Skyrim’s PS3 Problems Related to Hardware
Many PS3 users have encountered a problem while playing the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. After gamesave data reaches about 4MB, the game has severe framerate and lag issues. Now, Fallout New Vegas developer Joshua Sawyer has explained the source of the problem, and it is not programming related. He states, “The Xbox 360 has a unified memory pool: 512 megs of RAM usable as system memory or graphics memory. The PS3 has a divided memory pool: 256 megs for system, 256 for graphics. It’s the same total amount of memory, but not as flexible for a developer to make use of.”
Basically what is happening is that the more the game is played, the more little objects like books, pots, or papers are using up memory in the game. Where the PS3 has a limit of 256MB of system memory, it doesn’t take long for those objects to dominate that space and cause the issues discussed. As far as fixing the issue goes, it is not easy. Sawyer continues, “We’re talking about how the engine fundamentally saves off and references data at run time. Restructuring how that works would require a large time commitment.”
So it looks like PS3 users have to deal with the problem for the time being. The best fix is to shut the system down completely. Once the system is restarted, the game functions fine for about an hour or two.