Crytek developer says 8GB of RAM in current consoles may not be enough

Months after the release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, there are still disputes over which is the better console. Many consumers choose their main console based on exclusive titles, and while others may look at the specs of the machine, both of the consoles have similar hardware. The Xbox One has 8GB of DDR3 RAM, while the PlayStation 4 has 8GB of GDDR5 RAM. Even with this significant step up from the last generation of consoles, a developer at Crytek claims it is still not enough.

Sean Tracy, the Engine Business Development Manager at Crytek USA, states that "I would have to agree with the viewpoint that 8 gigs can easily be filled up" when asked if there would be a shortage of memory in this generation. He explained that "developers don’t necessarily even have access to all 8 gigs of it. For example, the Xbox One retains some of the RAM for OS purposes," which could cause memory constraints in the future. These concerns came about due to the shortage of memory in the last generation consoles. Even though the Xbox 360 and the PS3 both had 512MB of RAM, titles such as "Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" ran better on the 360 due to the way memory was allocated.

Despite that, the Xbox One and PS4 have largely increased their amount of memory compared to the last gen systems. Tracy said that "we will soon find that the computational requirements of games will quickly hit the ceiling of a few gigs of ram." He concluded by saying that "it’s not the raw power alone that will allow for photo-realistic graphics, but technology that intelligently scales and utilizes all that the hardware has to offer.”

 Source: Gaming Bolt | Image via Digital Trends

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Don't worry Crytek.. I got Dell laptop with 16 GB RAM and other day I was updating Simply Accounting and it used up whole 16GB RAM.

While both systems have 8GB of ram the developers don't get all 8GB, it's more like 5GB or so, though that could change as time goes on and the rest of the systems software is optimized better. Regardless I think the next gen in another 6-7 years won't have another giant jump in RAM. I don't expect them to double it to 16GB for example, they might go for a little higher so game developers finally get a full 8GB just for their game, so maybe systems that have 12GB are next, 8GB for the game and 4GB for OS and all the apps (because now we're starting to multitask on them).

-adrian- said,
I think 6-7 Years will not be short enough for a new iteration of consoles

Well, with how both are now less custom and more generic x86 systems (though they still have some custom parts to them, XB1 more than PS4) they can come out with updates to them quicker and this time not break backwards compatibility I'd say. Once you can do that, with less cost in R&D compared to before, then we could see it drop to 5 years like it used to be. In most cases they could just drop in higher clocked parts with little else and we get performance boosts that way, simple and quick like with the PC.

Basically we go back to the NES 8bit and NES 16bit, almost identical consoles. But one more expensive and able to play more games.....
There won't be different releases of the same console with different hardware so it plays different game.

Totally out of context title. He said devs will use it all up, as in they would use up any amount of ram in a system. He did not say 8 gb wasn't enough.

Anyone else remember how well Windows 95 ran on just 4mb of ram? And how quickly the required memory curve grew while performance seemed to drop in future versions?

Some times more memory leads to sloppy programming.

Ah. Few years ago I ran Windows 98 on a VM, just for fun. But it was such a slow OS. It felt quite fast back then, but compared to now. And it has been years but I don't recall Windows 98 to be slower than 95.
Tried it with different specs, the more resources you give Windows 98, the slower it becomes :p.
Never tried with Windows 95, but I would be guessing the effects were similar.

Didn't MS talks about this one particular issue with Video RAM. The so called Tile Resources supposed to address this problem. With 32 MB of ESRAM, suddenly xbox become innovative compared to PS4.

minster11 said,
Didn't MS talks about this one particular issue with Video RAM. The so called Tile Resources supposed to address this problem. With 32 MB of ESRAM, suddenly xbox become innovative compared to PS4.

That's not why there is ESRAM... It's to try and aid a bottleneck, it's not an innovative feature compared to the PS4.

8gb is plenty, and a good match for the rest of the hardware. If the consoles had beefier cpus/gpus then I could understand it.

It's not like were gonna be 4k gamning in this generation

Just a powerful CPU means nothing, look at the PS3.
Current consoles are a lot smarter, offloading junk that on PC's and previous gen consoles was shuffed down the CPU. Making the CPU a lot less lighter/used.

Because of all this offloading, quite sure the current consoles give more raw CPU power to devs to use, then the PS3 did with its tiny supercomputer.

Shadowzz said,
Just a powerful CPU means nothing, look at the PS3.
Current consoles are a lot smarter, offloading junk that on PC's and previous gen consoles was shuffed down the CPU. Making the CPU a lot less lighter/used.

Because of all this offloading, quite sure the current consoles give more raw CPU power to devs to use, then the PS3 did with its tiny supercomputer.

the problem with the ps3 was that is was hard to code for

ok well, regardless, it's what they have and if you bought a console, you bought a low end PC basically so what do you expect?

Right now 8GB will be enough, but in 5 years, of course not.
The Xbox One and PS4 are both basicly PCs. Games released for these platforms will be ported 1/1 to PC (and vice-versa). In 5/6 years PCs will have at least 64GB of RAM, so these consoles will be responsible for holding back game development.

> He explained that "developers don't necessarily even have access to all 8 gigs of it. For example, the Xbox One retains some of the RAM for OS purposes,"

And the PS4's OS magically doesn't need any RAM whatsoever?

Well I guess the consoles should have come with 64GB of memory so Crytek could just load their entire Blu-ray disk into memory. Maybe they should push for the return of cartridges. That way they could have their entire game in a ROM for really fast access, and the amount of memory in the console would be less relevant.

I'm from the generation of gamers where we were on top with 2,4,6 or 8MB of ram. the nvidia 32MB cards were top of the line too.

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