Rumor update: PS4 reserves up to 5GB of RAM for games [Update: ‘Absolutely false’, 6GB hinted]
posted on 07.27.13 at 11:46 AM EDT by (@salromano)
Sony clarifies "direct" and "flexible" memory systems.

Update: Brian Provinciano, head of confirmed PlayStation 4 developer Vblank Entertainment, has called the Digital Foundry rumors “absolutely false.”

“It’s absolutely false,” he said in response to the rumors. “Absolutely ridiculous.”

Provinciano went up with an editorial on the drama, in which he provides insight. He wouldn’t confirm how much memory is used, however.

Meanwhile, over on NeoGAF, known insider Thuway hinted PlayStation 4 will reserve six gigabytes of RAM for games and two for the operating system (Update within update: “There are games in development that are using 6 GB of RAM.”) BruceLeeRoy, another known insider, and forum admin Kagari corroborated Thuway’s report.

Obviously, nothing’s confirmed until Sony says something themselves. But considering they didn’t confirm numbers to Digital Foundry, I wouldn’t expect that at this point.

Original Story: Digital Foundry has followed up on its report yesterday claiming PlayStation 4 reserves 4.5 gigabytes of memory for games, with an additional gigabyte of ‘flexible’ memory, and 3.5 gigabytes for the operating system.

Today, new sources tell the site that, similar to yesterday, 4.5 gigabytes of PlayStation 4’s 8 gigabytes of GDDR5 memory is currently guaranteed to game developers, and an additional 512 megabytes of physical RAM from the flexible memory may be available in addition.

The report comes with comment from Sony, who didn’t confirm the amount of memory reserved or what it is used for, but offered to clear up misunderstandings regarding “direct” and “flexible” memory systems.

“‘Direct Memory’ is memory allocated under the traditional video game model, so the game controls all aspects of its allocation,” a Sony rep said.

“‘Flexible Memory’ is memory managed by the PS4 OS on the game’s behalf, and allows games to use some very nice FreeBSD virtual memory functionality. However this memory is 100 per cent the game’s memory, and is never used by the OS, and as it is the game’s memory it should be easy for every developer to use it.”

With Sony’s statement, Digital Foundry reckons there is 4.5 gigabytes of conventional RAM available to developers, alongside the OS-controlled flexible memory described by Sony.

“We understand that this is a 1GB virtual address space, split into two areas – 512MB of on-chip RAM is used (the physical area) and another 512MB is ‘paged,’ perhaps like a Windows swap file,” the site said. “But to be clear, of the 8GB of GDDR5 on PS4, our contention is that 5GB of it is available to developers.”

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  • Sal Romano
    • Locksus

      I’d read it if it wasn’t on Neogaf. I despise that site.

      • Sal Romano

        Here you go, though there’s no further benefit of accessing the links within the post:

      • gerald

        You must not read many gaming sites. They have their share of idiots but it’s easily the best place for gaming discussion on all of the interweb. Many insiders and devs post there as well.

        As for what this means for PS4, it looks like my post in the topic yesterday was right. Sony hasn’t allocated all that extra RAM for the OS, they’re just keeping it as reserve so they can either give more to devs later if need be or use it to futureproof new features.

        Besides. it’s not like games will need more than 4GB RAM on console optimization for a while, if ever, next gen.

        *edit for the update: well that news makes much more sense and should make everyone happy. Like I said in yesterdays topic, that source looked pretty dodgy so people were getting all worked up for nothing. It still sounds like they’re keeping some RAM in reserve for possible futureproofing but no one can possibly complain that 6GB isn’t enough for games. Those insiders are no joke.

        • Willgaea

          Why is the ps4 OS running so much, is the answer I want.

          • Funk Derp

            you mean the single low-weight OS compared to the 3 Xbones OS?

            • Willgaea

              Well technically if I was comparing the two, sony could add an extra 8 gigs and match xbox’s price point. I just hope It doesn’t involve Playstation move x] (for all that ram usage).

