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#1 Edited by TRega123 (29 posts) -

Have gaming consoles ever had enough RAM? When the 360 and playstation 3 were launched, 512MB of memory sounded like a whole lot and memory was expensive. Over time, memory has become one of the cheapest components in a PC and I cannot understand why Sony and Microsoft appear to be going cheap on RAM again.

I'm sure we've all read the rumors that the next-gen consoles will have between 4 and 8 GB of memory. While 8GB is certainly better than 4, we should have at least 16GB of memory. This is bananas! Why?

  • The more memory you have at your disposal, the shorter your load times will be as you can cache rather than streaming it from the disk.
  • Having more memory available would reduce the cost of a game's development as it could allow game developers to experiment more with garbage-collected programming languages rather than having to painstakingly develop with an RAII idiom in C++ (or have memory leaks). I think the game loop and graphics engine will still be in C++; however, things like AI, events, sound, and the parts of the game which are not rendering the graphics can begin moving from C++ to Python.
  • Having more memory available means you can dedicate more memory to the operating system so consoles can do more things. Microsoft keeps touting how they want to be a media hub in your living room. It's going to be especially difficult to multitask between a game and something else unless there is a lot of RAM available.
  • And yes, of course I think games could be larger and better if developers had more memory to work with.

Is there ever an instance where more memory (assuming the memory is of the same speed and quality) is not better? Perhaps I'm living in a bubble because I am a software developer who writes code for servers with 256GB of memory, and while I don't think the Xbox 720 and PS4 should have 256GB of memory, I do think it should have a sizable enough amount so developers do not have to worry about it as much. This may not be obvious now, but 1-2 years after the consoles have been released, we will be wishing we had more memory. Historically, consoles have never had enough RAM.

#2 Posted by musclerider (590 posts) -

@TRega123 said:

Is there ever an instance where more memory (assuming the memory is of the same speed and quality) is not better?

When you're a company who wants to sell hardware at a reasonable price and/or margin?

#3 Posted by canucks23 (1087 posts) -

@musclerider said:

@TRega123 said:

Is there ever an instance where more memory (assuming the memory is of the same speed and quality) is not better?

When you're a company who wants to sell hardware at a reasonable price and/or margin?

/thread

#4 Posted by TRega123 (29 posts) -

@canucks23 said:

@musclerider said:

@TRega123 said:

Is there ever an instance where more memory (assuming the memory is of the same speed and quality) is not better?

When you're a company who wants to sell hardware at a reasonable price and/or margin?

/thread

Memory is cheap, and by the time these consoles are actually being manufactured 16GB (8x2) of memory will cost about $65 versus $40 for 8GB (4x2). The savings is $25. Even if my estimation is off and the savings is $35 dollars, nearly doubling the price of the memory. I would gladly pay Sony and Microsoft extra if it meant I got 16GB of RAM. Over the lifetime of the console, the price of the memory will gradually decline. Moore's law says every 18 months it halves.

#5 Posted by mordukai (7157 posts) -

Doesn't the low level access the consoles have negates having that much RAM?

#6 Posted by demonknightinuyasha (469 posts) -

I was reading something that was talking about RAM manufacturer's revenue being up but their profit being down, so while ram is super cheap right now for you and me, that seems to be more due to price wars than anything else. This may indicate that the cost per unit makes it unrealistic if they feel it's not actually needed. Which in the end the last consoles had 512mb or ram, so the new ones having gigabytes is going to feel like light years ahead, even if high end gaming computers now are putting in 16 GB + ram. At the the end of the day it was probably some dude sitting in a room, crunching a bunch of numbers that decided the benefit didn't justify the cost.

Hell, my computer was pretty old, and I finally just upgraded and I didn't even go super crazy (previously had a 1.8 GHz dual core opteron and 2GB ram, just upgraded to a phenom x4 and 8 GB ram) and while my upgrade was budget as hell, it's still made a world of difference compared to before. There are also plenty of people that have a console but don't have a gaming PC, so they only have the experience of the previous console to compare to.

