Skyrim PS3 Lag Issue Explained by Fallout Dev
Fallout: New Vegas director Joshua Sawyer has explained the reason for the lag issue experienced on the PS3 version of Skyrim and why the issue isn’t seen on the X-Box 360 or PC versions. Though Sawyer didn’t work on Skyrim, the two games share similar base technology, and according to Sawyer, the problem is an “engine-level issue” that would take a “large time commitment” to fix.
The longer you play a character, the more bit differences on objects (characters, pencils on tables, containers, etc.) get saved off and carried around in memory. I think we’ve seen save games that are pushing 19 megs, which can be really crippling in some areas.
In response to why the issue is only seen on the PS3, Sawyer said:
The problems are most pronounced on the PS3 because the PS3 has a divided memory pool. 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.
Will there ever be a fix? According to this further snippet from Sawyer, it sounds unlikely:
It’s an engine-level issue with how the save game data is stored. 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.
The issues Skyrim’s latest 1.2 Patch has introduced certainly aren’t promising.