The Risk Behind The RAM: Is next-gen's biggest strength its greatest weakness?

When Sony announced that PlayStation 4 would include 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, developers and consumers alike revelled at the possibilities afforded by such a sheer amount of memory.

But the amount of RAM available in next-generation consoles could lead to developers failing to optimise code and spawn a generation of 'lazy' game creators, developers working on PlayStation 4 and 'other next-generation consoles' have warned

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GalacticEmpire2037d ago

This only means that the devs who DO put in the extra effort will be rewarded with games that run a lot better, which in turn should review better and it should follow, sell better.

JoySticksFTW2037d ago

Well said.

Some devs will cruise while others who commit to put in the extra work will most likely have better results and excel.

Honestly it's the same every generation.

NewMonday2037d ago

"spawn a generation of 'lazy' game creators"

Thief is an example, the developer said 60fps can be done on the PS4 but he doesn't want to "burden" his team.

TechnicianTed2037d ago (Edited 2037d ago )

'Thief is an example, the developer said 60fps can be done on the PS4 but he doesn't want to "burden" his team. '

What is Killzone going to be? Was it 30fps or 60fps, I can't remember. If it ends up being 30 fps, I guess they must be lazy.

Any dev team working on ps4 who sacrifices framerate for visual quality MUST be able to actually make a game 60fps with the same visual quality if they really want to, that's the logic.

irepbtown2037d ago (Edited 2037d ago )

Totally agree with you JoySticksFTW.

Exclusive games will most likely be the ones which excel. Though some multi-platform games here and there (from what I've seen, WatchDogs being one) will do great also.
There will always be those devs that cruise.
But that's just part of the Gaming world...

I should also say, unfinished games...
Then charging us a fortune for DLCs. If you want to release a DLC take some notes from Dice (Vietnam pack BC2) which cost the same price as an average COD DLC and included tons more.

Unfinished games really pee me off.

sengoku2037d ago

the only down side i can think of would be the price

DragonKnight2037d ago

@newmonday: A game like Thief doesn't need 60FPS so why spend time and resources to make it so? It's a stealth game. 60FPS should be for fast paced, action-heavy games.

miyamoto2037d ago

Great Games will always be a platforms biggest strength not just RAM.

On PS3 gaming sites complain about low RAM now that its 8GB of RAM they still complain.

click and hits then?... NO, Videogamer-flame bait site

Septic2037d ago

Pretty insane that were going from 512MB to 8GB RAM! Look at what has been possible this gen with such a restriction. Can you imagine what is possible next gen?

Fair enough you might get lazy developers churning out unoptimised games but the competition will ensure that, that kind of attitude will be short lived.

nukeitall2037d ago

You put your resources where it matters and RAM optimization is hardly needed. At 8GBs of GDDR5 it is already overkill.

dcbronco2036d ago

I think the first generation of games on the new consoles won't be 60 fps because they aren't using the HSA features of the Chips. I believe Mark Cerny mentioned that in one of his interviews. Once they get the hang of the chips the games will be 1080p 60fps.

kneon2036d ago


It's not insane, it's par for the course. If I'm remembering my specs correctly then Sony have been pretty consistent, each generation since the PS1 has increased memory by a factor of 16.

SolidStoner2036d ago

I predict that all PS4 exclusives will be 1080p and 60 fps.... Sony developers never rushed the release, they always polish it until its done... unlike other developers who rush and put deadlines!

Also there are great all platform developers like Rockstar games etc... they never rush things up... all I want to say is that it is up to developers how theyre game will end up on any game platform!!

starchild2036d ago


Wasn't Killzone 3 already confirmed to be 1080p and 30fps?

I think many developers will target that setup for PS4 games.

We'll see.

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 2036d ago
Kennytaur2037d ago

The difference now is, lazy and/or poor ports will still perform decently.

Xof2037d ago

Not really. As standards increase for high-quality games, so, too, will standards increase for low-quality games.

Case in point: what is considered a low-quality port today (i.e. Dark Souls, PC) still performs better than top-of-the-line titles from last-gen.

Instead of people whining about Blight Town's framerate dropping to 15 FPS, we'll get people whining about Blight Town's future analog dropping to 25 FPS.

Blackhawk32037d ago (Edited 2037d ago )

What it all boils down to is that I will trust game developers and the engineers opinion on how great these games will look and not some PC gamer who honestly has no clue on how to code a single thing. I'm not saying God of Warlooks as good as crysis maxed out, but if u compare a rig powerful enough to run crysis against the PS3, you would think GOW stood no chance. I have faith sonys studios are going to prove then all wrong. Kill zone dev said it best. Trolls and haters. Watch and see.

CommonSenseGamer2037d ago

So nothing has changed. Developers without as many budgetary and time constraints will potentially put in more effort.

3-4-52037d ago

This is a really good read. More actual truth and insight into the PS4.

* Games are limited now by 512 MB, so maybe they can only give us 80% of what they want to show us.

Now with 8GB, they have more than enough to add extra features and polish it up.

