The Xbox One’s eSRAM has been a topic of much controversy ever since the console launched back in November 2013. GamingBolt has interviewed several developers in the past and although most of them are positive about its usage, there are almost an equal number who think that eSRAM is very small to output 1080p resolution and is a bottleneck.
GamingBolt recently spoke to Camille Mirey who is the CEO of Persistant Studios. Persistant are working on PopcornFX, a middleware technology that focuses on 3D realtime particles along with metrics, asset workflow and debugging. The middleware is being used in many AAA titles like Black Desert and is currently available for PC, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PS3.
The Xbox One’s eSRAM although limited in size has a extremely high bandwidth, with a peak speed of 204 Gb/s. In our lengthy interview with Camille, we asked whether there is potential for better particle effects using eSRAM or is it more of a bottleneck given it’s extremely small size.
“Actually, the small memory isn’t problematic, it only means you can use 32Mb at a time, but you can map/unmap virtual memory at will on those very fast 32Mb,” Camille explains. We found this statement interesting as the eSRAM has been criticized before for its small size .
Camille believes that this could actually result into better particle effects as it makes overdraw faster. “And this is usually used for render targets and blending-intensive operations. So it will indirectly help particles [effects], by making high overdraw be faster,” he further explains.
However being a middleware provider, they cannot take the decision of using it since they need to communicate with the developer first. Moreover using the eSRAM is not on their priority list at the moment.
“We could decide to use that memory, but as a middleware developer, there are decisions we cannot make on our own. The game studio might have other plans for those 32 Mb that we’re not aware of. So for the moment, we’ll definitely do some research and testing with eSRAM when we have Popcorn FX running on the GPU, to see what we can do with it, but it’s not a really big priority right now,” he said.
This is just a snippet of our interview with Persistant Studios and we will have more in the coming days.