So in the end I think RAM is like Pie: of course there's room for more, but at some point you look at it and look at the cost and determine it's not worth it.

#7 Posted by doobie (605 posts) -

why stop at 16GB. surely 65 or 127 GB would be MUCH better.

#8 Edited by bagrm (52 posts) -

It's all about costs. The console needs to cost somewhere between 300-500 dollars total to manufacture. That means that the CPU, GPU, RAM, hard disk, case, controller, etc. needs to cost total between 300-500 dollars to manufacture (I suppose it could cost a little more since consoles are historically sold at a loss). It would be difficult to meet this number if the machine has 16 GB of RAM considering that a decent GPU and ample hard disk space will be necessary this generation. Since the console manufacturers know that the machine will have a limited OS and limited applications, and this means that much less memory will be used due to OS overhead compared to a PC, it is easier for them to cut costs by including less memory because it would be hard to justify cutting the GPU or hard drive on a dedicated gaming/media machine. Basically the console manufacturers would rather have GPU memory and hard disk space than more RAM since the console will mostly be used for gaming and media consumption.

#9 Edited by TRega123 (29 posts) -

@demonknightinuyasha said:

I was reading something that was talking about RAM manufacturer's revenue being up but their profit being down, so while ram is super cheap right now for you and me, that seems to be more due to price wars than anything else. This may indicate that the cost per unit makes it unrealistic if they feel it's not actually needed. Which in the end the last consoles had 512mb or ram, so the new ones having gigabytes is going to feel like light years ahead, even if high end gaming computers now are putting in 16 GB + ram. At the the end of the day it was probably some dude sitting in a room, crunching a bunch of numbers that decided the benefit didn't justify the cost.

Hell, my computer was pretty old, and I finally just upgraded and I didn't even go super crazy (previously had a 1.8 GHz dual core opteron and 2GB ram, just upgraded to a phenom x4 and 8 GB ram) and while my upgrade was budget as hell, it's still made a world of difference compared to before. There are also plenty of people that have a console but don't have a gaming PC, so they only have the experience of the previous console to compare to.

So in the end I think RAM is like Pie: of course there's room for more, but at some point you look at it and look at the cost and determine it's not worth it.

This is true. Of course, the Orbis and Durango specs are only rumors-- they're probably not even final and number crunchers will come up with the end results. Those results may be 16GB or 8GB, but I seriously hope it is not the rumored 4GB. That would be abysmal. Historically, consoles have never had enough memory and the lack of memory ends up being a limiting factor to the potential of the console. Perhaps the time is right that we eliminate the bottleneck.

#10 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

Sony learned lessons about console pricing the hard way last time around. They don't want to get into the same position of having to strip out half the hardware from the machine after launch just to be competitive in the market.

#11 Posted by RE_Player1 (7563 posts) -

@musclerider said:

@TRega123 said:

Is there ever an instance where more memory (assuming the memory is of the same speed and quality) is not better?

When you're a company who wants to sell hardware at a reasonable price and/or margin?

#12 Edited by Marz (5658 posts) -

16gb is a waste to be honest. You gotta factor in that people code for GPU's and stuff too when they are making their games so system memory is less important unless it's using shared vram and system ram. Also i've never seen an actual PC game use more than 2gb of system memory.

#13 Posted by zeekthegeek (391 posts) -

Heard already that Sony has reconsidered the 4 GB and gone up to 8 (which their Devkits did have), not really much else to say about it - the reveal is in 2 weeks, so we'll see. I don't think we'll get a huge boost in performance from the extra RAM though, with faster optical drives and maybe an SSD? (I mean where would you even get a 120 GB magnetic drive these days, it would probably cost more to dig up that fossil than to just go for an SSD)

#14 Posted by mlarrabee (2993 posts) -

Most consoles are purchased by mothers and fathers for their children, and no one in that equation knows what RAM is. All they know is the price tag on the shipping product.