  • bloodiOS

    Makes no difference to me, with maximum display output for gaming capped at 1080p, I think that’s plentiful.

    • jujubee88

      I”m pretty sure Sony confirmed the PS4 operating system GUI could be displayed in 4K.

      • bloodiOS

        4K is supported, but only for other medias, not for games.

        • jujubee88

          … hmmm. I thought your comment read as, ‘no 4K. period.’ nevermind. :-)

        • Adam

          You’re not very familiar with PC gaming are you? Games have been able to go over 1080p for a while now on PC.

          • bloodiOS

            "You're not very familiar with PC gaming are you? Games have been able to go over 1080p for a while now on PC."

            You’re not very familiar with reading comprehension are you? I’m only talking about the PS4 here and for a console that can only game 1080p, 4 or 5GB is plentiful.

  • coax

    Or perhaps it’s like a FreeBSD vnode. What does WIndows have to do with anything?

  • Sal Romano


  • lancer205

    Wow, this rumor keeps changing lol.

  • luvthesnapper

    Update: No one knows how the box works anyway, so yea……

  • King-Podigy-X

    Is it 6 or 5GB, damn Sony.

    • Elvick

      What’s it have to do with Sony? No one from Sony has talked about it, it’s everyone else making a mess of it.

      • extermin8or2

        It’s the used game blocking crap all over again…. at least this time I guess a sony exec hasn’t said repeatedly months earlier there isn’t one and everyone’s just missed it? :p

    • Michelasso

      Sony? DF invents BS and then it is the manufacturer fault?

      • bloodiOS

        He probably just wants Sony to clarify the issue so the case can be put to rest, thus calms his mind. He’s probably losing it because Sony is being quiet about it.

        • rockman29

          Or he is just gathering hits with flamebait? Probably the most likely answer.

        • Michelasso

          He wants. I wanted to know what happened to FF vs XIII as well and only after years I’ve got the bad news. Because I wanted it for PS3 now. Not for next gen,

          • bloodiOS

            Didn’t Nomura already answered that? The project was too ambitious and couldn’t be realized with the constraint of the PS3’s hardware. Next-gen systems not only allow his vision to be realized but also further expands it.

      • GK15

        DF is a pretty credible site. And Sony has had all day to deny this rumor. Instead they confirmed it by saying “no comment” and giving some spin on “flexible memory”

        • Michelasso

          Excuse me. So a site just needs to make a shitty rumor to get the companies attention? It doesn’t work like that, mate. Sony made a statement on this one only because it went over the top. And what Sony says is enough to show that DF and its “anonymous sources” have no clue of how it really works the PS4 memory management system.

          And yes. DF lost a lot of its credibility with this rumor. So hell to them,

          • GK15

            Are you so sure its just a rumor? Sony’s response was “no comment.” And yeah, DF is a very credible site. Its more substantial than just a rumor from an anonymous source. They have info to back it up and Sony response looks like confirmation imo.

            The ONLY one to deny this is a small developer that has only made one indie game. And he’s trashed the Xbox before so he already looks like a PS fan.

            • Michelasso

              No. DF isn’t reliable anymore. The same rumor in DF changed in less than 24h. And that means it is BS.

              As for Sony, they don’t have to comment on rumors. As I wrote Sony made a statement only because this crap was totally over the top. Using virtual memory one doesn’t have fixed blocks of memory allocated. They are dynamic. So those values may vary.

  • ギャビン

    6 is good, 7 would have been ham. But I can live with it.

  • Pyrofrost

    Well now, this has become a regular daytime soap-opera.

  • Michelasso

    The PS4 OS, which is FreeBSD, thus Unix, will use the virtual memory. Thus the memory allocations are not written in stones like in the Xbox.

    Shame on Digital Foundry anyway. This is one of the worst rumors ever.

