Sony confirms PlayStation 4 developers can use flexible memory

Sony confirms earlier report that PlayStation 4 will feature "flexible" memory for developers, but does not clarify further specifics.

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PlayStation 4 developers will be able to use a mix of direct and flexible memory for making games, Sony has confirmed.

A report last week said that the PlayStation 4 would reserve 3.5GB of its 8GB of GDDR3 RAM for the OS--leaving 4.5GB to developers--with another 1GB of "flexible" memory potentially available for developers from the operating system's share.

Sony's statement, issued to Digital Foundry, said that "we would like to clear up a misunderstanding regarding our 'direct' and 'flexible' memory systems."

"The article states that 'flexible' memory is borrowed from the OS and must be returned when requested--that's not actually the case."

According to Sony, "'Direct Memory' is memory allocated under the traditional video game model, so the game controls all aspects of its allocation," whereas "'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," added Sony.

The developer would not confirm whether the PlayStation 4 would indeed use 3.5GB of its memory for the operating system, or what functions any allocation of memory would be used for.

Sony will launch the PlayStation 4 this year for $399/€399/£349.

Discussion

723 comments
sk8oridie44
sk8oridie44

I could care less for taking sides, but it's funny how before Sony announced this, everyone bragged Sony is using full 8gb RAM which will make their games a lot better than the X1, but after finding out Sony does it it, suddenly everyone wised the fuck up and started finally saying RAM doesn't matter too much? >> Think I found the definition of fanboy

Machinimatt
Machinimatt

So games will have 5.5GB RAM as the OS is loaning 1GB. Then if you switch out of the game the OS stops loaning the 1GB and uses a total of 3.5GB. Then when you switch back into the game you get 5.5GB again. Not exactly hard to comprehend.

beardface21
beardface21

So it can flex?  Cool.

But can it lift?

cnx2022
cnx2022

These good news better stop, or those poor Xbots are gonna get a stroke! LOL!

Gamemaster_94
Gamemaster_94

So  this means it can use upto 5.5GB for games? That's pretty cool.

AmongShadows
AmongShadows

Great job Sony. Now I wont have to worry about the OS crashing or slowing my system down. I just love Sony they always get everything right. Nearly all products in my home from my HDTV to even my fridge are from SONY. I LOVE LOVE LOVE SONY. THANK GOD FOR SONY.

Rajiv_psn
Rajiv_psn

Shadow of the colossus was able to run on 32mb of RAM.

farcorners
farcorners

3.5 GIG (almost 50%) of the memory for the Operating System? Bloat-ware! If true, what could it possibly be needed for?

bkohary
bkohary

I have have a flexible memory of what I did last night.

bkohary
bkohary

Flexible?


Is it made of liquorice?

Williams0907
Williams0907

Even if the 4.5gb is true think about how Naughty Dog did The Last of Us on the PS3's 512mb to 1 Gb imagine what they could do with 4.5

captinqwark
captinqwark

I don't even have one friend on PSN :(

kidflash2000
kidflash2000

I just want to know how many megabytes or gigabytes of DDR3 (Xbox1) it takes to equal DDR5 (PS4) after i hear that i will have a better opinion on this topic

hystavito
hystavito

I had no idea the PS4 OS was based on FreeBSD, cool.  I looked it up and I guess it's been known for about a month, and it's called Orbis OS.

Zloth2
Zloth2

I'm still not following what the "flexible" memory is.  What is "FreeBSD virtual memory functionality" supposed to be?  Is the memory swapped between real memory and the hard drive or something?

Yulaw2000
Yulaw2000

I thought the rumour seemed a bit off. This makes more sense.

EmericaCky2K
EmericaCky2K

@Gamemaster_94 No it means, it will have flexible memory. The 3.5/4.5 ratio is speculation based on the amount of usable memory in the current dev kits. it has no bearing on what the final product will utilize. 


THIS IS ALL A RUMOR. Gamespot poorly documented this making it appear as fact. 

gamestopper0
gamestopper0

@Williams0907

GTA V is also very impressive to me. PS3 has 512MB, no more, though. Yes, even 4.5 is a lot when you think about it this way. I want to see what the guys at Bethesda do with it.

gamestopper0
gamestopper0

@blue_shift_91 

Hint - Windows itself can function just fine with less than 1GB, but when you load applications...it actually takes more RAM! Weird? SONY obviously needs to set a boundary, so functions outside of gaming function smoothly. That boundary may change with time, as was the case with the PS3.

A good enough "hint"? :)

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

@captinqwark you dont need any...as long as you have friends in the non virtual world, its fine

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

@kidflash2000 It doesnt work like that AT ALL! I am not some xbox fan boy. in fact I pre ordered my ps4 30 seconds after amazon started pre-orders. but its not like 3gm or ddr3 is equal to 1gb of ddr5. I mean... really what age do we live in? the INTERNET age. Use goolge like the rest of world and type in "ddr3 vs ddr5" and I am 100% sure you will get your answer. And its also not easy as that. I have read some really techincal stuff, like DDR5 is actully TOO good for to be 100% utlizided for DX11. whereas DX11 was made with DDR3 ram in mind. So in many ways the DDR5 wont be running at 100% vs the DDR3 which may. I dont know. exactly. and I dont really care. BUT you can look all that crap up yourself on the mega answer any question your self thing called the internet. 

cyclonebw
cyclonebw

@mrboone01 

Games hardly ever require more than an 8gb Xbox 360 disk now, what makes you think we would need 300gb?  

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

@mrboone01 um.... no. The ps4 is alredy BUILT. being put into boxes and getting ready to be shipped on massive boats headed to the USA and EU. That 300gb discs are going to for 4K movies and is still VERY much in the R and D phase. 

Zloth2
Zloth2

@mrboone01 I'm thinking you could read (and write) to the cloud a lot faster than even the fastest Blu-ray player.  IF your network is working, of course.

gamestopper0
gamestopper0

@mrboone01

XBOX One wouldn't be able to play those discs? We can only speculate.

Lamesy
Lamesy

@inaka_rob So what you're saying is, "it's so simple anyone can google it" and yet you failed to understand it yourself?

gamestopper0
gamestopper0

@inaka_rob

WOW...GDDR5 is too good for DX11(in a negative way), but DDR3 isn't? You believe that nonsense?

gamestopper0
gamestopper0

@Zloth2 @mrboone01

To outperform a decently fast BLU-RAY drive, you need a VERY fast internet connection. Add in a heavy online game, and that increases further.

BradBurns
BradBurns

@gamestopper0 @BradBurns @jsmoke03 @captinqwark 

lol 

I wasn't being hostile, calm down.


I was only messing around, I get your point. I liked your comment, dummy. lol

gamestopper0
gamestopper0

@BradBurns @gamestopper0 @inaka_rob

GDDR5 being worse for gaming than DDR3? I doubt it. Facts are facts, mind you. Still, having read RAM reviews for the PC, I have learned that some minor timings difference doesn't lead to big performance differences. That's for system use. If GDDR5 has WAY higher timings, maybe it does matter. Since PS4 will also use it as video RAM, it should work together with the better GPU to propel it past the XBOX One.

BradBurns
BradBurns

@gamestopper0 @inaka_rob 


There could be some technical truth to it, but I don't think that there is any getting around the fact that the PS4 seems to be significantly cheaper and probably more powerful choice.

gamestopper0
gamestopper0

@SquareEnixFan13 @inaka_rob

I see it as more of an ignorant one. Time will tell, but I don't see the XBOX One outperforming the PS4 in games. Perhaps the other things will perform just a tad better(I'm guessing by very little).