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.