  • InsaneChronos

    Like I said before, DF and Eurogamer don’t know anything. And besides, this info about memory was published on B3D by the same person who said that Xbox One probably will be upgraded to 12 GB of memory. This is totally BS.

  • gt1111

    Moderator – Please read our guidelines before posting.

    • bloodiOS

      Listen to the pot calling the kettle black!

    • gerald

      At first, I was like, how is this stupid troll comment getting so many upvotes? Then I saw this page was linked on reddit r/games…

      • LordKaiser

        Yup 20-11=9, 9

    • Billy Kostyra

      Still better than the 5GB of RAM ddr3 of the Xbox One

    • Elvick

      Like when people were making the assumption that the PS4 would also use the same DRM policies and used game policies that the Xbox One had and how Sony said nothing, and then it was true… oh wait.

    • VileSelf

      lol, sorry but.. no. GDDR5 > DDR3… dont forget that. The PS4 OS does not need 3GB of RAM to operate. Anyone who thinks that is retarded. If it does need that much RAM thats gonna be because it does a lot of really cool stuff and it will run seemlessly smooth.

      The XboxOne needs the 3GB (of its slower RAM) to run its 3OS’s, which are just jam packed with useless gimmicky features that have no real relevance to gaming at all.

      Regardless of rumor this and rumor that..nothing has been confirmed by anyone official. Bottom line is both of these consoles are going to play mostly the same games with the same quality but much like current gen the Sony console will have better exclusives.

  • spideynut71

    At this point, the actual #s don’t even matter…just the fact that Sony got caught in a lie. MS was upfront about the RAM in ONE from the beginning, and Sony thought they could capitalize by lying, and saying “WE HAZ ALL DA RAMZ!!!”

    • GK15

      Exactly! They just stayed tight lipped and let everyone think that games would use 7GB of RAM. Everyone thought that!
      How many pre-orders were influenced on this info? Now the truth has come out backhandedly through Digital Foundry.

      • cozomel

        I think most peoples minds were made up by MS’s draconian anti-used games DRM and always on, always connected forced see everything, hear everything Kinect. And the fact that Sony’s system is technically superior. That and fanboyism.

    • Orlɛanž

      That’s not really considered a ‘lie’.. People assumed/speculated, and Sony never respond. Plus, there’s no confirmation on anything.

  • bigbull

    sony ever said how much ram was there to use.

  • Namekaze_Minato

    I remember that the xbox 360 had 512 MB Ram; and an OS that was freaking buffed with apps; adds and stuff; and it still ran great games. What I am trying to say is that; if the OS of xbox360 and PS3 needed such a large proportion of RAM; there would be none left for games. Moreover; the OS’ of PS4 and XBOX ONE don’t seem that different than their predecessors. I mean even android devices can run multiple apps and download and download stuff in the background; without even using up “one” GB RAM. So what makes you ‘geniuses’ think that the PS4 OS uses over 1 GB RAM; more importantly Mike Cerny said at the PS4 unveiling Event that a “secondary” custom chip will handle all the downloads and (correct me if I am wrong) uploads as well. So perhaps this chip will lessen the pressure on the RAM as well.

  • benbenkr

    Lol at those who are harping over the RAM usage of the PS4/Xbone.

    Let me ask you guys a question, how much do you all know about hardware engineering and game development? lol.

    • usrev

      considering on both consoles ram is being used not only as normal ram but vram, the more the better. if you are building a gaming PC you are recommended 8gb of ram and a graphics card with 2gb of vram for 1080p gaming (obviously you need a good cpu and gpu).

      now obviously PC has junk in the back ground but I remember 3 years ago, a gaming PC it was recommended 4gb of ram.

      what did the original rumor mean? well it was appoximating 5gb for games, this meant it would be as if the game had 3gb of normal ram and 2gb of vram, which may be fine now, but what about in 3 years when the average pc game has 16gb of ram?

