The PS3 is a monster of a system but regardless of it's power, even before it's launch date i always suspected it didn't house enough ram for the future.
The blu-ray was a risky investment but in the end turned out very wise.
Some specs and then about the ram:
8 core @3.2 GHz Cell Broadband Engine with 1 PPE & 7 SPEs.
RSX @550MHz GPU 1.8 TFLOPS floating point performance
Full HD (up to 1080p) x 2 channels
Dolby 5.1ch, DTS, LPCM, etc. (Cell-base processing)
More here: http://playstation.about.com/od/ps3/a/PS3SpecsDetails_3.htm RAM
256MB XDR Main RAM @3.2GHz
256MB GDDR3 VRAM @700MHz
Now over the years has been alot of talk the PS3's RAM vs Xbox 360’s RAM, saying that the 360 has more RAM to work with.
So here are some specs gathered mostly from the internet:
The PS3 has 512MB of RAM (256 for video and 256 for system).
The Cell chip has 256MB of completely sharable RAM, the GPU has 256MB of dedicated RAM.
So why does it seem still less ram than the 360 you may ask?.
The PS3 has 256mb of GDDR3 at 700mhz and 256Mb of XDR at 3.2ghz.
So? What exactly is XDR ram?:
XDR ram makes PS3 super efficient and aids in faster cache mapping, both direct and indirect.
It works by a pointer to pointer technology and needs very small buswidth for execution which is not just faster than GDDR3 but it is much more efficient.
XDR ram works by breaking down data into several packets which prevents data loss and exceptions.
The Rambus XDR memory architecture is a total memory system solution that achieves an order of magnitude higher performance than today’s standard memories while utilizing the fewest ICs. Perfect for compute and consumer electronics applications.
The PS3 has two times as much cache at 2x the speed, making it way faster for direct/indirect mapping. Not only that but it has 512k of L1 cache + 1.7m of L2 cache for the 7 spes. The PS3’s GPU, RSX was made to work with the Cell processor, it is not some GPU they took and slotted in. It is made to be compatible with the Cell.
More RAM does not mean a faster system it means more data can be stored in a fast access area. Games don’t always need 512mb of RAM.
The RSX can freely use as much of the 512MB total RAM that the PS3 has because the Cell doesn’t need much RAM because its fast enough. And the fact that the PS3 has XDR means that it has faster access to data files.
A lot of people are saying that the RSX only has 256mb of RAM, whereas the 360’s GPU has 512MB of RAM. To make it sound a bit simpler, here’s the real deal. The PS3 has it’s RAM in two separate parts, 256MB for the RSX and 256MB that can be used be either the Cell or RSX. Lets put this in much more simpler terms:
Its not that the PS3 has less ram but houses a much more advanced type of ram technology.
If FFX14 was being built exclusively for the PS3 then SE might have utilized it's advanced technological structure which takes the most advantage of the system.
Now since FF14 was built for computers also then forget the ground up architecture and programming you would see from the PS3 in a PC version. The goal is to just make it compatible with the PS3 and attempt to bring it as close as possible to the PC version. Even more simpler terms:
Can anyone dare tell me what PC could emulate a PS3?
The problem is that the PS3 is way too advanced and no game developer would ever create a game exclusively built around the PS3 and then release it for another system where then the requirements would seem ridiculous enough to even state.
The only way would be to reprogram that exclusive PS3 game for another system specs format which from the ground up at least mechanics wise and make it look as similar as possible.
Game developers would really never admit this stuff and will continue to use sneaky words like "this system has less ram".