Bethesda Working On PS3 Frame Rate Fix -- For The *Next* Next Update (Hopefully)

And no, that is not a typo. PS3 owners have been having issues with Skyrim's frame-rate. Once your save file becomes bigger than 5.5MB, certain areas of the game really stutter. Bethesda released a patch which provided a small incremental improvement, but it wasn't enough to eliminate the problem. Now it's back to the drawing board, but a fix won't be ready for the next patch (1.3).

Apparently it's because the team hasn't been able to isolate what is causing the issue.

"Right now we know it's not one thing, but a combination of smaller ones that some folks are seeing, but others are not," claimed a post made in the Bethesda Blog. "Some seem to be the PS3 autosaving in the background (you can turn that off), some may be SPU AI updates, and some may relate to dynamic system memory allocation.

"These fixes are not in the current 1.3 update that is in final testing, but will be in future ones."

"We understand how frustrating it can be when your game is having issues, and we thank all of you for your continued feedback and patience. Rest assured we take your gameplay experience seriously and will continue working on this until it's resolved."

Hopefully that resolution will come sooner rather than later.

Skyrim — what we’re working on (Updated) [Bethesda]

Thanks Eurogamer


    Wow, a multi-platform release performing better on PC than on Consoles... what is the world coming to?


      About time they do something right! Mwuhahahahaha suffer consoles.

        *Puts on a gas mask.*

        Gezz! The sarcasm is starting to make methane smell fresh!

    I hate to say it, but in much the same fashion Fallout New Vegas was wrecked for me before it's time by the horrific quantities of glitches, crashing and general slowdown - my PS3 copy of Skyrim has lost pretty much all my interest for now. For pretty much the same reason. I'm sure I'll get back into it eventually, but for now my feelings towards it are just too bitter.

      I'm in the same boat, unfortunately. The combination of these issues, plus the fact there are so many other games out there to play at the moment really haven't helped me sustain my interest in Skyrim. :P

        Yeah there's too many other games out there vying for my attention. Shame because it's such an incredible game too.

    Does this mean that the next generation of consoles will finally have eenough ram? No of course not, why would they need more.

      And so it begins in the first 3 posts.

      It's because consoles done run Microsoft bloatware. Have you taken a look at process explorer lately on your PC? That's why PCs need 4GB+ of memory to run the same game that a console can run with 256MB. When some rogue microsoft background process decides to spawn 10 instances of itself and use 50Mb of memory each. The PS3 and Microsoft OSs on the consoles do some pretty funky background context switching when you launch games.

      Ultimately, it doesn't really come down to the amount of RAM, more RAM just encourages sloppy inefficient, unoptimised, bullshit coding. Have you even taken a look at Skyrim for the PS3 and then for the PC? The PS3 does a pretty damn good effort for a machine with 256MB of memory.

      But I suppose it is OK to you to just ignore memory management and sloppy coding issues by inserting another 256GB of memory into your beige PC that's the size of a small fridge and whips up a nice little cyclone with its 42 cooling fans.

        Like it or not, 256MB of RAM and 256MB of VRAM won't be enough for the next generation. Games these days can use up to 1GB of VRAM (which doesn't get taken up by "bloat"/background processes). How are we ever going to surpass the poor, blurry textures and screens of today's console games otherwise? Or are you saying that in 20 years 256MB of RAM will still be enough?

        Even just 2GB of DDR3 would be WAY more than enough for a console, and it only costs $35 off the shelf for consumers. Microsoft and Sony could get that for $10.

          "screens" should have read "numerous loading screens", as in levels divided into smaller chunks to fit into the available memory.

      The PS3 is a very different beast to PC's and the 360 (which is basically a PC) anyway. It's not really correct to blame it's issues on RAM. The Cell Broadband processors (and their relation to system RAM) in the PS3 work very differently - I'm not technical enouh to go into how and why, but I know it means the system works very differently.

      Games pushing the boundaries like Skyrim will just expose inefficient coding in my opinon. The PS3 has more than enough grunt to do Skyrim, hell it's more powerful than a 360 - software just needs to be written correctly to take advantage of it.

        The PS3's Cell processor has more cores than the X360's CPU, yes, but the clock speeds are comparable. Also more cores doesn't equal better performance either, each new core you add has diminishing returns in terms of the performance improvements it offers for a single application (unless you are running intensive background processes like on a PC, which can use up the remaining CPU time on the lesser used cores).

