Yesterday we told you about an article that’d be coming from Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry concerning PS4′s RAM. We didn’t know if it’d be good or bad, but it sounded like the latter. Today, it as been rumored by the site that PS4 reserves only 4.5 GB of RAM for games, while another massive 3.5 GB of RAM is saved for OS (operating system) functions. This puts Xbox One and PS4 on parity in many ways, although it should be noted that PS4 uses GDDR5, a much faster kind of RAM compared to Xbox One’s GDDR3. Both consoles include 8GBs of their respective RAM choices.
According to the site’s well-places source, “Sony’s internal docs say that 4.5GB is the baseline amount of guaranteed memory available for game-makers (note the memory usage of the Killzone: Shadow Fall demo) and most likely what the lion’s share of launch titles will be using. However, other sources close to Sony indicate that developers can request up to an additional gigabyte of “flexible memory”, and use it to boost elements of the game – but only if the background OS can spare it.”
Apparently, “current PlayStation 4 dev kits have a “Game Memory Budget Mode” in the debug settings featuring two options: normal and large. The normal mode setting confirms that 4.5GB of memory is usable for game applications. The large mode increases this considerably to 5.25GB.”
Here’s my take: This is a serious matter. It’s quite surprising that Sony would reserve so much precious GB that games need so badly for OS functions, but when you think about it, especially after listening to Sony talk about the many actions PS4 will be able to handle in the background without affecting gameplay, you begin to understand the reason for the large allocation.
Still, 3.5GB for OS is a lot, and basically puts the two consoles on a leveled playing field in many ways, but like I said earlier, PS4 still holds the advantage because of its faster GDDR5 RAM.
We haven’t received an official word from Sony, but expect the electronics giant to respond swiftly, as this story won’t go away anytime soon.