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PS3 Memory |

CellDean Calver, a developer at Ninja Theory, makers of Heavenly Sword, has a nice post about memory management on the PlayStation 3. Nothing that says “holy duck-on-a-rope Batman!” or anything like that. Just a couple little thoughts that I personally found interesting. Like the fact that textures, geometry, animation, and sound data take up about 300MB of the available 512MB. And that he confirms a PS3 operating system (the PS2 didn’t really have one – you programmed to the metal, as it were). He also mentions how hard fitting all the stuff needed into 512MB will be.

Which makes me think that it would be a smart move on Sony’s part to increase the PS3’s RAM to 768MB. After all, it’s going to be an expensive system anyway, so what’s a couple extra bucks? Especially when it’ll make the developers so happy that you just increased the amount of memory they have by 50%. Plus it would be a nice strategic move against the Xbox 360, which has 512MB. I’m willing to pay an extra couple bucks for 768MB. Anyone else?

[Edit: c|net estimates that the cost of 512MB of RAM for the PS3 would cost $65. So to increase it to 768MB would cost an extra $32.50.]

Deano’s Home From Home – Memory Management

  • observer

    I thought the same thing. It sounds like a good idea from a consumer perspective. Maybe they’ll do it. On the other hand, the announced spec of 512 MB is already a real dramatic leap over the 32MB of the PS2 even if there’s an OS. It’s really amazing that all the PS2 games get by with so little RAM; every PC title seems to need 1GB+.

  • Yes, it is a big jump over the PS2. But note that Deano said that they can’t use a lot of more modern programming practices because they take too much memory. Development time would certainly benefit if they could use modern methods of building software. It would also help with ease of development. So that would be two advantages that PS3 developers would have. Since it’s all about the games, making developers happy is important.

  • Black Guy

    If they can sell it for under $500 w/ that price it would nice, maybe even with a Gig of RAM. Where would that extra memory go if Sony did decide to add it? Doesn’t the PS3 use 2 different types of RAM?

  • Project51

    I also thought of this too. But MS can easily counter this by lowering its X360 price. They can also say that the Harddrive can be use as additional virtual memory making it unlimited.

  • Yes, but games can’t rely on the HDD’s existence. If you know you can count on VM, you code one way. If you know you can’t, you code another way. There’s not much of an inbetween ground.

  • Isagani

    I think that they should either go with upgrading the GDDR RAM to 512 since that should be cheaper then putting in more RDRAM, right? I think a gig of total system RAM would make too much of an impact on the price which might already (as the system is said to be configured now) be as high a hit Sony can take as it is…

  • observer

    Modern programming practices? I think he means more traditional enterprise software tools which are geared towards very different problems. Making the development process simpler and easier and more productive is always a great thing. And that’s definitely happening; all the tools in the game development process are constantly improving. From improved programmer IDEs and debuggers to various game related libraries, frameworks, and middleware to asset creation and management tools, the development process has gotten much better. I just don’t think RAM is the big issue in that regard.

  • When he says that he can’t use C++ or STL, and that he has to allocate everything up front, that’s pretty archaic.

  • observer

    But that’s not how it is. I’ve met console game programmers and C++ is very common (as opposed to straight C) along with dynamic memory allocation (I didn’t talk about STL specifically). Yes, you have to be very mindful about memory considerations but it mainly sounded like that guy was being cranky.