News Article

PS4 Developers Didn't Know About the Console's 8GB GDDR5 RAM

Posted by Sammy Barker

Platform holder kept specifications secret

While February’s big PlayStation 4 coming out party prompted plenty of gasps around the globe, the sharpest intake of breath came when system architect Mark Cerny confirmed that the next generation system would ship with 8GB GDDR5 RAM. However, the revelation didn't just shake the media and fans alike – it also came as a complete surprise to large pockets of the development community, who had no idea how much memory the manufacturer was packing into the impending console.

"We were told [the PS4] was 4GB originally," Just Add Water’s CEO Stewart Gilray told “We first knew it had 8GBs when Mark said at the event's stage, 'And it has 8GB of memory.' We'd had kits at that point for a good while."

Gilray added that he suspects only “a couple of really close first-parties" knew about the increase in memory prior to the system’s announcement, adding that most studios were likely satisfied with the 4GB included with the development kits. "It's a fantastic amount of memory," he continued. "Especially GDDR5 memory, because it's so fast you don't have to have everything there at once. You can swap it in and out instantly, effectively. But when they said 8GB it was like, 'Okay.'"

In addition, Gilray explained that Sony’s already “ring-fenced” the PS4’s system memory, meaning that many of the console’s secondary functions will operate in-game. "When you press the PlayStation button on a PS3 game, you get the basic XMB up [but] to do anything you have to quit the game, because of the memory for it,” he explained. “With the PS4 we don't have that because the system memory is already ring-fenced for itself."

Just Add Water is already hard at work on a new title for Sony’s next generation system, but specific details are being kept under wraps. “We can’t talk about what we’re working on just yet,” the studio said on its official blog. “Just be assured that it’ll be worth the wait.”


User Comments (10)



IAmNotWill said:

I'm loving what Sony is doing with the features and download speeds. But I'm a little weary of the cost of the system. Sony kinda sneaked off stage without dropping any hints on a price point back in February... 8 GB of GDDR RAM will take up a significant portion of the total cost. I'm just hoping that won't mean an expensive console for the consumer...

I'd hate for this be like the "Five-hundred and ninety-nine U.S. dollars" ordeal.



hYdeks said:

@brendon987 $400 US might be lightly, it sounds like this system is gonna be more like $500! All these features and that are nice, but alot of it seems very unnessary, I just want good games and a fun experience.



SuperNictendo said:

@hydeks True story. Im excited but this is gonna get too expensive. I just want sum games. They dont even have to look like Avatar



Ginkgo said:

8 GB is necessary both to future proof the system and to compete with MS. And memory is not really that expensive. 8GB is a great thing.



ShogunRok said:

Am I the only one who read the headline in the same style of "B*tches don't know 'bout my 8GB GDDR5 RAM"? No? OK then.

Anyway I bet a lot of developers were chuffed when they heard the news. PS3's RAM has played a crucial part in making numerous studios hate on the machine, after all.



hamispink said:

@IAmNotWill @Ginkgo Yeah, it is more expensive, and I've heard that Sony could be running into supply issues with so much GDDR5 RAM in the system unless manufacturers are stepping up production. They only make so much as this type of memory is only used in Graphics cards.

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