How much RAM do you have in your computer right now? How much will you have in five years? These are the sort of questions Microsoft and Sony will have to be thinking about when finalizing the designs for the tenatively-named Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4. More RAM prevents bottlenecks and improves performance, but can also be one of the most expensive parts of a new console. With that in mind, Crytek Chief Executive Cevat Yerli commented to VideoGamer.com about what we might see from them.
“If they find ways to cheapen the cost to a degree they could triple or quadruple their memory. Just say, ‘Hey we’re going to have 32 gigs of memory’. That would be quite amazing because memory can do so many more techniques and tricks.”
This comment is alluding to the fact that we could expect to see about 8 GB of RAM on the next-gen consoles, compared to the current 512 MB on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. That amount of RAM would be relatively standard for a gaming PC in today’s world, and consoles need to be ahead of the game because they need to last longer than the average PC. However, Yerli goes on to suggest that this may not be inevitable and the new consoles will not be as far ahead of PCs because of a focus on free-to-play content and the never ending price wars.
This would keep in line with the executive’s comments last month that Crysis 3 had left “not even 1%” of the next-gen consoles power untouched, if you roughly equate the expected specifications to that of a PC, they fit with a system that will run Crysis 3 with nothing left to spare. If the consoles do go this route though, they could find that three to four years from now they are under-powered which means Microsoft and Sony can sell upgrades. I can certainly see that happening.