Sony has gone ahead and unlocked more of the PS4's power for developers, by giving them the opportunity to make use of the console's 7th CPU core. This change came in the latest SDK for the console and may help Sony keep its performance lead on Microsoft's Xbox One, which also had an additional core unlocked last year after the Kinect was unbundled from the console.
Up until now, the PlayStation 4 has had two of its eight cores reserved for the operating system, so developers are limited to six cores while optimizing games. When the Xbox One had its seventh core unlocked, it allowed more games to match the PS4's resolution and frame rate. However, with Sony following suit with the same thing, we may see the gap between the two consoles widen again.
The information came about on Friday night via the Beyond3D forum, which showed changelog notes for the PlayStation SDK, one of the entries reads: “PS4 – Added FMOD_THREAD_CORE6 to allow access to the newly unlocked 7th core”. Since then, Eurogamer also managed to speak to a source of its own which confirmed this information to be true.
There are a few things to keep in mind though. While developers may have access to the 7th core, older titles won't make use of it unless specifically patched to do so. On top of that, much like we saw with the Xbox One, this additional core will share resources with the OS, meaning that the amount of processing power available at any given time could vary.
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KitGuru Says: Right now, the PS4 seems to be largely limited to 1080p, 30 frames per second gaming. With access to more CPU power, we may see future games on the PS4 run better, though we won't know by just how much until newer games start coming around.