And sixteen GB would be nice, sure, but it's not really necessary. After all, the consoles don't have OS overhead or any of the extraneous background processes our computers run. For example, my MBP is currently using just under four of its eight Gigs running only my standard background applications and Chrome, leaving four for any Steam games I launch. In my uninformed belief, any console would likely have six-seven Gigs dedicated to the running game, reserving one or two for The Guide or XMB.

#16 Posted by Raven10 (1851 posts) -

I think 8 GB is more than enough. Of course it depends how much the OS is using, but I have 6 GB of RAM in my computer and it has never been a bottleneck as far as I can tell. Only very, very recently have I seen high end specs exceeding 6 GB and that has only been with Crysis 3 so far I believe. Even the recommended specs are only 4 GB there. The high end specs I would assume are for resolutions above 1080p. I think 8 GB should be fine for at least three years. 4 GB would be pushing it, but as long as they have 8 GB they should be fine for a while. And let's face it, for having only 512 MB of RAM to work with (and split between system and graphics at that) the last batch of PS3 titles look outstanding. God of War: Ascension, The Last of Us, and Beyond all look absolutely fantastic. What we are dealing with is a closed system. In addition, the chip in the system is a single unified chip, not separate like PC's, and in combination with the GDDR5 RAM on the PS4 and the 32 MB of EDRAM built directly onto the chip in the Durango, they should be able to do a ton with that RAM. I would say if these things last longer than 5 years we will start to see some RAM issues, but I don't see it being a problem for the first four years or so. When the 360 came out, many games already required 512 MB of RAM and recommended 1 GB. Today I have yet to see a game that won't work on 2 GB of RAM. I think the consoles are in much better shape as far as RAM is concerned than they were this generation.

#17 Posted by triple07 (1198 posts) -

I would be disappointed if its 4 gbs but I think 8 should be enough considering you have a system specifically built for gaming so it won't run the same as a PC with 8 gbs of RAM.

#18 Posted by VoshiNova (1698 posts) -

@DeathsWind said:

Do not even joke about python replacing c++
#19 Posted by Branthog (5583 posts) -

Memory in a dedicated single-purpose system can go a lot further than in an open-ended system like a PC. Of course, more is better. More everything, where hardware is concerned, is better.

Unfortunately, this is the biggest area in which console gaming is absolutely inferior by an order of magnitude to PC gaming. Where PC gaming can be as robust and powerful as you're willing to afford and most games (except shitty ports from the console) will benefit from absolutely every additional resource you throw at it, console games are a lowest-common-denominator device that doesn't have to provide the most robust, beautiful, smooth experience. They just have to provide a passable experience for the cheapest cost.

When both Sony's and Microsoft's consoles combined cost less than one high end GPU for the PC (and then, people like myself stuff two or three of those into their rigs), you are simply never going to provide a comparable experience on even ground. The only way it becomes fair is when you make the game for console and then do a shitty PC port, meaning that the game is limited not by the capacity of the system it's running on, but of the laziness (intentional or not) of the port and the restrictions of the target platform.

I'd gladly pay $1,000 for the next Playstation and another $1,000 for the next XBox. Unfortunately, that won't be an option. I am limited to the same hardware and capability of a system that is also marketed to the waitress living on tips who is the single mother of three boys and has to scrimp and save the entire year to buy the console her boys have been begging for.

@DeathsWind said:

Do not even joke about python replacing c++

There are far worse things than ditching an overly complicated, bloated, labyrinthine, kitchen-sink, overly OO dependent, painful language like C++.

@triple07 said:

I would be disappointed if its 4 gbs but I think 8 should be enough considering you have a system specifically built for gaming so it won't run the same as a PC with 8 gbs of RAM.

Considering they're going to be spending a significant chunk of available hardware dollars for each machine on stuffing stupid non-gaming or non-core shit into the box (like maybe built-in kinect style stuff, etc) -- I would be surprised at anything above 4gb. Actually, I'd be surprised if they truly have 4gb, even (meaning, that they dedicate 4gb to system memory and it isn't some bullshit where a chunk of it becomes dedicated GPU memory or something).