        Last time I checked, the X360's video card was ahead of the PS3's video card, but not by too much.

        Basically, the PS3 has a better processor (but its harder to use more cores efficiently), the X360 has a better video card, but both are almost equal overall.

          Which basically is just reiterating my final point that the PS3's hardware is not to blame for crummy Skyrim performance - more the game just hasn't been written to use said hardware effectively.

            I was only referring to the claim that the PS3 is more powerful than the X360. I'd say it's the other way around, the X360 is more powerful than the PS3, but only by a small margin so I consider them roughly equal.

            Graphics: X360
            Processor: Theoretically, PS3, although the extra cores are almost useless.

        It's actually not that much different to work with, you have your SPUs to add in asynchronous tasks, and like all consoles you have easier access to the GPU (no needing to go through extra layers to support multiple hardware configs etc), but as far as everything else is concerned it's all the same.

        RAM will always make a difference, currently in order to get around the slow blue ray IO developers will install large amounts of data to the HDD, and attempt to stream it in as you need it. Unfortunately HDDs are orders of magnitude slower than RAM so this process takes time.
        With more RAM they could read more on system start, and hold it in RAM longer meaning drastically reduced load times after say fast travelling in Skyrim.

        Having said all this I imagine the issues they're having are largely due to memory fragmentation caused by reading everything sequentially and not being able to unload everything at once due to the nature of the game.
        It's the kind of thing that extra RAM would negate, but as that's not an option a rewrite of the memory management and save/load code might be in order.

        Actually, it was reported this morning that the issue does come down to a lack of RAM.

          This is the fear I have with multi-platform games. Nobody optimises to the host hardwares memory anymore. Or the hardware in general for that matter.

          If the programmers at Naughty Dog can continue to push the hardware with the Uncharted Series, why not other developers?

            Uncharted is hardly comparable to Skyrim. Though visually amazing, Uncharted is only possible because of the linear nature of the game. Crysis 2 achieved similar outcomes by also increasing the linearity of their game.

            Its open-world games like Skyrim that really test the RAM limitations. This is why I'd like to see newer consoles - its not just about graphics, but scale as well. Keep in mind, this appears to be the engine struggling to utilise the available RAM with all the changes that can be made to the game world.

            There should be absolutely no comparison between something as linear and simple as the Uncharted games and something as huge and complex as Skyrim.

            Uncharted barely has any physics processing to do other than ragdoll, the linearity of the levels means that it doesn't have to store unnecessary things in memory, AI only has to be processed for a few enemies at a time, and the environments are almost static except during scripted sequences.

            Skyrim on the other hand has to store a HUGE amount of data in memory and process a huge amount of things at all times. There's a huge open world, physics is processed for every single object right down to the spoons and forks on the tables, the AI for hundreds of NPCs needs to be processed in the background even if they're not in your exact location, there's a huge scripting system constantly running scripts in the background (for quests, randomised events, and NPC daily routines, dynamic weather, etc), and the draw distance is phenomenal.

            For the people who expect Skyrim to do everything that Uncharted can do and better, you're all crazy! There's no way you should expect the same level of graphical fidelity, framerate, or AI from a game like Skyrim, it's just not possible. I think what they've already managed to do is very impressive, given the scope of a huge game like this.

              I reckon not making so many spoons and forks and bowls which are "takeable" objects would be a good start. I'd take a smoother engine over picking up dozens of household objects (yet strangely, not even close to all household objects) any day.

              I'm suspecting now that instead of doing every quest of importance on one character, I need to just finish the main quest before the game becomes unplayable (but the bugs in the current patch make that annoying too). Might need to sit back and play something else until they finish fixing it.

          Got a mate who used to work for Sony UK as a programmer. He said the PS3 is a beast of a machine but it's talent is wasted due to the machine being designed for multimedia/Bluray. In regards to this story, he says the PS3 has less memory to work with because some of the RAM is dedicated to other streams and can't be accessed, whereas the Xbox doesn't do this. He also mentioned that Sony need to pull their finger out and actually support developers - he said he's seen the development kits from both Sony and Microsoft and Sony's sucks.

    Feels good to be part of the PC master race right about now.

      Feels good to sit on my big comfy couch in my living room and play games with a wireless controller on my HD LCD 50+inch tv.

    Honestly, I'd prefer they fix the quest glitches - where you can't finish story quests because you had the audacity to join a faction or do a side mission first.

    Over it. Moved on to Rayman Origins, Skyward Sword, MW3, etc...

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