The problem becomes when that isn't the focus and you get somebody saying " let's just make everything Bigger and more more more"....instead of just fine tuning the experience you are trying to give the gamer.

dedicatedtogamers2037d ago

This article is good, and it flies in the face of the idea that "consoles hold graphics back. PC gaming is the future". The reality is that most PC developers are terrible at optimizing their games. That's why it takes top-end hardware to run them at peak settings. I love PC gaming, but I find myself gravitating toward console gaming in the next gen for this very reason. PS4 will have 8 gigs. NextBox will have more than the 360's 512 MB, at least. Even the WiiU has 4 times the RAM of the PS3 or the 360 (2 gigs). Developers are being given the hardware they keep demanding, so if I hear any crybaby developers saying "consoles can't give us the power we need", I will take an axe to their favorite appendage.

TechnicianTed2037d ago (Edited 2037d ago )

It's just a repeat of the last gen. Many games will be far more playable on pc compared to their consoles counterparts. There's no difference with the exception that console technology will be even further back on release than what it was in the ps3 and 360 generation.

Multiplats will perform better on pc, and linear exclusives will give a wow factor on console.

All this talk of optimisation is just talk. At the end of the day I will play all the multiplats on my pc at a better visual quality, which make up 90% of a gamers library, and will own my consoles for the relatively few exclusives they will provide. Just like I did this gen.

jtenma2036d ago

You'll play all multiplats on PC?

Have fun playing Dragon's Dogma.
Have fun playing Red Dead Redemption.
Have fun playing Vanquish.
Have fun playing Bayonetta.
Have fun playing No More Heroes.
Have fun playing Marvel Vs. Capcom
Have fun playing Destiny.

Then there are exclusives...

I can do this all day, but the list would be so long, I would get reported for spamming.

I love PC, but let us be honest here:

You are lying.

Hozi2037d ago

Well said indeed. I will not support lazy game creators....The games will speak for them selves and honestly they will make the money too.

hkgamer2036d ago

Well sometimes it is not about being lazy... its more about the talented team or size of the team. Obviously there is also budget that needs to be thought about.

Some teams have 200+ employees, others have like 10. Also the budget my cut into it, publishers give a certain amount of money to pay for certain amount of wages. Once that has been cut off its time to release the game.

Hozi2035d ago

While that is true, there should be no excuses this time around for a shitty game since it's everything the developers asked for in a system.

rainslacker2036d ago (Edited 2036d ago )

Also, code optimization and memory optimization are completely different things, which can play off each other, but are mostly separate.

Code optimization is when you write your code in such a way to reduce the number of compute cycles it takes to execute said code, or find alternative methods that are more efficient to perform the same function. This is mostly independent of memory, unless function requires a lot of memory to operate, or there is a memory leak...which would require a fix regardless.

Memory optimization is when you try to utilize memory to it's fullest by not having bloated resources which take too much space...something devs have been dealing with this entire generation.

They can overlap. Such as, if you have bloated API's then they could take up memory, which would reduce the amount of memory, thus it would need to be optimized.

Writers of these articles should realize that console developers are masters at memory management. Go to any trade show and ask any of the people in the developer's tables about getting a job, and they will tell you(or ask you) about the skills needed in this regard. I know this because it's what I had to go through, and it made me go learn about memory management.

ijust2good2036d ago

Well if us gamers continue to buy CoD every year it proves that game devs in general are not being innovative enough. You can't blame CoD. They create a game knowing people will continue to buy a copy and pasted rehash.

Games like Bioshock infinity, Mass effect and Uncharted are great example of devs who innovate and bring to the table of what is possible when devs work hard and achieve great and unique things from artistic and gameplay perspective.

Metfanant2036d ago

CoD gets a bum rep that is not deserved as simply "copy and paste."

if you were to actually do some research there are significant improvements under the hood of the IW engine throughout this generation...

However, there have been sacrifices in the visual department because of a gameplay formula that the devs set out to create...

Ill keep with the PS3 (because i do most of my gaming there, but it holds the same on the 360)...

Killzone 3 looks INFINITELY better than Blops2...there is no denying this. But CoD has set out this gen to be a 60fps shooter...and because of that sacrifices have to be made because of the resources (or lack thereof) available to devs on the PS3/360

no matter what Guerilla Games does to their engine they could never get KZ3 running at 60fps on a PS3 while keeping the visuals the same...NEVER going to happen...

CoD is still a technical achievement on current gen consoles...just in a different way than KZ3

ijust2good2036d ago (Edited 2036d ago )

@Metfanant i have both Consoles and i think Killzone 3 was nasty. Graphicaly nice. CoD is a game i admit i hate more than anyother game but i still buy it every year and hate on it just like everybody else. I have the balls to admit it.

The reason why is because not many shooters are any good..they don't innovate at all. To beat CoD u have to come up with a completely new formula. CoD started this gen with a huge innovation in its multiplayer side. COD4 was heavily praised. Since then its stayed very much the same and most other games wanted to be like it. 60fps, fast paced shooter, killcam, perks & killstreak made an addictive formula that works and people still buying proves it. Its feels stale now but its still good when u compare what allot of other shooters can come up with.

