With games constantly improving an pushing the boundaries visually, the set in stone hardware of consoles can have some trouble keeping up. We’ve seen it this generation with lower resolutions and framerates across the board, but the slightly more powerful PS4 has almost always had the leg up on the Xbox One due to its beefier hardware. That advantage might become even wider with the recent revelation that Sony has changed some things under the hood of the console.
While the hardware of the PS4 can’t really be altered, how the system handles it certainly can. We saw this earlier this generation with the Xbox One, which unlocked additional RAM and CPU power for developers to take advantage of. It looks like Sony has followed suit, giving developers access to the previously locked away seventh CPU core.
The news comes via patch notes for FMOD, a piece of audio software used on the PS4. The changelog shows the following bit of info: “Added FMOD_THREAD_CORE6 to allow access to the newly unlocked 7th core.” Not much to go on, but Eurogamer confirmed with various sources that “Core 6 has indeed been unlocked and is available for game developers to utilise.”
This core is still being used by the operating system of the PS4 in some capacity, so developers won’t be able to use it 100% of the time, but the additional CPU power could push some extra graphics or physics calculations that weren’t available before. Older games won’t see any improvement without an update from the developer, but newer ones that take advantage of the extra CPU core could see a bit of a boost. How much that will end up being will have to be seen in a few months or a year when these games start hitting store shelves.