Xbox One’s eSRAM Issues Were Little And Not Too Bad: Lionhead Studios

Fable Legends executive producer Geoff Smith also talks about the game’s development cycle.

Posted By | On 07th, Jul. 2014 Under News

Fable Legends

Ever since the Xbox One was introduced and its internal hardware revealed, speculation had been running wild that the console’s eSRAM is holding it back. When you consider that the PS4 opted for unified DDR5 RAM versus the Xbox One’s DDR3 RAM and eSRAM, it’s not hard to see which console is more powerful. But have developers really been facing problems with creating games on the Xbox One?

There seemed no better person to ask than Fable Legends executive producer Geoff Smith of Lionhead Studios. On whether the development team faced any problems, Smith said, “A little, to be honest not too bad. We’ve had a fairly straight-forward Xbox One development; it’s a good platform to develop for.”

GamingBolt also asked how Fable Legends had been in development for. “We’ve been in development for a couple of years. Coming up to a couple of years in September, I should be honest. We passed our concept review in September 2012. We’re just going into full production now.”

Fable Legends is exclusive to the Xbox One and currently has no release date. The beta is due out this year though so stay tuned for more details.

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  • Michael Norris

    GamingBolt the memory that Ps4 uses is ”GDDR5 Graphics double data rate”.

  • Edonus

    Articles like this is why the gaming community and news has turned to $h!t. First this has nothing to do with the Ps4 so why even mention them. Cant the X1 have a single article to itself.

    The second thing is the information is completely wrong and misguided spreading ignorance through the internet. gddr5 does not make the Ps4 more powerful than the X1. The ddr3 and eSram combo of the X1 actually moves more data. The gddr5 makes the Ps4 easier to develop for (currenlty). Nothing to do with power.

    • Not_true

      According to Project Cars devs PS4 has “faster unified GDDR5 memory” when it comes to real world games, not napkin benchmark math.

    • Edonus

      Keyword “unified”. X1 memory is not “unified”. The fact is the memory system of the X1 can move more data than the memory system of the Ps4.

    • Not_true

      “Our engine uses a light pre-pass style rendering approach and after experimenting with a number of different variations we found it was more efficient to use eSRAM to hold the deferred render targets. Careful use of eSRAM like this for the various render stages mitigates some of the advantage that PS4 has with its faster unified GDDR5 memory,” he said to GamingBolt.

      This is the full quote. You’re grasping at straws to make a wrong interpretation.

    • brianc6234

      GDDR5 RAM is way more powerful than the weak RAM in the Xbone. Get your facts right.

  • andy

    Says the guys who have released 5 Xbox One games to date? Oh right 2 games? Oh 0 you mean?

    “On whether the development team faced any problems, Smith said, “A little, to be honest not too bad.”
    So the game has gone gold and is released in 3 weeks then, excellent.
    Or the game is so far from release we aren’t even close to the 4 months before release when you can tell us what the underwhelming final resolution and fps will be? That sounds about right.

    • Guest

      Surprised you could take your hands and mouth away from Yoshida’s member long enough to type this.

    • Not_true

      Another constantly wrong fanboy flinging feces.

    • andy

      So Fable is out now then? Lionhead have released a game on Xbone and know everything? They HAVE told us what the final resolution of the game will be?
      Is it that hard for you to understand the way I am writing what I am saying? Everything I am poking fun at is 100% the way it is, how could you claim otherwise?

    • ShowanW

      Do you understand the lingo here?… Seems you don’t. Not once did they say any of what your talking about. Post like this are what’s wrong with gaming…
      Like, cars or architectures… Videogames have to go through a “concept phase as well”. Get picked apart, debated over and all that, before anyone starts coding. Fable Legends concept was approved in 2012.

    • Not_true

      1st party devs aren’t going to say bad things about the console they work on.

    • coip

      You clearly don’t know Lionhead Studios, then. They’ve never been one to bite their tongues. If they say something, it’s usually frank.

  • Cesar DP

    PS4 GDDR5 BW: 176GB/s peak – 135GB/s real
    Xbox One DDR3 + ESRAM BW: DDR3 68GB/s real + ESRAM 204 peak – 150GB/s real = 272 GB/s peak – 218GB/s real.

    And bandwidth and power is not the same think.

    • MrSec84 .

      PS4 GDDR5 real BW has been stated by the Oddworld developers to be 172GB/s, what they achieved.

      You can’t combine DDR3 & eSRAM bandwidth together, because they’re independent entities within the console.
      Also 68GB/s would be the theoretical maximum bandwidth to DDR3, MS confirmed to Eurogamer themselves that 50-55GB/s would be the real speed of DDR3.
      MS has achieved about 140-150GB/s BW with eSRAM.

    • slasaru

      Oh yes, you CAN combine, there are many articles on that. Even simultaneous read-write you can combine. While with PS4, it’s only 30Gbps while RAM interacting with CPU. Fanboys forget to mention this fact.

