PS3's memory limit is a "challenge" for developers

ps3 brainGame developers have often remarked that the PS3 is not the easiest game console to program for. The formidable Cell processor, which is at the heart of the game machine, has often had programmers burning the late night oil in trying to tame the powerful beast.

The road is smoothing out but delays and setbacks still occur. One other reason why the PS3 is so challenging to program for was expressed by Monster Madness producer, Lee Perez.

Perez thinks that the PS3s memory limitation is the culprit and bottleneck for making the lives of game developers a difficult hill to climb.

"The biggest thing is the memory. The PS3 only has 256 megs of memory [for the graphics chip]. The 360 has 512 so you have twice the memory when you load a level. Now the offset to that is the Cell processor, so if you understand and your engine can understand how to use the multiple cores in tandem you can offset that.

"Theoretically you can do a lot more, especially if you have a lot of physics objects because it’s very math intensive, not memory intensive. So finding that sweet spot where your game does well in both and it takes advantage of its individual skills is tough."

Perez said that porting the Xbox 360 game, Monster Madness to the PS3, was a challenge because they were caught off guard with the smaller memory resources of the PS3’s GPU.

"It was originally designed for the 360 which has double the memory so we had a lot of other objects and things going on. And then we had to force it to work with half the memory. In hindsight that wasn’t taken into account. So a lot of retooling in the engine and how those objects are handled had to be done in order to work."

But in spite of the difficulties some developers are still having, the amount of games coming out for the PS3 is definitely increasing and this is great news for the once game-starved fans of the machine.



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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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