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Over 5GB of guaranteed memory to PS4 developers

We've known for a while now that the PS4 would come packing a hell of a lot more RAM than its predecessor. While the PS3 had 512Mb (256MB system and 256MB GPU memory) the PS4 is coming as standard with a full 8GB. However, it's not been clear how much of that will be required by the console's operating system and how much developers will actually be able to use. Well now we know.

The basic, guaranteed memory allowance for all developers will be 4.5GB, which should tell you how hefty the OS in this machine will be compared to its predecessors. I'm using less than 3GB with my Windows 7 Ultimate 64 setup and that's with a tonne of programs (including Photoshop) running.

10 years ago I was playing with 256MB of system memory in my PC  and 128MB on my GPU. Crazy times. 

If you're a developer reading this though and you're pulling your hair out screaming, “God dammit Jon, I needed 5.5GB for my game development dream!” Stop doing that. Really, it's cool. Some sources of the fine chaps at Eurogamer, are suggesting that there's actually an extra GB of memory that can be pulled into play when needed. According to them, it's noticeable in the PS4 dev kits, which have a “Game Memory Budget Mode,” in the debug settings, which has two options: normal and large. Switching from the former to the latter allows for an increase of available memory by almost a full GB.

It's not easy mind-you and may be restricted to first party developers for a while, as everyone else figures out how it's done. It would also be interesting to know exactly what OS function is lost during that time of “large” memory usage.

But why so much for the OS in the first place? Some are suggesting that it could mean for more instantaneous switching between console functions. Once a game was loaded, theoretically you could pause, open up something else and come back to the game later, without the need to load it all up again.

It should also be noted, that all the memory in the PS4 is DDR5, giving it a much higher bandwidth than current DDR3 PC offerings.

In other news, we've also heard that developers will have up to six of the AMD CPU's eight available cores to play around with during gameplay.

KitGuru Says: It seems that hardware wise, Sony and Microsoft are going a bit more future proof than with their last generation. Not all PC gamers are running 8GB yet – even if that is a speedily growing trend – whereas back in 2005, I think we were all using at least 1GB at that point right? 

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