We continue with the famous Nintendo Entertainment System, better known as nintendo nes. Historically, this console sold almost 62 million units, and while half of the memory addressing was in the cartridges, the hardware was equipped with 2KB RAM bound to your CPU. Two years after the NES came the Master System from SEGA to compete with it, with revolutionary hardware that not only incorporated 8 KB of RAM but also 16 KB of VRAM for video.
After that generation of consoles came another two of the most famous and sold, the SEGA Genesis (mega drive) that sold more than 35 million units and the Super NES from Nintendo that sold more than 49 million units. Contemporary to these two consoles we must also mention the neo geo. The Mega Drive had 64 KB of RAM with another 64 KB of VRAM and, mind you, 8 KB of RAM for audio, while the Super Nintendo had 128 KB of RAM and 64 KB of VRAM (the latter, also shared for audio ). The Neo-Geo had 64KB of RAM with 84KB of VRAM and 2KB dedicated to audio.
We put aside the Sega 32X, the Mega-CD and other consoles whose sales were almost marginal to move on to the Sega Saturn, released in 1994 and sold more than 9 million units. This Japanese console already had 2 MB of RAM, 1.5 MB of graphics memory and 512 KB for sound… what a leap in performance!
But the Saturn was also almost circumstantial because in the same year (in fact, only 11 days later) the first was launched. PlayStation from SONY, which sold 102.49 million units. Technically it was not much superior to the Saturn, since in fact it had 2 MB of RAM and 1 MB of VRAM, but without a doubt the developers turned to this console and it was the key to their success (after all, the consoles became They sell for the games, right?).
Three years after the first PlayStation came the Nintendo 64, which managed to sell almost 33 million units. This 64-bit console had 4 MB of RAM (RDRAM) and could be expanded to 8 MB with an Expansion Pak (that’s right, they called it that, “Pak”). Another three years later, the SEGA Dreamcast, and managed to sell just over 9 million units. It was equipped with, eye to the data, 16 MB of RAM, 8 MB of VRAM and another 2 MB for audio.
On March 4, 2000, what was undoubtedly the console that revolutionized the market arrived, the Playstation 2which is currently still the best selling console in history with more than 155 million units, and that only had 32 MB of RAM. A year later both the nintendogamecube like the first Xbox from Microsoft (they came out a day apart), Nintendo’s equipped with a strange combination of 24 MB of RAM with a further 3 MB integrated for video and 16 MB for I/O, while Microsoft’s first commercial console equipped a reasonable 64MB DDR RAM at 200MHz.
In November 2005 another one of those consoles arrived that revolutionized the market, the Xbox 360 that managed to sell almost 86 million units, and that was equipped with nothing more and nothing less than 512MB GDDR3 memory at 700 MHz (plus another 10 MB eDRAM cache for the GPU). A year later came the Playstation 3, another of the best-selling consoles with almost 87 million units, and which was equipped with 256 MB of RAM for the system and another 256 MB for video. Just 8 days after the PS3, Nintendo introduced its famous Wiiwhich has managed to sell more than 101 million units and was equipped with just 64 MB of GDDR3 RAM.
We arrive at the year 2012, moment in which the Wii U from Nintendo equipped with 2 GB GDDR3 (note that from the Wii to the Wii U, the RAM of these consoles had multiplied by 32), but November 15, 2013 was another iconic moment in the industry because it was when SONY released his Playstation 4, a console that has already sold 116 million units (and counting). The original PS4 was equipped with 8GB of GDDR5 memory plus 256 MB for secondary tasks (the PS4 Pro has 1 GB for that).
Just a week after the PS4, Microsoft released the Xbox Onea console that has managed to reach 41 million units sold and was equipped with 8 GB DDR3 in its original model, which was expanded to 12 GB in the xbox one x.
We jumped back in time to 2017, specifically to March 3, which was when Nintendo launched its famous switchesa portable console that has already sold more than 107 million units and is equipped with just 4GB of LPDDR4 memory at 1,600 MHz.
You already know what’s next, right? Indeed, we have to jump to November 2020, which was when, two days apart, the Xbox Series X|S and the playstation 5. For now, Microsoft consoles have sold some 8 million units, compared to 13.4 million for SONY consoles, although it is true that stock problems, price and scarcity of raw materials have played an important role in sales.
But let’s get to what concerns us in this article, the RAM of the consoles: the Xbox Series X is equipped with 16 GB of memory in total (10 at 320 bit and 6 at 192 bit), while the Xbox Series S has 10 GB total. For its part, SONY’s PlayStation 5 has 16 GB GDDR6 (256 bit) plus another 512 MB DDR4 for background tasks.
You have already seen it: from the 128 bytes of RAM of the Atari 2600 to the 16 GB of current consoles, the amount of memory has multiplied a lot, although it is also true that 46 years have passed between them.