The Xbox One’s eSRAM is a bottleneck that makes it tricky to achieve a resolution of 1080p, says Sniper Elite 3 producer Jean-Baptiste Bolcato.
Speaking with Gaming Bolt, Bolcato said the Xbox One’s 32MB of high-speed eSRAM was too small to be easily used to output full resolution textures.
“It’s such a small size within there that we can’t do everything in 1080p with that little buffer of super-fast RAM,” he said.
“It means you have to do it in chunks or using tricks, tiling it and so on.
“It’s a bit like the reverse of the PS3. PS3 was harder to program for than the Xbox 360. Now it seems like everything has reversed but it doesn’t mean [Xbox One is] far less powerful – it’s just a pain in the ass to start with,” he added.
“We are on fine ground now but the first few months were hell.”
However, hitting 1080p on Xbox One should become easier as the system is updated, said Bolcato.
“They are releasing a new SDK that’s much faster and we will be comfortably running at 1080p on Xbox One," he said.
“We were worried six months ago and we are not anymore – it’s got better and they are quite comparable machines.
“The Xbox One is a bit more multimedia, a bit more hub-centric so it’s a bit more complex. There’s stuff you can and can’t do because it’s a sort of multimedia hub,” he added.
“PS4 doesn’t have that. PS4 is just a games machine.”
On paper the PlayStation 4 is more powerful, but Bolcato believes the Xbox One will catch up eventually.
“PS4 has 8GB and it’s almost as fast as eSRAM, but at the same time you can go a little bit further with it, because you don’t have this slower memory [the DDR3 of the Xbox One],” he said.
Rebellion is targeting 1080p and 60 frames per second on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for Sniper Elite 3, which is expected to launch later this year on the aforementioned consoles along with versions for Windows PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.
Bolcato’s comments echo those of Slightly Mad Studios creative director Andy Turdor, who told Gaming Bolt last year that game developers would find workarounds for the small size of the Xbox One’s eSRAM.
“Careful use of eSRAM like mitigates some of the advantage that PS4 has with its faster unified GDDR5 memory,” he said.