Next-gen games will hit RAM ceiling on PS4 and Xbox One, Crytek believes

The 8GB of RAM housed in both PS4 and Xbox One will not be enough to prevent developers being limited, according to Crytek.

Both machines house 8GB of RAM – that’s sixteen times more than the 512MB that was available on both Xbox 360 and PS3 (the latter of which was split across system and video).

But speaking to GamingBolt, Crytek’s US engine business development manager Sean Tracy reckons it’s still not enough.

8GBs can easily be filled up, but also keep in mind that developers don’t necessarily even have access to all of it,” he said. For example the Xbox One retains some of the RAM for OS purposes. Since technology progresses exponentially, we will soon find that the computational requirements of games will quickly hit the ceiling of a few gigs of ram.

We already had to manage quite intensely our memory usage throughout Ryse and this will be one of the limiting factors surely in this generation. As hardware gets stronger the complexity of scenes can be increased and the dynamism within them. However, with that said it’s not the raw power alone that will allow for photorealistic graphics but technology that intelligently scales and utilizes all that the hardware has to offer.”

None of which is to say that Crytek isn’t pleased with the extra power afforded to them by both machines.

We are delighted with the updates to the next-gen hardware but of course always want more,” Tracey added. Though the PS4 and Xbox-One don’t offer an enormous jump over the previous generation in terms of raw processing power, the custom AMD APU’s within both platforms represent a huge leap forward in terms of integration and capability.”

One caveat, however, is the clarification that any future CryEngine games on both platforms will likely be pegged at just 30fps.

CryEngine has classically been designed at a 30fps target,” he stated. Keep in mind that running at 60fps means you have to fit your whole game, renderer and all into only 16ms vs 33ms for 30fps!

Albeit, you can surely achieve 60fps with the CRYENGINE but I can’t say for a certainty that you could retain the amount of scene complexity that games like Ryse and Crysis currently have. As we fight to squeeze every millisecond out from the next gen consoles we usually don’t see a huge value sacrificing 50 per cent of our computational time per frame at least for the types of high fidelity realistic scenes that we include in our games. We leverage every bit of computational time we can get so that we can deliver this directly to the gamer through unrivalled visuals.”

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