Developer confirms PlayStation Vita RAM cut

Novarama CEO reveals initial specs for handheld have changed

In a new interview Novarama CEO Dani Sánchez-Crespo seemed to confirm that Sony's handheld has suffered a cut in RAM since the initial specs were shared with developers.

"That won’t affect us," he told Develop when asked if the RAM cut would hurt Novarama's current Vita development.

"It’s actually good for developers to work under constraint. Generally for Vita, we still have a whole lot of headroom in terms of GPU power, CPU power and indeed RAM."

The rumours of a cut started in May, when IndustryGamers reported that RAM had been reduced from 512MB to 256MB.

But Sánchez-Crespo also pointed out that the system's specs were still a big improvement on previous models.

"Remember the PSP had 32 MG of RAM, we have about ten times that now. And the system’s battery life, by the way, is really good. You’d think with all the processing power that it would drain fast, but it’s fantastic."

In June Novarama announced it had signed an exclusivity deal with Sony. Novarama specialises in alternate reality games, and previously created Invizimals doe the PSP.

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Latest comments (11)

Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer 8 years ago
Removing RAM is always a bad decision in the long run. Just look at the current consoles like the xbox 360 or the PS3, if both had like 1GB total ram (or even 256MB more) developers could get even more out those consoles..
But then again, even though the PSVita will be a great handheld gamingconsole, it propably will have a lot LOT of problems getting the consumer to buy it when they already have a smartphone which is also quite capable of doing games. Personally I would buy the PSVita over any current smartphone when it comes to controls, as I really hate the touchscreen 'controls', having my fingers over the screen during real gaming is not my idea of good gaming, it blocks too much of the screen.. swiping now and then isn't a problem but for a platformer touchscreen only is just bad gaming IMHO..
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Christian Philippe Guay Technical Game Designer, Gameloft Montreal8 years ago
I agree with Andrew, that's just bad.
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Gary Lucero QA Analyst, Advanced 8 years ago
I wonder how a $300 Vita will sell now that the 3DS is $170? I know it's more powerful and that it really is for a different market, but it's going to sound awfully expensive now.
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Adam Campbell Studying Games Technology, City University London8 years ago
I'm not surprised by the cut and not particularly disappointed, but the defence given about 'working under constraint' is patronising and nonsensical. Consoles already force working under constraint, but RAM is the biggest problem in console development. So whilst I can understand the reduction for balance and cost reasons, the defence is disingenuous in my opinion.
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Rafael Brown Lead Designer, id software8 years ago
A horrible short term decision that will affect Sony for years to come. RAM is always the last thing you should cut. They'll find in 2 years that they'll need more than 256MB when the average smartphone has 1GB or more...
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Jamie Watson Studying Bachelor of Games & Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology8 years ago
i wouldnt be suprised if they released a PS vita model with 1-2GB+ of ram in a year or two due to lack of ram..

...i wish .
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany8 years ago
Indeed, in the long term it may translate as capped versions of PS3 Games.

Wish I'm wrong.
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James Boulton Owner, Retro HQ Ltd8 years ago
To be quite honest if they've cut the RAM from 512MB to 256MB it's not going to make very much difference, that's still plenty of RAM. People just need to be creative.

Developers these days do tend to be wasteful just because there is a hell of a lot of available memory. The number of times I've seen textures massively oversized is just ridiculous. Artists generally dont seem to correlate the number of pixels that a texture is likely to render to on screen to the texture size. If it will only ever render to about 32x32 on screen, dont make the texture bigger than that.

Anyway, I do tend to agree with the sentiment of working under constraints, I actually prefer it. Although to be fair, RAM constraints aren't very interesting -- just means you have to be aware of real-time data decompression and streaming with very large titles.

If they had skimped on the GPU power, embedded VRAM or CPU, however, you'd hear me bitching...
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Chances are, they made a call to cull the RAM, and maybe if there is favorable uptake, upgrade the RAM with Vita 2 (thus taking a leaf out of the Cult of mac sales 101)

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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 8 years ago
This is a bad move, from my point of view. As an early adopter, I'd much rather pay a bit more initially and have the full RAM complement on my first machine than be forced to buy a new one later if they decide to expand the next model, or just live without certain features as I did for so long on my PSP. (Not having a way to suspend a game and go back to the XMB on my PSP-1000 was extremely annoying; it's one of the reasons I ended up buying a new model.)
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 8 years ago
That said, other sources claim that there's been no cut. Perhaps it's always been intended to have 256 MB of RAM and someone just got confused by a development console that had 512 MB?

(BTW, clicking "Edit comment" and then submitting the updated comment returns a message saying that I don't have permission to access edit_comment.php on this server.)
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