#20 Posted by Mr402 (144 posts) -

8 gigs of ram is plenty for a gaming pc at this time so I don't see why 4 gigs would not be fine for the next gen consoles. Have to understand these machines only have to spec high enough to give 1080p performance on a single hd monitor/television. Now maybe if we were talking 4k tv's which let's face it are many years from becoming mainstream if ever then I could see it but right now the rumored specs should provide ample performance for your average gaming consumer. What will hinder the performance more then anything is the cpu/gpu specs and the amount of ram that gpu can access for the frame buffer. Example BF3 and Skyrim (with mods) can eat up a ton of video ram depending on settings/resolution on pc. These factors will not come into play with consoles since those settings will be hard coded for optimal performance and mods will not be allowed anyway. Next gen consoles will still not equal or eclipse pc visuals/performance but they don't need to so it's a non issue.......

#21 Posted by Subjugation (4725 posts) -

16 is excessive. PCs likely won't use that much for a while, and they have significantly more overhead than consoles do. On a machine designed specifically for gaming that doesn't have to deal with all of the extraneous crap PCs do, I'm sure the consoles will be fine. I would be worried about CPUs and GPUs, not ram.

#22 Posted by triple07 (1198 posts) -

@Branthog said:

@triple07 said:

I would be disappointed if its 4 gbs but I think 8 should be enough considering you have a system specifically built for gaming so it won't run the same as a PC with 8 gbs of RAM.

Considering they're going to be spending a significant chunk of available hardware dollars for each machine on stuffing stupid non-gaming or non-core shit into the box (like maybe built-in kinect style stuff, etc) -- I would be surprised at anything above 4gb. Actually, I'd be surprised if they truly have 4gb, even (meaning, that they dedicate 4gb to system memory and it isn't some bullshit where a chunk of it becomes dedicated GPU memory or something).

You're probably right, I'm just being optimistic. Also I don't think the last part of my comment is accurate exactly but I'm tired and have been studying so I'm a little fried.

#23 Posted by Ekami (265 posts) -

After carefully reading this topic, I've deduced that there are apparently a lot of armchair ram experts.

#24 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

look at the games that can run on 512mbs of ram on current consoles. thats pretty amazing.

getting all pissy cus next gen consoles are going to be using over 500% ram current ones do is kinda crazy.

#25 Posted by Ekami (265 posts) -

I feel like mathematics would answer this question unless this topic has turned into some kind of fantasy ram league.

#26 Posted by Branthog (5583 posts) -

@Mr402 said:

8 gigs of ram is plenty for a gaming pc at this time so I don't see why 4 gigs would not be fine for the next gen consoles. Have to understand these machines only have to spec high enough to give 1080p performance on a single hd monitor/television. Now maybe if we were talking 4k tv's which let's face it are many years from becoming mainstream if ever then I could see it but right now the rumored specs should provide ample performance for your average gaming consumer. What will hinder the performance more then anything is the cpu/gpu specs and the amount of ram that gpu can access for the frame buffer. Example BF3 and Skyrim (with mods) can eat up a ton of video ram depending on settings/resolution on pc. These factors will not come into play with consoles since those settings will be hard coded for optimal performance and mods will not be allowed anyway. Next gen consoles will still not equal or eclipse pc visuals/performance but they don't need to so it's a non issue.......

That's a valid point, too. 8GB is plenty of memory for PC gaming. It's not enough for PC gaming and doing other things on that PC like running a VM that has an OS VPNed into the office and running a number of other applications at the same time. But for a dedicated gaming device that's only gaming . . . it's enough. For now (again, maybe not in eight years, which is presumably the life span of the next console).

On the other hand, with all the social networking bullshit and other additional cruft these fuckers want to add to consoles and the gaming experience, that isn't 8GB (or 4GB, more likely) solely dedicated to gaming.