      the biggest bottleneck of this gen consoles isn’t the cpu, or even the gpu, it’s the ram, 512mb pool of memory for xbox 360 and 256mb of ram +256mb of vram for ps3. when the consoles came out 512mb was a decent amount of ram. the more the easier it will be for developers

      simply put, the more ram dedicated to games, the better it would be for developers, and in turn, the gamers who buy games.

      since we know xbox has 5gb for games I’ll use that as an example, the xbox one will be fine for a while developers won’t need to worry much about ram on xbox one for a few years, but what people are worried about is 4 years down the line, what about 5? or 6 years later? in 6 years PC’s will probably have 32gb standard of at least ddr3, ram, probably ddr4 at that point (ddr4 should come out around 2014-15)

      anyway tl;dr 4gb or so is fine for the next 3 years on console, but in the future 4gb of ram for developers will be nothing.

      • benbenkr

        …are you a developer?

  • Kamille

    I just wanted to say that DDR5 and GDDR5 are 2 different kinds of memory. DDR4 is just coming out next year for a consumer-level device.

    • Guest

      Moderator – Please read our guidelines before posting.

      • Gerry Gergich

        If you want to be taken seriously, keep using more hilarious phrases like “$0ny PauperStation N4Gtards.” It’s really funny.

      • awaiken

        Are you 12?

  • GK15

    Brian Provinciano is quite possibly the biggest PS fanboy developer there is

    • Guest

      If I were Digital Foundry right now, I’d just leak the confidential documents. Screw Sony and their lies if Eurogamer has the truth!

      • GK15

        DF is a pretty credible site. The general consensus everywhere was that the PS4 would be able to use 7GB of RAM for games. Everyone thought that!
        They stayed tight lipped the whole time and now the truth has come out backhandedly

        • BlackestNight63

          That “7 gb for games” was a rumor that everyone ran with, and Sony never said a peep. This 4.5 gb, also being a rumor shouldn’t be taken seriously until Sony releases an official statement.

  • Willgaea

    Maybe they should add a PCIe slot.

    • Death Dealer

      I never understood why current consoles don’t have expansion slots like they did in the good old days.

  • onixevil

    I think all this mess-leading news have done pretty Veiled insults on delivering false advertisements not for us “gamers” but for 3rd party developers in a modified clause “Don’t make your PS v. games looks better than the Xbox One”

  • Marco Tinè

    If I was Sony, I’d leave the discussion exactly where it is right now – at the hint of flexible memory usage. There’s no need to talk about exact numbers when your competitors are so closely listening: after all, hasn’t Sony being scapegoating Microsoft at E3, with the consequences we all know?

    Microsoft could be playing the same exact game right now, being so open about the RAM subject. 5 GB for games, 3 for the OS? It’s hard to believe those figures will stay the same for the next 6 or 7 years. I think both Microsoft and Sony has tricks up their sleeves, and very good reasons to be coy or lying about it.

    • onixevil

      You should expect GDDR6 Gpu memory to be released in 2015/2016 followed by the new cpu memories .

      • Marco Tinè

        As the next consoles specifications are mostly finalised, I don’t see how this information adds to the discussion. It’s all about the resources available on the machines and how they are going to be managed in the far future (probably by gradually unlocking features).

  • GadaffiDuck

    “Known Insider” Thuway was also banned from NeoGAF post E3 for posting bunk “insider” info as well. The amount of “Insiders” suddenly crawling from their post E3 holes where most were wrong or had a crap hitrate (Like CBOAT) reeks of NeoGAF mods trying to prevent a site meltdown by having their Sony inclined insiders post some reassuring garbage to stop the fanboys sharpening their pitchforks.

    Mayhaps there’s even worse to come for Sony which is why NeoGAF is in massive damage control right now.

    • awaiken

      In my heart I know there was a much better way to communicate your message but you didn’t opt for that route. You are not a concise person.

      • GadaffiDuck


        Thuway was permabanned for false info and yet somehow the mods let him back. Why should we believe him now at this time and for this specific reason when he’s already a proven liar?

        • awaiken