the XB1. Console game developers will have to optimize their titles so that would look similar on different consoles. Quite naturally, they will also have to keep the 8GB limitation in mind.
“As hardware gets stronger the complexity of scenes can be increased and the dynamism within them. However, with that said it’s not the raw power alone that will allow for photo-realistic graphics but technology that intelligently scales and utilizes all that the hardware has to offer,” said the game developer.
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KitGuru Says: Since 8GB of memory will be something that game developers will always have to bear in mind when designing new titles, it is safe to assume that games ported from the PS4 and XB1 to personal computers will work absolutely fine on systems with 8GB or 16GB of memory.