PlayStation 4 will use 3.5 gigabytes of RAM for its operating system, leaving 4.5 gigabytes “guaranteed” for games, according to purported Sony internal documents.
Of that 8 gigabytes of total RAM, however, 1 gigabyte is described as “flexible memory,” which can possibly used by game developers for up to 5.5 gigabytes of game RAM.
Eurogamer claims that Digital Foundry, a subsection of the website dedicated to gaming technology, was shown the documents by a “well-placed development 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,” said Eurogamer.
“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.”
Using this additional 1 gigabyte “isn’t trivial,” according to the report, and speculates that, initially, only first-party developers will attempt to use it.
Xbox One allocates 3 gigabytes of RAM to the operating system – some of which is said to be reserved for the system’s evolution over a ten year life-cycle, a “Microsoft insider” reportedly told the site.
It’s also reported that both consoles allocate two Jaguar CPU cores to their respective operating systems.
Sources have also reportedly told Digital Foundry that PlayStation 4 is, like Xbox One, capable of seamless app-switching without having to restart games.
But Eurogamer goes on to say that the sitatuion could change in regards to the PlayStation 4’s operating system allocation.
“However, sources close to Sony suggest that the PS4 approach is perhaps more flexible – the current allocation in terms of both CPU cores and memory could be reduced once the operating system is complete and then streamlined,” Eurogamer said.
“In short, while there is no guarantee of change in the future, Sony is at least leaving the door open to the opportunity and the R&D team has experience in reducing the OS footprint – just as it did on PlayStation 3.”