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How Naughty Dog Bypasses Uncharted Memory Issue

Naughty Dog has often said that only the PlayStation 3 is capable of producing their virtual visions, but did you know that Uncharted 2 almost didn't "fit" on Sony's machine?

We're talking about a super ambitious team that wants to get the most out of themselves and as a direct result, the most out of the equipment they utilize. They're shooting for the stars again with Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, and as Naughty Dog boss Christophe Balestra told Edge, they actually "have to be uncomfortable."

"If anyone on the team makes a face like, 'Oh, we're f*cked', then we know we're good. We have to be uncomfortable. Three weeks before shipping Uncharted 2, we couldn't even fit the game in memory. The day we have no solution to that, that's going to be a real problem."

So how to fix the problem? Simple. Make it fit. Balestra says the team "will always go beyond what we have at our disposal," and he referenced the newly released burning Chateau scene shown in Uncharted 3. But wait...if the game's predecessor already maxed out memory, how the hell is the third installment going to fit? Balestra uses the "six-lane freeway" analogy that refers to the PS3's SPUs: the first Uncharted used two; the second used all six, but at "street car" level of performance. The third still uses those six lanes...but at Formula One performance.

"We're at full speed, optimising code specifically for the SPUs. It's a great resource because [SPUs] are extremely fast, and if you optimise they get faster than you ever thought they could be. That's where the quality of our images comes from."

If we could give them a medal, we would. Maybe somebody should.

Related Game(s): Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Tags: uncharted, uncharted 2, among thieves, naughty dog

1/5/2011 10:40:12 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (66 posts)

maxpontiac
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 10:55:05 AM
Reply

Naughty Dog is the best developer in the world.

No question about it.

Agree with this comment 15 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

Scarecrow
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 11:00:07 AM

One of, one of.

Agree with this comment 7 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

bigrailer19
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 11:05:11 AM

No, they are...

Agree with this comment 10 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

maxpontiac
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 11:51:03 AM

Disagree Scarecrow. ND games really have no fault.

Agree with this comment 8 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

Godslim
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 11:52:59 AM

cant really say that i dont think i havent seen em do enough games yes uncharted is amazing but i'd like to see them make different types of games.....i wanna see an rpg

Last edited by Godslim on 1/5/2011 11:53:37 AM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 8 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 12:05:21 PM

What Max is saying is they are the best at what they do in terms of actual game development. They have been able to use the PS3 in ways no other developer has been able to. I agree with Max. They are the best. Santa Monica Studios is right behind them.

Agree with this comment 12 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

TheShadow
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 12:19:11 PM

hey, don't forget GG, or even PD

Agree with this comment 5 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

ABUrabad
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 12:29:24 PM

what's good also about them that they are welling to share all ideas and procedures they develop to maximize the limits of the PS3 with other PS3 developers such as SUCKER PUNCH which will lead of course to lift up the general quality of all PS3 games in front of its competitors


Last edited by ABUrabad on 1/5/2011 12:31:00 PM

Agree with this comment 8 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 12:38:05 PM

Indeed. inFamous 2 is certainly looking Unchartedesque in terms of graphic fidelity.

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 1:18:54 PM

That's exactly what I am saying Jawknee.

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TheShadow
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 1:23:56 PM

exactly my point of view.

1st party helping other 1st party = better games for us gamers

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

StangMan80
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 7:08:56 PM

Hell yeah! ND and PD are the best game developers at what they do. They know how too use Sony's machine.
PD is just late on epicness... we'll wait for updates.
GT5 is awesome but not epic.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

manofchao5
Thursday, January 06, 2011 @ 3:37:46 PM

whoever thumbs downed that comment, im gonna have a mob on yo ass
dont deny the truth!

unless you think Pd or some other 1dt party dev is better in which case good for you

Last edited by manofchao5 on 1/6/2011 3:38:26 PM

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slugga_status
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 10:56:44 AM
Reply

Interesting what can be done when developers spend quality time with the PS3...I can only imagine what this is going to be like at "Formula One" if U2 was only "street car"...

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godsman
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 11:10:50 AM

It's amazing how much they pushed on Uncharted 2, when Naughty Dog only consider that as mediocre coding.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, January 06, 2011 @ 3:35:10 PM

I would certainly classify U2 as a Streetcar....
......"A Streetcar named DESIRE"

Last edited by BikerSaint on 1/6/2011 3:35:54 PM

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Scarecrow
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 10:59:34 AM
Reply

Uncharted 3 = Red Bull's X1 car

Naughty Dog has always done this. This is actually not something new when it comes to developing some of the most graphically stunning games.

Crash Bandicoot still remains one of the best looking ps1 games on ps1. The Jak series featured almost Pixar-like quality and huge/beautiful environments. Uncharted, yeah, you know the deal.

360 is like addition (algebra and the like)

ps3 is like multiplication + division + fractions + complex fractions etc. (calculus)

Yup, I'm calling it GOTY already (and I'm always right).

