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Sony confirms our suspicions about OS memory footprint

27 Comments | posted

Today, Sony and some unnamed developers have confirmed to Joystiq.com that they have indeed reduced the RAM usage of the OS memory footprint. Those of you who have been around since December, may remember Patrick Steen writing an article detailing how Sony has reduced the usage of RAM from roughly 120MB (originally) to 50MB.

SCEA’s Patrick Seybold confirmed the report and had the following to say, “Since the launch of the PS3, we have been continuously making efforts to reinforce our support system to game developers, allowing them to express their creativity freely on the PS3. As part of this support for game development, the size of the PS3 OS memory footprint has been reduced through network update for the game developers.”

Seybold then clarified how unlocking 70MB more of RAM would benefit developers in the long run by saying “any bit of RAM helps. Generally it probably won’t change design, but might allow extra effects resolution or dynamic lights or something. Probably more beneficial from the systems and art side then from design/gameplay.”

This is a great step forward for the PlayStation 3 as cutting down its RAM to 50MBs puts it a lot closer to Microsoft’s staggeringly small 32MBs. But note, this isn’t something Sony has stealthy updated in the past few months, the platform holder has been reducing the PS3′s OS memory footprint from the day it was launched. For those interested in how and why Sony has been able to give RAM back to developers, please refer to our previous article.

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Comments (27)

  • Loki

    Great job whoever wrote the previous article.

  • Dreamer_Lion

    I just hope it helps to get a faster in-game XMB.

  • xero135

    lots of technical jargin that i dont understand LOL

  • Prof. Paddy

    *Whistles* …

  • taus90

    yeah i remember Patrick’s article on OS foot print. but is that only for developers i mean what does this mean for users, i know it is stupid question.

  • Loki

    @ taus90

    I think it’s Paddy wrote the article. :)

    Anyways, to be honest I don’t know what they can do with that 70m increase in RAM. Why can’t they increase it to 200 or something? lol

  • TRF

    So . . . this is gonna make the PS3 easier to develop for, therefore making multiplats equal to their 360 counterparts?

  • Patrick Steen

    Loki: The original OS footprint on the 512MBs of total ram was predicted to be approx. 120mb. That has now been reduced to 50mb over the past three years (not just the past few months) . That’s where the 70mb going back to developers comes from (and not just in one bulk update, but gradually).

  • taus90

    so exactly how much of a difference will a 70 mb would have on a game or for that matter of fact on the OS

  • Moocows111111

    wait wouldn’t less RAM = less ?
    Or are they doing this just so that developers can easily develope games?

  • Dr. Moogle

    oh wow, not bad sony!

    so even beyond cutting down on the costs and so on (slim ps3), you were able to get the OS ram usuage down as well!

  • Dkenair

    i dont get it the smaller the RAM the better?

  • Moocows111111

    “i dont get it the smaller the RAM the better?”

    No idea, Like Dr.Moogle said it probably lowers the cost of Ps3′s ?

  • Qeustion

    He is talking about the Operating system, (Windows XP or Windows Vista are operating systems) they were able to get it to use a smaller part of the ram, so more of the ram is available for the games alone.

  • Thorzilla

    Awesome. A bit more RAM left for the games can mean a whole new world for developers.

  • taus90

    @thorzilla
    OFFTOPIC, how did u manage to change ur avatar?

  • Dreamer_Lion

    I wonder if that RAM wouldn’t be helpful for onther ps3 things. Something like seeing photos in game, videos or even music so; shouldn’t sony save some for their own apps?.

  • taus90

    maybe they want to reduce footprint, so that when Arc arrives it should not be a burden on the ram.

  • Dr. Moogle

    @taus90: good point!

    but really tho, im not too savvy with this stuff…but how much more can you put in with taht extra 70mb of ram?

  • Patrick Steen

    @Dreamer_Lion – I’ve explained quite a bit of this in my previous article – but Sony has been able to reduce the OS’s memory footprint exactly because of extra XMB features. They set the memory high, as they weren’t sure what they would need it for, now they know, so have assigned memory (whilst optimising) and can cut it back and give it back to developers.

    @taus90 – This has little to do with Arc – the memory footprint has been reduced since day one. Why this has come up now, is beyond me.

    @Dr. Moogle – It makes a world of difference. Developers fight for 5mb of RAM with optimisation, so 70MB is huge – but it didn’t come all at once!

    @Dkenair @Moocows111111 – The hardware has not changed, it’s the same amount of memory – but around 100mb used to be cut off from developers (used to run the system’s operating system…XMB) so now much of this memory has been given back =)

  • scottspeed

    anything giving the developers more freedom is a good thing. wonder whether they can reduce it further?

  • Moocows111111

    @Patrick Steen Oh I see now, with this upgrade, the game developers would have more RAM to use to operate their games?

  • Patrick Steen

    Exactly.

  • coolsalajr

    catching up on 360

  • StarSpeed

    Its good that they reduced the amount of memory used by the OS because now games can have more memory to use. Sony decrease of OS memory usage make it on par with Microsoft Xbox 360 memory usage.

  • SonyJunkie

    @starspeed and anyone who says catching up to the 360. It really will not make a whole difference. They will be able to do some things. They seem to be fine with what they had, so they should honestly use the extra for in-game music, faster in-game, and things of that such.

  • forex robot

    My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

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