Xbox One’s eSRAM issue won’t be fixed–but it doesn’t matter

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Bottleneck

The Xbox One sports slower versions of essentially the same hardware as the PlayStation 4. the main differentiator though, is the custom eSRAM solution in the Xbox One to make up for the slower DDR3 memory. Right now, it’s a bottleneck that’s keeping games looking slightly worse on the Xbox One. It’s not going away – but there may be some impending workarounds.

The guys at Crytek are incredibly talented at making games that look incredible, but completely lack any soul. They did just that with Ryse for the Xbox One. It’s a visually sumptuous, and one of the nicest looking games of this new generation.

Crytek knows a thing or two about getting the Xbox One to shine, so the folks at Gaming bolt asked them about the eSRAM bottleneck, and whether or not the bottleneck would ever go away.

“I can’t speak to whether this will be patched or improved in the future, but I wouldn’t expect it as a developer,” Crytek’s US Engine Business Development Manager Sean Tracy said to GamingBolt.  “Game developers are masters at engineering workarounds to hardware limitations and I think you’ll see unique and novel technology developed just for such a purpose.”

Essentially, what he’s saying is that the physical limitations  in the Xbox One are set to stay. That’s pretty obvious, as you can’t upgrade console hardware. However, he does expect a bit of software wizardry to overcome those limitations.

Overall though, Crytek is pretty happy with both consoles, even though neither really offer all that much more raw horse-power than the previous generation of consoles.

“We are delighted with the updates to the next-gen hardware but of course always want more! The unified architecture of the APU’s allows us to easily leverage massive amounts of resources for all kinds of features including rendering, physics, animation and more. 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.

“This seems to us as a thin and very fast intercommunication layer between what used to be dealt with as separate chips (CPU and GPU). Practically this yields great results when used for re-projection techniques like reflections or occlusion as well as for massive compute shader calculations which we use for all our deferred lighting computation.”

So the new consoles are weak, yet powerful at the same time and the Xbox One is the weaker of the two, though that itself doesn’t matter. Okay then.

Last Updated: May 9, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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