Developers working on titles for the PlayStation 4 now have access to an addition processing core on the console. The change came as a surprise during when it was found listed in the release notes for a recent version of FMOD Studio’s middleware platform.
It was originally understood that the PlayStation 4 would ship with an eight core processor, but only six of those would be made available to developers. The remaining two would be reserved for OS level operations. However, it looks like Sony has had a change of heart and is allowing developers to access and additional core to get more done.
At the moment, it isn’t quite clear how the change will affect developers. It is assumed that the seventh available core will be pulling double duty by also devoting some of its power to the operating system. The situation doesn’t quite mean that there will be a significant jump in power for the PS4, but it will probably help with developing games for the next few years.
In hindsight, Sony’s move to unlock the seventh core should not have come as too much of a surprise. Microsoft had already done the same thing months ago; although that was done by allowing devs to access processing power normally reserved for Kinect commands and operations. Of course, the move was limited by the fact that the core still has to devote some power to running the Kinect.
PS4 owners will not be seeing any gameplay improvements to their games at the moment. Not unless the developers release a patch to take advantage of the additional processor. It is conceivable that this could be the case with some of the more demanding games like the Witcher 3 or Fallout 4, although the level of optimisation available to consoles may make the move unnecessary.
[Source: Ars Technica]