#27 Posted by destruktive (1069 posts) -

also, most games on PC only use either 2 or 4 gigs of ram. For something that's made with gaming as it's main purpose, 8 gig would almost be too much. 4GB for games and 1-2 for system-level stuff would be more then enough.

#28 Posted by Branthog (5583 posts) -

@Ekami said:

After carefully reading this topic, I've deduced that there are apparently a lot of armchair ram experts.

It's kind of silly to define this conversation as being about "RAM expertise". It's like having a discussion about car tires, where being an expert in tires has little meaning when you also have to take into account things like what kind of car it'll be, what model of car, what purpose the car will be serving, what kind of engine will be in the car, etc.

And since the details on the hardware in these consoles is fairly limited, expertise of one particular aspect is of minimal value. It requires the context of the rest of the system it's integrated in. However, even armchair engineers can make some decent guesses and wishes based on their experiences with RAM limitations in current hardware.

@Clonedzero said:

look at the games that can run on 512mbs of ram on current consoles. thats pretty amazing.

getting all pissy cus next gen consoles are going to be using over 500% ram current ones do is kinda crazy.

Now look at those games that can run on 256mb to 512mb of RAM on consoles and compare them to those for the PC and optimized to make use of extensive available memory. Now take into consideration that the RAM you limit your hardware to today is going to be the RAM limitation imposed on development probably as late as 2020 (or even longer, depending on the life expectancy of this coming generation).

In my line of work, we deal with systems that start out in the hundreds of gigabytes of RAM. If there is one certainty, you can never have enough RAM and what you think is going to be enough is not going to be enough.

So the people in this thread "pissing" about more RAM have entirely valid desires. The only issue at play is not whether more RAM would be ideal, but what value to place on it in the scope of a system filled with cheap commodity hardware that has to be packaged into a little box that can all be sold for the price of a low to mid range video card.

#29 Posted by Asurastrike (2167 posts) -

My gaming PC has 8GB of RAM. Runs everything perfectly.

#30 Posted by Branthog (5583 posts) -

@Asurastrike said:

My gaming PC has 8GB of RAM. Runs everything perfectly.

Will that be the case with this same piece of hardware that you currently have today, in 2020?

We need to remember that we're not talking about "well, this is a decent hardware solution in 2013". We're talking about "how is this going to scale and maintain relevance from 2013 through 2020 and maybe later". Instead of thinking about how much RAM your PC has in 2013 and how it runs 2013's games in 2013, consider the PC you had in 2005 and how it would run 2013's games in 2013.

#31 Posted by Athadam (697 posts) -

The current gen consoles only have 512mb of memory?

That's a really small amount of ram but my consoles seem to run fine to me.

Anyways, I can't claim to be an expert on system memory, but from what I recall, the reason why PCs need more ram in general is because it has a lot of programs/functions operating in the back, while consoles are usually more simple and don't engage in as many tasks.

#32 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

@Branthog: yes more ram is in theory better, its not realitistic though.

when the hell has any modern game required more than 4-8gb of ram to run on a PC? none. (none that weren't horribly optimized mind you) and modern console games are honestly pretty amazingly optimized. consoles run games better than a PC with the same specs because they are specialized machines. makes sense.

yes, are super crazy realistic graphics possible? sure. we can pull it off, is it realistic to think games are ready to take that leap from a development point of view? not really. plus the hardware necessary for that is not viable for a mass audience gaming console, for high powered PC's sure. but thats a niche consumer base.

i mean they could make a 20gb super hyper powered console, but why? developers probably wont develop games that require that much, and the console itself would cost too much to sell well. yeah RAM's pretty cheap but ram can only do so much you need a good CPU and GPU to back it up, if those aren't super high spec'd then your ram is just sitting there doing nothing while your CPU is chugging along trying to keep up.

if you're the type of person who thinks 8gb isn't enough for a console, then console gaming isn't for you. personally i think modern console games look great, yeah PC games look better but i was playing skyrim on my 360 earlier today and had a moment where i was like "wow this looks great". today.

