PlayStation 4's 8GB RAM kept secret from third-party developers - Report

UK developer Just Add Water said it only found out about PlayStation 4's 8GB of RAM during the console's unveiling.

Sony kept details of the PlayStation 4's 8GB of DDR5 RAM hidden from "most" third parties until the machine was officially announced, Just Add Water CEO Stuart Gilray has said.

Speaking to VideoGamer, Gilray said Just Add Water--which had access to a PlayStation 4 devkit ahead of the console's announcement--only found out the exact specifications when lead systems architect Mark Cerny announced it during the PlayStation 4's unveiling on February 20.

"We were told [PS4] was 4GB originally," said Gilray. "We first knew it had 8GB when [Cerny] said at the event's stage, 'And it has 8GB of memory.' We'd had kits at that point for a good while."

Gilray added that he thought a couple of close first-party developers knew about the 8GB of RAM but that "most third-parties, if not all third-parties were like, 'Yeah, 4GB, awesome, can't wait.'"

Gravity Crash and Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD developer Just Add Water is currently working on an unannounced title for the PlayStation 4.

Gilray was also keen to praise Sony's decision to opt for 8GB of GDDR5 memory. "It's a fantastic amount of memory," he said, "especially DDR5 memory, because it's so fast you don't have to have everything there at once. You can swap it in and out instantly, effectively. But when they said 8GB it was like, 'Ooookay.'"

Another advantage of developing for PlayStation 4, according to Gilray, is that Sony has "ring-fenced" memory for system functions away from the memory used by games. "When you press the PlayStation button on a PS3 game, you get the basic XMB up [but] to do anything you have to quit the game, because of the memory for it. With PS4 we don't have that because the system memory is already ring-fenced for itself."

The PlayStation 4 is due to be released later in 2013, though specific regional availability is currently unknown. According to one report, the system will launch in November starting at $430.

Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat recently said PlayStation 4 development is a 'radical change' for Sony.

For more information on the PlayStation 4, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Written By

Hi! I'm Martin, for some reason or another I have managed to convince the people who run GameSpot that I am actually wor

Discussion

348 comments
Iemander
Iemander

Seriously 8GB is amazing, I'm very very happy Sony didn't go for the 4GB. People don't realize this, but RAM is the biggest thing holding consoles back. A system with much RAM is going to free up so much development blockades.

I'm also very glad we're finally rid of the "streaming" technology. Very impressive what some devs were able to do (GTA 3 and 4), but it was slow and a pain in the ass. Now everything can just be stuck in memory and changed only sporadically.

In other words, games are going to fly now. Very little slowdowns or loading times.

Merseyak
Merseyak

ps4 has already won by miles the xbox is going to be a cheap copy of the ps4 which has already been proven on the spec leaks ahh microsoft don't try copy others you will just fail

Leboyo56
Leboyo56

DDR5? Dance Dance Revolution 5?

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

DEAR GOD.

Did Sony actually hold something back so that it couldn't get leaked before a conference?!

That business is seriously changing it's ways.. the 'announcements' of E3 for Sony always provide good humour as they've normally all but been officially revealed, this year however things actually look to be different.

Well I never!  Uncharted 4 anyone? :D

IanNottinghamX
IanNottinghamX

Im confused by something doesnt the writer mean GDDR5? Cause if its DDR5 that doesnt make sense...

Zero_resistance
Zero_resistance

8 Gigs of RAM?  

What a monster of a machine (as consoles go), can't wait!

Now there's no excuse for more games that play in full fat 1080p'ovision

bluebird08
bluebird08

now nobody can give excuses for minecraft not being able to run on console.

rhenom
rhenom

Going from 512mb on PS3 to 8gb on PS4 will be epic.

All these new specs add up to sweet 1080p console gaming instead of crappy 720p on the current gen.

telaros
telaros

It was only a secret because Sony didn't know they were going to rush back in after being told 4GB of Ram is shit for today's games.

Now waiting for them to be told 8GB is crap for future games.

I just hope they don't skimp on CPU power like they did with PS3 :p

sargentpsgamer
sargentpsgamer

This explains why MS suddenly shut up about their next Xbox. They saw that and went to their little spies going "wtf, you said it only had 4GB! Now we need to revamp our design!"

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Cartridge gaming was FANTASTIC! 

Trickymaster
Trickymaster

And I'm glad they did. Otherwise, Microsoft would simply have copied the architecture and tacked "Xbox" on it. 

Necro_Fear89
Necro_Fear89

$430? That's a pretty good price, I'm looking forward to getting one now. PS4 news just keep getting better and better.

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

on a 360 if youre in a game and you hit the xbox button, you get a fully realized menu where you can go to any part of the console just as if you were on the dashboard.  Nice that Sony is finally catching up on that feature.

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

I wouldnt be surprised if the people at Sony tasked with making the PS4 didnt know considering negotiations for the CPU and GPU didnt start until after the press event.

SinXGuard
SinXGuard

Having 8GB of RAM is good news, but for some reason, I have a feeling that there is a downside to it- I can't really put my hands on it.

CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

@Osteoporozis  

In honor of you having 16GB of RAM: I am bestowing upon you a golden plaque stating that you, Osteoporozis, are the Greatest Human Being That Has Ever Walked The Earth.  Congratulations.  

al3azmi
al3azmi

@Osteoporozis oh my god amazing! i never knew a graphics card existed with 16GB of GDDR5 RAM! F*** off there is a difference between 16GB DDR3 and 8GB GDDR5 also lemme guess 1333 MHZ 16GB? timings 9-9-9-24?