What allot of devs need to do is don't go CoD. Build there own game. Games like Uncharted felt unique. Thats what we need to see. Don't blame CoD, CoD devs will do little cause they know people are gonna buy it. To beat CoD u have to beat it with awhole lot of innovation in the multiplayer side .

papashango2036d ago (Edited 2036d ago )


Nobody should judge you for that. It's simple really. Take the mmo side for example. WoW gets 10x more hate than all other mmo's but at the end of the day when another wow clone comes out the people who are lying to themselves day 1 of switching from wow and fill up chat with "OMG this is sooo much better than wow!" Usually end up just going back to WoW.

CoD has refined FPS simplicity while maintaining fluid gameplay. The mentality with sticking to CoD is "why play a cod clone when I can just play cod?" EA sacrificed Medal of Honor to learn this lesson and I honestly don't believe they really understand. Battlefield is next up on the chopping block. It will follow MoH if they don't stick the formula that made it famous.

2036d ago
CourierSix2036d ago

@GalacticEmpire Very well said. @JoySticks, your dead right. I just hope to see a gen of devs who all put that little extra effort in.

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 2035d ago
Software_Lover2037d ago (Edited 2037d ago )

Thank you for putting GDDR5 and not DDR5, lol.

I only saw one problem within the article. DDR3 is not slower than GDDR5. DDR 3 has lower latencies (faster), thats why it's used for the CPU. GDDR5 has a higher bandwidth,, hence why GPU's use it.

superterabyte2037d ago

Unless you have a degree in computer engineering then:

Software_Lover2037d ago (Edited 2037d ago )

Would have been funnier if it were Jesus.

Nice try though.

zebramocha2037d ago (Edited 2037d ago )

That's not true,a person on neogaf posted a link showing the latency between ddr3 &gddr5. I don't know how to post links but search for sisoftware zone memory latency.

ZoyosJD2037d ago

DDR3 has lower latency, but that is only really beneficial for CPUs that are heavily multitasking as different applications fight over threads/cores.

Seeing as the PS4 CPU has 8 cores and a streamlined OS, this really shouldn't be a problem.

APU capabilities while gaming are very sensitive to memory clock speeds. Note that these are separate from core clock speeds.

Common memory clock speeds for DDR3 RAM are in the 1-2GHz range. Common memory clock speeds for GDDR5 are in the 5-6GHz range.

Although 8GB GDDR5 may sound excessive, it will be very useful later in the gen when pushing textures and polygon counts in absurd numbers with code that is more optimized to do so.

a_squirrel2036d ago

Considering that there's already been performance benchmarks with ddr2 vs ddr3, I'd say we're safe with Gddr5. Even though ddr2 has a lower latency, ddr3 beat it's pants off.

papashango2036d ago (Edited 2036d ago )

AMD CPU's are weak in general. See AMD's current lineup of 6/8 core processors to see how well they stack up to current Intel offerings.

Hell The Phenom II x4's of 2 generations ago are beating out AMD's newest lineup. They just aren't that good.

JsonHenry2037d ago

DDR3 is lower latency. The OP was 100% correct and a 1 second google search will prove it.

ziggurcat2037d ago

leave it to N4G to post a doom article about something like this... how is 8GB of GDDR5 a bad thing??

BLow2037d ago

Exactly what I was thinking. For every generation, this is the MAIN factor that developers complain about for consoles. They want more memory. This is a fact. Now that these companies are giving them this, now it's a problem. You can't win in today's world. No matter what you do, somebody will turn a positive into a negative. This was done because these machines are going to be on the market for probably 10 years or longer. It boggles my mind what games will be like next gen seeing what they have done with 512mb.

Nitrox2036d ago

If you actually want an answer to your question, read the article. It's not really a doom and gloom piece. Don't worry, PS4 is still going to be capable of curing cancer and bringing about world peace once Naughty Dog and Guerrilla Games unlock it's potential.

sourav932036d ago

Read the bloody article.

Roper3162037d ago

" developers failing to optimise code / lazy' game creators "

so in other word everything will stay the way it is with the exception of a few developers who actually tale pride in their work.

ajax172037d ago

Yeup! No slack from Sony's first party devs. I can't wait to see what Naughty Dog will create!

hesido2037d ago

Yeah, no more having to resort to pre-rendered cut-scenes to be able to load the next level, all cut-scenes can be dynamic. Having so much ram will offer new gameplay possibilities. Open world games will be able to do split screen, for example, thanks to the excessive amount of RAM. You could instantly jump between totally different levels of a puzzle platformer, levels with totally different textures / assets, as several levels could be held in the RAM at once. All the greatest stuff will surely come from first parties.

Monkeysmarts2037d ago

This is when you know there's nothing else to talk about.

HappyGaming2036d ago

The problem I have with N4G is that there are topics to talk about. Other sites update you about new games and their development. N4G updates you with "Why X will fail", "6 Reason X is better then Y" and "Z-list reporter makes claim about console Y which has not been announced yet".