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

BTNwarrior
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 11:01:03 AM
Reply

I can only imagine how much it would suck to write all that code.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Oxvial
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 11:01:28 AM
Reply

That's what developers should do, but no! now almost all of them luv to b*tch about everything, I remember how this made bad press in the early PS3 days, great that it didn't flopped just imagine how awful would be gaming with MS being the overall leader of HD consoles.


Last edited by Oxvial on 1/5/2011 11:01:51 AM

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TheShadow
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 12:20:36 PM

Please, I don't want any nightmares tonight.

thank you

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Jawknee
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 4:47:25 PM

I'd quit playing console games. PC and Nintendo would be it for me.

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D1g1tal5torm
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 11:02:33 AM
Reply

They have to be admired for their pursuit of excellence.

Still, let's hope their analogy street/f1 car analogy turns out to be people-carrier/sports car.

Gives plenty of room for UC4 to get to F1 level.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 11:02:34 AM
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Naughty Dog is awesome. 'nuff said

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PasteNuggs
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 11:17:41 AM
Reply

It's going to be a long year waiting for UC3. Glad KZ3 and Infamous 2 are coming out to tide me over.

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TheShadow
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 6:38:31 PM

and resistance 3 and motorstorm and sorcery and team ico and and and....uh! my head.

you know whats coming, happy gaming to all :)

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A2K78
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 11:44:18 AM
Reply

"Crash Bandicoot still remains one of the best looking ps1 games on ps1."

Wrong..Soul Calibur is technically best looking title in terms of visuals on the PSone hardware(System 12 system board).

http://www.system16.com/hardware.php?id=535

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Looking Glass
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 3:08:53 PM

I believe Scarecrow said ONE of the best, not THE best.

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Vivi_Gamer
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 4:34:31 PM

And anyway Soul Calibur is on the Dreamcast, if your refering to SoulBlade (SoulEdge) then no it's really not.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 5:57:47 PM

He's referring to some arcade hardware.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 9:25:27 PM

http://www.system16.com/hardware.php?id=533

A2K78 your URL is for system 12. Namco's arcade boards for games like Tekken and Soul Edge were based on system 11. System 12 was augmented to a higher spec than the PSX.

A person could compare the gulf of processing between System 11 and System 12 by observing Tekken 3.

Nearing T3's release on PSX, gamers, like myself, were concerned how close the port would be seeing that it would be the first conversion that was being ported down to the PSX. Thankfully, Namco did an excellent job.

IF there's any T5 owners out there, they can play the arcade version of T3 (a bonus within the game) and do the comparison themselves if they also own the PSX rendition of the game. You'll find the arcade version had polygonated backgrounds and other smaller changes--better sound, too.



Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Looking Glass
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 11:45:13 AM
Reply

These guys truly are masters of the PS3. The entire industry should take note.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 12:08:05 PM
Reply

They need to hold a conference and invite all the lack luster developers. The ones who complain "drrr, teh PS3 is to hard" and teach them a thing or two.

Really now...how hard can it be if you're motivated?

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Alienange
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 12:15:26 PM

Knowledge is power right? ND probably laugh themselves to sleep every night over how dumb their competition is.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

TheShadow
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 6:39:27 PM

First people to invite: ACTIVISION then EA

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Alienange
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 12:13:57 PM
Reply

These guys are dangerously talented. No other game has the polish that UC2 had and from the words I'm reading here, no other dev understands SPUs like they do. If I was their competition I'd be tearing apart their code to figure out what the heck they're doing to make their games so gorgeous.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 12:17:08 PM

God of War III is pretty damn close. All it needed was some better vistas and scenes like the The Steads of Time from God of War II. Then it would be right there with Uncharted 2.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Clamedeus
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 12:24:42 PM
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Go ND! :D

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

TheShadow
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 12:25:11 PM
Reply

If ND taught other Devs their secrets we might be living in a worlfd where people are modivated and aspired to create something like uncharted

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TheShadow
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 6:40:05 PM

I meant world sorry.

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 12:42:50 PM
Reply

Have they not worked on a single layer disc to date. I'm now imagining Uncharted with double the story, double the play length. Pretty much double everything, and it's looking good.

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Fane1024
Friday, January 07, 2011 @ 6:02:34 PM

They're talking about memory (RAM), not total file size.

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alcrowley
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 12:45:26 PM
Reply

I suggest to everybody watch the "making of" videos of the Uncharted games.
You'll be absolutely in awe at the folks who work in this company!
I remember a programmer commenting how they optimized the code from U1 to U2 in Assembly. Anybody here ever tried to code anything in Assembly? Not easy to say the least!
I can't even grasp the level of complexity these guys work!

Naughty Dog, Santa Monica, Insomniac, Media Molecule... \o/

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

NazzyQ
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 12:49:20 PM
Reply

I just bought that Edge issue in which Uncharted 3 and the ND interview is featured. It's well worth a look, if you live in Europe.