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

@warhawk-geeby There's always a chance they kept it under wraps in case MS went way cheaper than expected. They already knew they'd have to drop the camera as standard, so maybe the fall back if they had to get even cheaper was going 4GB instead.

pilot_riaz
pilot_riaz

@Zero_resistance 8GB of RA has been available for PCs years ago.  After all this time now consoles are getting 8GB.  PCs will be at 16GB soon

pspearman
pspearman

@Zero_resistance its shared RAM, meaning the RAM is going to be used by both the CPU and the GPU. Sure its quick but considering you will need atleast 2gb of RAM for good graphics and then some of it is going to be reserved to handle the OS, it might not be as much as you think.

reincarnator07
reincarnator07

@rhenom Looks like it's still gonna be stuck at 30fps for the majority of games though.

sargentpsgamer
sargentpsgamer

@Phazevariance Not really, you still get taken out of the game. Sometimes it doesn't even warn you about it either..... PS3 can get to the menu's too, but just like the 360, actually doing the function takes you out of the game.

Trickymaster
Trickymaster

@SinXGuard The downside is the weak CPU. We already know it won't be a strong CPU because they don't brag about it. The GPU will also be a bottleneck if it's not fast enough.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

@SinXGuard No way is it the downside.8GB GDDR5 has an even 50/50 split between CPU and GPU and more importantly there is no limitation on the split between the CPU and the GPU!. And that means better everything!!.

wyan_
wyan_

@SinXGuard The downside is that it's not 12 or 16. You're welcome.

IanNottinghamX
IanNottinghamX

@Merseyak yea I know what GDDR is  but talking about  DDr ram which technically doesnt exist yet....and ps4 has 8 gigs of it?

DuaMn
DuaMn

@pspearman @Zero_resistance It's more than you think. Don't compare a console with 8 gb RAM to a PC with 8 gb RAM. PCs can't use most of their resources. It's all wasted power. Consoles don't have that.

DuaMn
DuaMn

@reincarnator07 @rhenom No, almost all going to be 60 fps, if not all. There is no need to cut frame rate with these specs.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@kerc_chaos @Trickymaster Er, the PS4 / "720" seem to have pretty much the same architecture.  AMD processors/graphics solutions and all.

If Sony hadn't kept the 8gb and the GDDR5 thing close to their chests it might just have been copied.

bluebird08
bluebird08

@SIDEFX1 @Necro_Fear89 well if it was EA they would advertise it for $200 and sell it for $800, cause they are well known for false advertising.

Canadianloki
Canadianloki

@SIDEFX1 @SinXGuard Actually they haven't split the memory 50/50 for the CPU and GPU. It is unified memory this time. So a developer can allocate whatever size memory they need towards either CPU and GPU. Which is much better.


hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

@wyan_  

So true any way you look at it 16gb RAM is better then 8gb RAM and GDDR5 over GDDR3 doesnt change that.  PS fanboys dont get that.

pspearman
pspearman

@DuaMn @pspearman @Zero_resistance That made me lol. Your obviously a PlayStation fan and the Ps4 is going to be a very good machine but your letting your enthusiasm make you seem stupid. A ps3 is in no way comparable to a mid tier pc, sure if you switch off anti aliasing, run at a low resolution and run at 30fps then they would be very similar but who would?

I guess ill find out what developers are doing with this 8gb when I eventually pick one up.

DuaMn
DuaMn

@pspearman @DuaMn @Zero_resistance You have no idea how much ram-cpu a game requires then. Most game developers are shedding tears of joy for the amount of ram they have now. Don't forget they were using only 512 mb of ram to create comparable graphics to middle tier PCs. Today's high power PCs won't be able to run the games PS4 will have a few years later.

LiquidGold
LiquidGold

@DuaMn @pspearman @Zero_resistance Thats why most pc users fail to see the point , 8gigs of ram in a console is basically overkill. Look at the PS3 an 360, they only have 512Mb "lol" and games perform well on them, fair enough its not running on max setting like on pc but still looks pretty decent. Giving a console 8gigs is going to do wonders for the console an what it can do. 

pspearman
pspearman

@DuaMn @pspearman @Zero_resistance I wasn't comparing it with PC, I was just stating that 8gb shared memory is not as much as it seems. 1080p high res textures use a lot of memory, couple that with memory used by the OS and the rest being used by the game engine it can soon dry up.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

@hatieshorrer I think PC's are in the league of their own. There is no need to compare console's and PC's because the PC's kick console ass EVERY TIME.

iandavidvinoya
iandavidvinoya

@tsunami2311 @hatieshorrer @wyan_ +1.

RAM is essential for both especially for PCs. Becuase PCs handle many tasks aside from your game. On the other hand, consoles hand dedicated memories for that and that's what the article said about PS4.

Well, the downside is it's not 12MB or 16MB which is basically good for anything and heat. I am not sure about the cooling system of the PS3 but with powerful RAMs, it really needs a very good cooling system to avoid future YLODs or the like.

tsunami2311
tsunami2311

@hatieshorrer @wyan_ Your confusing GDDR5 and DDR3 PC use DDR3 not GDDR3 most GPU's use GDDR5 not DDR3, GDDR5 has way more bandwith then DDR3 ever will, Do to fact GDDR5 can have as many memory controlers as it wants, DDR3  can not. DDR3 is System ram that goes up to 256bit GDDR5 on high end gpus have 512 bit and can go to much higher bit rates for much higher bandwith, DDR3 can not.

Point of the GDDR5 is it has much much higher band with then DDR3 is a cappable of.

 Any one that says your dont need as much ram is stupid that ram is need to have nice textures. Low ram means you gona have lower res textures