#33 Posted by Vinny_Says (5719 posts) -

I don't know shit about RAM but don't PCs need more of it because they are PCs and do all sorts of shit and not just play games like consoles do? Even an amateur like me can understand that...

#34 Posted by Ammut (25 posts) -

Sure $10-15 doesn't seem like that much but with 70 Million 360s sold to date any additional costs rack up pretty quickly. If you were promised a huge cash bonus for cost savings if you were in charge of the development would you throw in components that might be useful down the line or keep the money to yourself?

That $15 could also be put towards a slightly better cpu/gpu for a better peak performance upgrade. More Ram to have room to breathe is nice for developers but with consoles they can optimize the code better for with specific builds.

@Asurastrike said:

My gaming PC has 8GB of RAM. Runs everything perfectly.

I doubt you would notice a difference in any games at the moment if you cut it down to 4 unless you have a high end i7 and dual $250+ video cards on a demanding game.

#35 Posted by guanophobic (317 posts) -

@Clonedzero said:

@Branthog: yes more ram is in theory better, its not realitistic though.

when the hell has any modern game required more than 4-8gb of ram to run on a PC? none.

That argument doesn't hold up. Developers are mainly targeting consoles, and you'll see a steep ramp up in RAM requirements when the next generation of hardware is released.

#36 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

@guanophobic said:

@Clonedzero said:

@Branthog: yes more ram is in theory better, its not realitistic though.

when the hell has any modern game required more than 4-8gb of ram to run on a PC? none.

That argument doesn't hold up. Developers are mainly targeting consoles, and you'll see a steep ramp up in RAM requirements when the next generation of hardware is released.

yeah PC exclusives dont exist, i forgot....

#37 Posted by guanophobic (317 posts) -

@Clonedzero said:

@guanophobic said:

@Clonedzero said:

@Branthog: yes more ram is in theory better, its not realitistic though.

when the hell has any modern game required more than 4-8gb of ram to run on a PC? none.

That argument doesn't hold up. Developers are mainly targeting consoles, and you'll see a steep ramp up in RAM requirements when the next generation of hardware is released.

yeah PC exclusives dont exist, i forgot....

Name a AAA PC exclusive coming in the next 6 months?

Which was the last one?

#38 Posted by Branthog (5583 posts) -

@Castermhief117 said:

The current gen consoles only have 512mb of memory?

That's a really small amount of ram but my consoles seem to run fine to me.

Anyways, I can't claim to be an expert on system memory, but from what I recall, the reason why PCs need more ram in general is because it has a lot of programs/functions operating in the back, while consoles are usually more simple and don't engage in as many tasks.

I haven't kept up on which has which -- maybe both consoles have half a gig, now, but early on I believe one of them only had 256mb. Either way, whatever gamers think today, developers have been bitching about the memory limitations of both consoles since they were launched. So, I think the idea that it's somehow clearly enough can be dismissed. It's not that it's "enough". It's that it's all there is, so developers have to work with it. Period.

Even the developers of MAG on PS3 had to start cutting out content shortly after release. They wanted to keep adding new content throughout the life of the game, but memory requirements forced them to remove existing content to free up memory for new stuff. It was a real bitch.

Simply put - more memory always means more options and flexibility. If doubling the RAM in your system will add $5 or $10 to the cost of the system, it's worth it. But it won't happen, because consoles are a commodity market that is all about the margins and making compromises. They will put whatever RAM they think they can get away with in them. Developers will do what they can with it. It won't be enough, eventually. It will hamper the longevity of consoles and we'll be back where we are now, with the aging console experience, the superior PC experience, and waiting for the next big thing.

Unless the majority of console buyers are going to suddenly decide to be less stingy about the investment in their console purchase or manufacturers decide to eat a bigger loss in each console sold for the first couple years than they already are, this isn't going to change and will always be a design of compromises.

#39 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

I thought the PS3 only had 256mgs of ram

#40 Posted by Trav (241 posts) -

Considering what developers are pulling off on 512MB, I think 4-8 gigs should be fine.

