There’s been a lot of talk over the past few days about the PlayStation 4′s RAM, with rumours from The Digital Foundry stating that developers will only have access for up 5.5 GB of the 8 GB DDR5 RAM. Development studios like Young Horses Inc. have said it’s nothing to worry about (without confirming the truth of the rumours) while Vblank calls the rumour false.
Nonetheless, when it comes to how much RAM is being used by each console for game development, which console is more beneficial when it comes to rapidly creating open worlds? We asked Thomas Puha, director of developer relations at Umbra which offers world creation solutions for games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Destiny and other titles the same question.
We also asked, assuming that the Xbox One offers 5 GB DDR3 RAM for development and the PlayStation 4 using 7 GB DDR5 RAM, if there was a marked difference between what both consoles could achieve in creating worlds.
Puha stated that, “I cannot comment on how much memory the consoles use for their Operating Systems etc and how much is available for us developers, though the numbers are out there so…”
“Really, the more memory we have, the better. It’s as simple as that. Right now, as most developers are porting their current systems and engines to next-generation platforms, the engine pipelines cannot even take advantage of the PS4’s 8 gigs of super-fast RAM as we simply cannot push data fast enough into memory right now.
“So really at this point, everybody’s just really taking advantage of the memory to make life easier on making the first next-gen games, and then a few years down the the line you will see really memory, CPU optimized games just as in this generation. Right now on PS3 and Xbox 360 Umbra 3 data for a level can be between a 1-3 megabytes and on current gen every byte of memory counts.
“On next-gen, devs tell us right now it doesn’t matter if we take 30 or 80 megabytes, there’s plenty of RAM to spare. I’m pretty sure in a few years, memory will again be at a premium!
“At the end of the day, both systems are quite close to each other. I really think this generation will be about services and there I see a big challenge for Sony to step up and compete with Microsoft.”
An interesting view, but it’s pretty much in line with the common perception. First generation games for any console always lag behind in visual quality from games released several years into the console’s life-cycle. So will it be for the PS4 and Xbox One. However, when it comes to services, does Sony really need to step up and compete with Microsoft? Let us know what you think below.
Stay tuned for our complete interview for Umbra in the coming days.