Developer blog Innerbits has a great breakdown
of the most recent PlayStation 3 Software Development Kit, version 1.60. They provide detailed information on some of the more technical aspects of the PS3's operating system from a developer's perspective. The site analyzed the memory cost of the different features of the SDK and detailed the major ones. Here are the most interesting bits:
- OS footprint reduced from 64MB in December to 52MB in the most recent release, roughly a 20% drop in resource cost.
- Friends list costs 25 MB (?!) + 8MB for startup
- Remote play for PS3 games possible - costs only 8 MB
- PS3 OS cost: 84MB | X360 OS cost: 32MB (ouch)
Sony is clearly trying hard to optimize the OS, improving it every release and adding more functionality while reducing memory footprint. Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go. Every megabyte that the PlayStation 3 OS uses is one less megabyte of space that developers can use for better textures, quicker load times, and faster framerates. Sony is going to have a difficult time convincing studios to incorporate the different PSN features if the developers have to devote such a large amount of memory to them.
According to Innerbits, the next SDK release should be late May or June. They anticipate gaining additional memory back, so hopefully in the future we'll see more and more game companies utilize these features as their resource cost drop.