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DjEezzy
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 1:30:43 PM
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God of War 3 was almost neck and neck with uncharted 2 graphically. Its a game to behold for sure. I honestly think Uncharted 4 may come on the ps4. Maybe not. I guess we'll see.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 4:40:54 PM

That would be wicked, but I have high hopes for the engine Skyrim will use. Bethesda may have massive issues, but graphically the games got better from Oblivion to Fallout3 and from there to New Vegas. (You kind of have to blame the jaggies and pop in for New Vegas on Obsidian)

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NazzyQ
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 1:46:12 PM
Reply

I don't think open world games can match Uncharted's graphical fidelity. Though, infamous 2 is looking pretty sharp

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lil3incher
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 1:48:05 PM
Reply

Naughty Dog is by for the best ps3 game designers ever, they understand the ps3 better then anyone else, xbox licks balls

Agree with this comment 6 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

SvenMD
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 2:16:30 PM
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This game is definitely going to be one hell of an amazing ride!

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SilentMassacre
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 2:45:28 PM
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Wish all developers had the determination that ND has. It's truly incredible how dedicated this team is. Studios should take note.

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ABUrabad
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 3:59:39 PM
Reply

I dont know , but would this new development at harvesting the SPUs increase the life span of the PS3?
and beside that it may also encourage the further development of the mighty CELL Processor to get more advanced and more utilized by future PlayStation consoles .

I hope so

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 4:38:19 PM
Reply

If I was the competition, I'd hire Leo DiCaprio to break into their dreams and steal their PS3 coding secrets.

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Zorigo
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 4:42:23 PM

such an absolutely amazing film....
if you've seen the film, you'll know what im talking about. if not, its up to you to discover what WorldEnds is talking about.

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ABUrabad
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 4:50:12 PM

this was on of the best movies I have ever seen but still I like THE DARK KNIGHT more

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 5:45:59 PM

Yeah I loved that movie, I have little patience for people who didn't understand it.

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Jawknee
Thursday, January 06, 2011 @ 12:14:22 AM

The Dark Knight or Inception?

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White_Mocha
Thursday, January 06, 2011 @ 9:58:15 PM

@Jawknee *facepalm* Inception my man. Inception. and yes, it was an amazing film, i'll definitely buy it on blu-ray one of these days

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Zorigo
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 4:41:19 PM
Reply

all 6 at F1 performance?
SH*T
lets hope there a Bugatti Veyron SS performance for all 6 hey!

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StangMan80
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 7:19:31 PM

ummm.. Im pretty sure a F1 car out preforms a Bugatti. The only problem is you cant drive a F1 car on the street.

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marcusfrommo
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 6:51:31 PM
Reply

When they say maxed out. Are they just referring to the graphics card or the space on the 50 gig disc? Or both? Please respond if anyone knows please.

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Fane1024
Friday, January 07, 2011 @ 6:05:28 PM

Christophe is talking about RAM.

Last edited by Fane1024 on 1/7/2011 6:05:59 PM

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StangMan80
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 7:17:52 PM
Reply

ND is AMAZING. You mite as well give them the GOTY award now. The guys at ND know exactly what they are doing.
Can anybody else name a console in which a team used it like this. ND is the BEST at what they do.
Im loving what ND is doing, and wonder... WHY THE HELL DOESNT MORE STUDIOS DO THIS?

If you have a team like ND, a PS3 is the system to own.

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Teddie9
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 7:39:12 PM
Reply

I'm pretty damn happy these guys exist in an industry that seems to be slowly caring less for quality and more about numbers.

Last edited by Teddie9 on 1/5/2011 7:40:19 PM

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Qubex
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 7:56:12 PM
Reply

Again, a testament to what ND is about... a superlative developer that understands hardware, and how to use software to make it a royal success...

I don't know how many remember some of my earlier posts a while back, when we were looking at the Sony hype concerning the PS3 hardware itself... well, one of my main drum beats that I kept on repeating was that the only aspect of the PS3 hardware I felt was limiting was the memory.

Today, if the PS3 motherboard was open to modification and we could add lets say 4 or 8 gigs of memory to it... It would be a very very nice 64bit computer... a very powerful one at that too...

What a shame...

Anyway, with the news coming through now that the PS3 security has been all but destroyed, the system may be opened up now. Of course the adverse effect to that will be piracy, unfortunately, but I am sure a lot of innovative non-Sony software will be produced for it...

In some ways it is exciting to see what the "homebrew" community could do, in other ways... not, especially for Sony and the future of the PS3... let's see how it all shakes out.

Sony may be forced to do another hardware revision or accelerate development of the PS4 now.

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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DemonNeno
Wednesday, January 05, 2011 @ 9:19:22 PM
Reply

Full speed ahead?! Does this mean we'll see our current gen maxed to the absolute limit? ND had a great engine built for uncharted 2, I'm impressed with trailers, but I hope we can agree that they still don't do most games any justice.. This one definitely isn't an exception!

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___________
Thursday, January 06, 2011 @ 3:12:24 AM
Reply

these guys seriously should create there own teaching studio!
imagine what would be possible if every developer out there was like this.
imagine what it would be like if trainees would be trained like this, instead of the clueless teachers i have to put up with every day!
the naughty dog school of nothings impossible!
catchy name, no?

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BikerSaint
Thursday, January 06, 2011 @ 3:43:37 PM
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"Kudo's to N.D. for all their forward thinking outside the box!

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