#41 Posted by Branthog (5583 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

I thought the PS3 only had 256mgs of ram

Correct.

If you google something like "developers complain RAM limitations" and then PS3 or 360, you'll find plenty of articles about how development has been hindered since the very beginning by memory limitations.

#42 Posted by guanophobic (317 posts) -

@Branthog said:

I haven't kept up on which has which -- maybe both consoles have half a gig, now, but early on I believe one of them only had 256mb. Either way, whatever gamers think today, developers have been bitching about the memory limitations of both consoles since they were launched. So, I think the idea that it's somehow clearly enough can be dismissed. It's not that it's "enough". It's that it's all there is, so developers have to work with it. Period.

Even the developers of MAG on PS3 had to start cutting out content shortly after release. They wanted to keep adding new content throughout the life of the game, but memory requirements forced them to remove existing content to free up memory for new stuff. It was a real bitch.

Both PS3 and 360 initially had 256MB of RAM, but Epic apparently made Microsoft reconsider and slap double that with a Unreal Engine 3 tech demo.

The 360 started packing 1GB of RAM since 2011 i think, since it's now so cheap, PS3 is using shared 512MB between CPU and GPU (meaning 256MB each).

People whining about how 512 is clearly enough now? Since going to PC and now back to consoles is a pain, seeing how blurry every texture is.

Simply put - more memory always means more options and flexibility. If doubling the RAM in your system will add $5 or $10 to the cost of the system, it's worth it. But it won't happen, because consoles are a commodity market that is all about the margins and making compromises. They will put whatever RAM they think they can get away with in them. Developers will do what they can with it. It won't be enough, eventually. It will hamper the longevity of consoles and we'll be back where we are now, with the aging console experience, the superior PC experience, and waiting for the next big thing.
Unless the majority of console buyers are going to suddenly decide to be less stingy about the investment in their console purchase or manufacturers decide to eat a bigger loss in each console sold for the first couple years than they already are, this isn't going to change and will always be a design of compromises.

I'm thinking the same.

I'm doubting they'll put as much risk in how much money they're willing to lose (if at all) per console next gen, seeing the success of Nintendo/Wii this gen.

This combined with the current mindset people have about mobile/PC taking over, can really hurt console gaming in the future.

#43 Posted by Athadam (697 posts) -

@Branthog said:

@Castermhief117 said:

The current gen consoles only have 512mb of memory?

That's a really small amount of ram but my consoles seem to run fine to me.

Anyways, I can't claim to be an expert on system memory, but from what I recall, the reason why PCs need more ram in general is because it has a lot of programs/functions operating in the back, while consoles are usually more simple and don't engage in as many tasks.

I haven't kept up on which has which -- maybe both consoles have half a gig, now, but early on I believe one of them only had 256mb. Either way, whatever gamers think today, developers have been bitching about the memory limitations of both consoles since they were launched. So, I think the idea that it's somehow clearly enough can be dismissed. It's not that it's "enough". It's that it's all there is, so developers have to work with it. Period.

Even the developers of MAG on PS3 had to start cutting out content shortly after release. They wanted to keep adding new content throughout the life of the game, but memory requirements forced them to remove existing content to free up memory for new stuff. It was a real bitch.

Simply put - more memory always means more options and flexibility. If doubling the RAM in your system will add $5 or $10 to the cost of the system, it's worth it. But it won't happen, because consoles are a commodity market that is all about the margins and making compromises. They will put whatever RAM they think they can get away with in them. Developers will do what they can with it. It won't be enough, eventually. It will hamper the longevity of consoles and we'll be back where we are now, with the aging console experience, the superior PC experience, and waiting for the next big thing.

Unless the majority of console buyers are going to suddenly decide to be less stingy about the investment in their console purchase or manufacturers decide to eat a bigger loss in each console sold for the first couple years than they already are, this isn't going to change and will always be a design of compromises.

That's interesting. But are developers already complaining about the new ram now?

