Earlier this week a rumor surfaced that outlined the PlayStation 4 memory allocation budget. The rumor stated that Sony’s PlayStation 4 would use around 3.5GB out of the system’s 8GB of GDDR5 RAM for the Operating System, with a flexible bit of memory that developers could recapture and use to power games on the console.
It was a rumor that seemingly “leveled the playing field” between Sony and Microsoft”, and Sony has since responded to the rumors. Sony’s official response to memory rumors is that they have “no comment on the amount of memory reserved by the system or what it is used for.”
However, the company did want to make a distinction about “Flexible” and “Direct” Memory in the PlayStation 4.
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.
The actual true distinction is that:
- “Direct Memory” is memory allocated under the traditional video game model, so the game controls all aspects of its allocation
- “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.
We have no comment to make on the amount of memory reserved by the system or what it is used for.
Sony’s plays their cards close to the chest when it comes to public perception. One would think that if they had details to share that were more favorable than the reported rumors, they would take the opportunity to clarify. Since they didn’t, it’s probably safe to assume that the memory rumors are either completely accurate or actually better than the current specs of the PlayStation 4.
It is worth noting that larger OS footprints are common on new hardware. Both Sony and Microsoft’s current generation consoles have seen continually changing memory allocations as software has become more efficient on the hardware.