Over the past few years, the minimum amount of RAM you’d need to play the latest games on PC has been somewhere around the 8-16GB ballpark. Unless, that is, you’re talking about some very weird outliers, both of which are also games from, or appearing on, the PlayStation 5.
Last month we learned that Returnal, a game released in April 2021 on the PS5, would be coming out on the PC in 2023 with recommended specs “asking for an eye-watering 32 gigabytes of ram”. 32GB! What the fuck! While that was just the recommended amount—the minimum is a still-hefty 16GB—it certainly stood out not just for the sheer amount needed, but the fact that it didn’t really seem like the kind of game that, let’s be real, would need that much compared to its peers. But having come from the PS5, most people simply wrote it off as a consequence of the game’s development having been a weird, console-first quirk and got on with their lives.
Now, though, the Square Enix-published Forspoken—a game also coming to the PlayStation 5 but with a PC version hitting alongside it at launch—is doing much the same thing. It has 16GB of RAM as a minimum (just to run at 720p! On a PC!), with 24GB recommended and 32GB required if you want to run the game at Ultra settings. Returnal being a port of a PS5 game was one thing, but Forspoken has been developed with a PC version launching alongside the console edition, so it doesn’t have that excuse.
This is too much RAM! I bought a brand new gaming PC in 2020 and it came with 16GB of RAM, which at the time was fine, maybe even slightly excessive, because games were only ever asking for 8GB (2022’s Modern Warfare II, just for comparison’s sake, asks for 16GB to run at Ultra 4K). To have leapt to the point where certain PlayStation-related games (and almost no others!) are asking for 16GB as a minimum is wild, and I’m sorry Returnal and Forspoken, but neither of you are going to make me go out and buy new hardware just to play.
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Sony has done a pretty good job lately of bringing its games to PC, with everything from Horizon to God of War doing well enough to make ports a fundamental part of PlayStation’s release business going forwards (The Last Of Us, for example, is coming in March). Those have all been games released on the PS4, though, and so came with relatively reasonable specs; if this is the amount of RAM needed to bring PS5 games to the PC (and I’m not saying it definitively is, just that this is now a pattern), then Sony’s future ports might not enjoy such smooth sailing.
While we’re on the subject of Forspoken, a demo was recently released, and fan feedback has resulted in some changes being made to the game: