Digital Foundry has been handed an internal PS4 document by a "well-placed development source," which states the system reserves 3.5GB of its 8GB GDDR5 memory for the operating system, which would leave around 4.5GB of space for game code. Other sources have told EG that an additional 1GB of "flexible memory" is reclaimable from the OS reservation. Sony has issued a statement on these claims as well.
Comment from Sony
"We would like to clear up a misunderstanding regarding our "direct" and "flexible" memory systems," the firm said to Eurogamer in a statement. "The article states that "flexible" memory is borrowed from the OS, and must be returned when requested - that's not actually the case.
"The actual true distinction is that:
"Direct Memory" is memory allocated under the traditional video game model, so the game controls all aspects of its allocation -
"Flexible Memory" is memory managed by the PS4 OS on the game's behalf, and allows games to use some very nice FreeBSD virtual memory functionality. However this memory is 100% the game's memory, and is never used by the OS, and as it is the game's memory it should be easy for every developer to use it.
"We have no comment to make on the amount of memory reserved by the system or what it is used for."
So, basically now it means that: 4.5GB of conventional RAM is available to developers plus the OS-controlled flexible memory; there's a 1GB virtual address space, split into two areas - 512MB of on-chip RAM is used (the physical area) and another 512MB is "paged" but 5GB of it is available to developers.
"The good news is that the amount is static and not dictated by OS functions as we stated in our original post, making it a lot easier for developers to work with," said Digital Foundry.
My head hurts no less after that than it did yesterday.
I know nothing when it comes to specs. I know how much space is left on my PC hard drive because I can see the numbers. That's it. In short, if I try to discuss anything technological I will come off as an idiot (shocking!) so I will just leave the main bits from the EG article below and not try to analyze anything for you. Plus, it might make me cry to try.
According to the report, Sony's internal documents state 4.5GB is "the baseline amount of guaranteed memory available for game-makers and most likely what the lion's share of launch titles will be using."
However, other sources close to the console maker state developers can "request up to an additional gigabyte of "flexible memory", and use it to boost elements of the game - but only if the background OS can spare it."
Such a request isn't "trivial," and at the start it will probably only be made available to first-party developers.
The normal mode setting for devkits shows 4.5GB of memory is usable, and the large mode increases this to 5.25GB - but the extra RAM here is "only available for application development."
Yeah. My brain hurts already, so for the full thing and how this compares to Xbox One and what it means for you - as a gamer - head on through the link for the full thing.
Both consoles are out sometime in November.