The current generation of consoles from Sony and Microsoft both managed to tally up in a few hardware specifications towards the end of their design, one of them being the insanely huge 8GB of RAM installed on both machines. But despite the vast difference between today’s machines and the Xbox 360 and PS3 which only had 512MB to work with, Crytek’s US Engine Business Development Manager Sean Tracy says that it isn’t really that big and that the memory allocations both consoles have for games (around 5-6GB) isn’t difficult to fill up.
Speaking to Gaming Bolt in a recent interview, Tracy said that what others developers have been claiming for the past year is true – filling up the memory and using all the compute resources available isn’t difficult. Crytek’s most recent achievement was getting Ryse: Son of Rome onto the Xbox One for the console’s launch and admitted that even with around 5GB of space left to the game, managing what went into the memory pool was still an important task.
“I would have to agree with the viewpoint that 8 gigs can easily be filled up, but also keep in mind that developers don’t necessarily even have access to all 8 gigs of it,” said Tracy. “For example, the Xbox One retains some of the RAM for OS purposes. Since technology, as Ray Kurweil states, progresses exponentially, we will soon find that the computational requirements of games will quickly hit the ceiling of a few gigs of ram.”
“We already had to manage quite intensely our memory usage throughout Ryse and this will be one of the limiting factors surely in this generation. As hardware [familiarity] gets stronger the complexity of scenes can be increased and the dynamism within them,” he added.
That might sound like an obvious thing to say but many people are pitting the same games on ex-gen and next-gen consoles against each other and finding very few visual differences between them. The reason is because not only are developers not as familiar with the current-gen hardware as the ex-gen stuff, there’s also a big difference when it comes to software environments and how much better the tools and development environments are today than they were back in 2006.
This doesn’t mean that they have the go-ahead to promote their game as much as possible using unrealistic bullshots and faked gameplay footage, but it does mean that whatever we’re seeing now probably won’t be a touch on games released, say, five years in the future. All the downgradetons that we’ve seen this past year are indicative of that and things will surely get better, not worse as time progresses. Fingers crossed. Now bring on the games!
Source: Gaming Bolt