    • Jecht_Sin

      Sure. And still the Xbone struggles to reach 720p30fps in some games, while the PS4 is always having an higher resolution and/or frame rate in the multiplatform games.

    • MrSec84 .

      Oh no, you can’t (capitals don’t make your point correct).
      Like I said they’re independent pools of RAM, both different in size, eSRAM can be both read & written to simultaneously, but DDR3 can only be read or written to in each cycle.
      They’re rarely addressable at the same time.

      Bandwidth in Xbox One should always be looked at as 2 separate paths, never combined into one, devs don’t use it as one pathway to RAM, so why should anyone see it as anything different?

      BTW your 30Gbps comment is also wrong (for one thing that’s bits, not bytes & another it’s never been stated by anyone who knows a thing about Jaguar CPU cores), Cerny already confirmed that PS4’s RAM is fully addressable by CPU & GPU, since both parts are on the same chip they both have the same level of access to the RAM’s bandwidth, which means 172GB/s of real world bandwidth.

      You’re mixing up the internal APU bus, which can pass up to 20GB/s of data between CPU & GPU, with the APU’s bandwidth access, which like I said is 172GB/s in real world useable bandwidth.

    • Not_true

      Completely wrong. Bandwidth contention isn’t anywhere near that much on PS4.

      ESRAM/DDR3 “combined” napkin math has little application to real world games developers have to make and publish.

    • brianc6234

      You’re the fanboy. Stop spreading nonsense.

    • Edonus

      The engineers of the X1 stated that you can combine the eSram and ddr3 BW so who am I to believe. Fact is since both can do their jobs at the same time they can be added. Not saying its easy (which it may be). You are cherry picking between real world results and theoretical numbers rendering your comment tainted.

      Eurogamer has tech people (not to mention their consistent bias against the X1) but they can only give you information based on what they know and can understand. These consoles are new and in many cases are doing things never done before. Eurogamers knowledge an interpretations are not as much fact as they are educated guesses.

    • MrSec84 .

      It’s a fact that both pools are separate, both cannot be addressed at the same time, all the time, so no bandwidths from two RAM pools can’t be combined, regardless of what the engineers say, even those engineers contradict themselves, when they talk about how developers use eSRAM for separate jobs to DDR3, at separate times, so they actually confirm the separate nature of these RAM pools themselves throughout articles, such as the one done with Eurogamer on Xbox One’s eSRAM bandwidth and system architecture
      MS even said themselves that the times when both DDR3 & eSRAM were capable of being addressed at the same time is one out of every 8 cycles.

      Actually I was shedding a light on what the real world numbers were.
      I didn’t cherry pick anything, I actually compared real world, to real world & mentioned what the theoretical maximum Bandwidth of Xbox One’s DDR3 was, so you need to work on your reading comprehension, rather than twist my words.

      The comment I was replying to used fallacious numbers for PS4’s real world bandwidth, I simply stated the truth of what that figure was 172GB/s, which has been confirmed by the Oddworld developers.

      FYI no Eurogamer aren’t biased against the Xbox One, you’re only saying that because their honest, detailed & factually based analysis of the performance of both consoles shows the PS4 to be the more capable console in multiple titles.

      There’s very little in the way of educated guesses, unless it’s in articles that are written as such, but even then those articles are written with facts as their basis.

    • Not_true

      Imaginary numbers.

  • Bliss Seeker

    GDDR5 not DDR5…

    • Matt

      Don’t let a common typo ruin your day.

  • Fay_Z

    esram is fine, the problem is crappy devs. it’s already proven that the bone can hit 1080p, there maybe launch games on bone that are 720/792/900 but there are a lot of games that are 1080p

    • Not_true

      Industry devs are some of the hardest working people in technology, often sleeping under their desks and working 18 hour days during crunch times.

      Every console or gaming device has a power budget that can be put towards resolution, framerate, or visual effects. Demanding AAA games will continue running sub-1080p on Xbox One, it doesn’t mean devs are “lazy” or “incompetent”.

      DDR3+ESRAM is more complex and expensive yet less powerful than straight GDDR5. It’s a lose-lose from a design perspective for gaming graphics.

    • Fay_Z

      why are you pasting the same comment over & over again? swear these sony nuts are like rats everywhere

  • brianc6234

    The Xbone’s eSRAM isn’t worth bothering with. It’s too little to help with anything important. And too much work to be worth it. Third party developers won’t waste their time.

  • There is no such thing as DDR 5 RAM. They haven’t even made DDR4 yet. the PS4 uses GDDR5, which has the same click speed and similar performance to DDR3 but less reliable for everyday OS tasks

  • Dirkster_Dude

    Most developers don’t worry about memory. They let whatever operating environment worry about it. I think the problem with the eSRAM is now developers have to think more outside the box in order to make effective use of it.

  • Kind of dumb to be asking someone that is ONLY developing for the Xbox One. Go ask a multiplatform Developer.

  • Fay_Z

    ….yes they can and now they already do, why do you think bf4 dlc’s were delayed on xbone? even the hardline alpha didnt make the xbone. where you dropped as a child?


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