PS3 OS memory footprint slashed

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One of PS3’s original memory weaknesses was its large Operating System memory footprint, but it has once again been slashed. The console originally had an OS footprint of around 120MB’s spread accross both the XDR and DDR Ram, which was soon reduced to 96MB (64MB on XDR and 32MB on DDR).

Compared to the Xbox 360’s total 32MBs used for its OS, the PS3’s was incredibly bloated. And lets face it, PS3 developers needed as much as memory as they could get. However, according to Sony’s latest documents, the PS3 is now only using 50MBs for its OS, despite the addition of many new features, such as the in-game XMB. 7MBs of local memory is used, alongside 43MBs main memory.

So how have they been able to reduce the memoy usage while also adding features? The answer is actually in that very question. Unlike Microsoft, who knew what features they were going to use their memory for, Sony was still in the deveopment stages when they launched the PS3. Therefore, they reserved a big bunch of memory for future features development – once they locked these down they were able to continuously give memoy back to developers, while also refining each new feature’s memory usage.

If Sony had discovered a feature that they wanted to implement later in the game, but found that it would use far too much memory, they would be unable to increase the OS memory, since it would mess up many a video game that was using this memory.

Sony may have also cut down memory usage by making a number of features optional, such as in-game music, which they may have removed from the default OS memory footprint.

Readers Comments (10)

  1. So what does that mean? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? I’m ok with the PS3 actual performance

  2. It’s a good thing, developers have more memory to use for their game engines 🙂

  3. @gringo

    Yes it makes it better, the more memory the more textures and lighting devs can add to their games

  4. Plus it makes the XMB a little smoother here and there. Very nice SO-NEE.

  5. BottleNeckEffeK December 18, 2009 @ 13:46

    nice good news

  6. Good news for devs and gamers. This means it’ll make games hangs less. It also means games will be able to load much faster while streaming from the disc. Much like how Uncharted 2 was. You can play the whole game straight and won’t see a loading screen going into the next chapter.

  7. Tarbis – giving back more memory to developers does not magically mean they earn the coding skills of Naughty Dog. ND’s ability to remove loading completely is to do with loading data into the HDD and using it as a cache. Streaming form the disc at 9mb/s is very slow – and aving more RAM is not going to change that.

  8. It means that unlike Microsoft, Sony thinks ahead. Imagine if Windows worked like this.

  9. This may be a stupid question (and it probably is) but is this a possibility to allow cross game chat?

  10. It neither supports nor detracts from the possibility of cross game voice chat. However, Sony intends to implement the feature and has controversially polled whether they should include it in a premium paid for service.

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