A lot has been said about the capabilities of the ninth generation consoles. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles offer significantly higher processing and graphics horsepower than their predecessors. Both Sony and Microsoft have made much about how they’ll leverage these capabilities, something that we’ve gotten to see in live-streams over the past month. We’ve also head a lot said about the massive improvement to I/O throughput thanks to the high-speed SSD storage used in both consoles.
Obsidian, however, (of Fallout: New Vegas and The Outer Worlds fame) seems to have a different idea about what matters most with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. According to Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart, the increased RAM allocation and the system memory configuration are the biggest improvements this generation. Urquhart told the source that while RAM might not be the sexiest addition to the new consoles, more RAM means more NPC, better streaming, and bigger environments.
In a way, Urquhart’s comment is right on the mark. Modern late-gen games struggle to run at all on PCs with 8GB configurations. Games like Red Dead Redemption 2 just decide to crash at random when there isn’t enough free memory. While bigger ninth-gen worlds will definitely leverage fast storage, high-performance CPUs, and 4K-ready GPUs to ensure that next-gen titles perform well, that 16GB RAM allocation is what makes much of that possible at all.