Also - I did a quick research and I found an interesting website that lists the price of common ram sizes throughout time.

http://www.jcmit.com/memoryprice.htm

Console makers do choose the most common sizes and most bang for the buck RAM sizes during release time.

But what I find interesting is that the original Xbox had 64mb of ram, while the Xbox 360 had 512, meaning that the 360 had eight times more ram than its predecessor. However, the new Xbox will have 8gb of ram, meaning it will have sixteen times the ram of its predecessor.

The PS2 also only had 32, and the PS3 only had 256 - if that's anything of note.

#44 Posted by Nadril (536 posts) -

8GB of RAM is more than enough for a console. I hate it when people throw in 16GB+ into their gaming rig and talk about it like it actually makes a difference. Unless you are doing some massive 3D or video rendering 8GB is more than enough for any game out there.

When you consider too that a console is dedicated to running those games and, yeah, 8GB is fine.

#45 Posted by Blimble (302 posts) -

Who cares about RAM? We just need bigger disks to fit all the graphics on and more holes in them to make them load faster. Silly people

#46 Edited by Branthog (5583 posts) -

@Nadril said:

8GB of RAM is more than enough for a console. I hate it when people throw in 16GB+ into their gaming rig and talk about it like it actually makes a difference. Unless you are doing some massive 3D or video rendering 8GB is more than enough for any game out there.

When you consider too that a console is dedicated to running those games and, yeah, 8GB is fine.

I would hate to run on only 8 GB while playing a big game and running a VM. Or two VMs. Having 16GB makes that passable and 32GB would be ideal for that, except that it often also comes with other compromises due to the CPU's IMC (such as overall throughput speed).

We also don't know that the new consoles will be inherently single utility. In fact, I'd almost guarantee they won't be. That memory will surely be shared with the GPU and you'll have a lot more than just your game running, such as all the social bullshit and overlays I'm sure they'll want to impose upon people.

Generally, however, PC and console memory usage is a little bit of an apples and oranges comparison since most people presumably use their PC for a lot more than just fucking around with a shitty video game all the time. Nevertheless, RAM is cheap and it's the easiest resource to add to expand capabilities -- whether you're talking about desktops, consoles, or the systems that I work with every day (which are measured in a minimum of hundreds of gigabytes of RAM).

@Blimble said:

Who cares about RAM? We just need bigger disks to fit all the graphics on and more holes in them to make them load faster. Silly people

Frankly, I think it's time for console makers to switch to double-sided and high-density floppies. These 720KB limitations are bullshit!

#47 Posted by Gnubberen (774 posts) -

@guanophobic said:

Name a AAA PC exclusive coming in the next 6 months?

Which was the last one?

.... Heart of the Swarm?

*runs away*

#48 Posted by guanophobic (317 posts) -

@FlemmingM said:

@guanophobic said:

Name a AAA PC exclusive coming in the next 6 months?

Which was the last one?

.... Heart of the Swarm?

*runs away*

True, but that's an expansion to a game that doesn't even make modern laptops sweat...

#49 Edited by Branthog (5583 posts) -

@FlemmingM said:

@guanophobic said:

Name a AAA PC exclusive coming in the next 6 months?

Which was the last one?

.... Heart of the Swarm?

*runs away*

There are a ton in 2013. However, uh, Sim City. Company of Heroes 2. . . . Hawken?

Also, it doesn't have to even just be exclusive. How about all the titles that are simply a far superior experience on something with more resources of a PC and interface of PC peripherals? It counts for a hell of a lot. The only downside being the shitty lazy ports (which I sometimes wonder if they're a snotty attempt to sabotage the PC platform so they don't have to focus on it anymore, because if all you can get are shitty console textures and shitty console limitations on your $4k PC, then you might as well just play them on a fucking console, right?).

#50 Posted by SomeJerk (3305 posts) -

I thought naive "CONSOLE = PC SO THEY NEED TO BE EQUAL IN SPECS" threads were neogaf exclusive.