If I was a developer and had 4GB to work with and someone said I now had 8, I would obviously say I like the fact I have more.
If I was a developer and had 8GB to work with and someone said I now had 16, I would obviously say I like the fact I have more.
If I was a developer and had 16GB to work with and someone said I now had 32, I would obviously say I like the fact I have more.
If I was a developer and had 32GB to work with and someone said I now had 64, I would obviously say I like the fact I have more.
The less a developer has to worry about anything makes it better for him. If Sony actually increased those 8 to 16, you probably will not see any developer complaining. But it will be terrible for Sony as the cost will go up and the results developers will get from the extra RAM will hardly be noticeable.
I bought my PC with 8GB of RAM. For a PC, that is currently a sweet spot. If I increase it to 16GB, for the stuff I do on it, I will see no increase in performance or quality of my games. I will get absolutely nothing out of it as I use at most 4GB of RAM. If I paid for more ram, I would get absolutely nothing out of it. Should I buy it then? Of course not.
The real question is if it's better for Sony.
BTW, this is diminishing returns: http://i.imgur.com/ChsSwUE.png
I guess stuff like "It will run linux" and "it will be backwards compatible" comes to mind. But those were not in 2005. What happened in 2005? I'm also curious.
Pulling the 8GB to 4GB would not upset the developers so much as they have already been working only with 4GB. I myself thing the 8GB is not even necessary. Don't even think there the developers will be able to use much more than 4GB (they usually don't in PC games even when pushing it to the max).
Reducing it to 4GB would actually be a good move for sony. Only fanboys could actually think otherwise.
That is because you would still be running the same program. If you run a static program it will hit a point were more power does not make it look or run noticably better. This is not the same as giving devs more RAM. Giving devs more RAM means they can add more to there program.
More RAM for devs means:
-Higher res texture
-More detailed enviornments
-Longer draw distances
There is plenty more that they can do with extra RAM in the development of a game.
Games are not running on 1.5GB of VRAM because they can go any higher, it is due to PC games being restricted by the mass market spec. Right now games are built for PS3/360 and low end laptops. They are then scaled up from there for things like the GTX 680. With the PS4 and hopefully the XB3 having 8GB of RAM this will give devs a new mass market spec.
GPUs with 3 and 4GB of RAM are fairly new to the market, and they will start to see that be used very soon. It will not be long before 6, 8, 10, and 12GB cards are on the market. By the end of this gen you will see games running on much more VRAM. 1080P PC games will probably be using 8 - 10GB of RAM, and we will see 4K resolutions pushing 16, and I feel this is a minimum.
Just fixing your post a little:
More RAM for devs means:
-Added effects - NO! You would need a faster GPU for that.
-More animations - NO! You would need a faster CPU for that.
-Higher res texture - YES. You can include higher res textures with more RAM.
-More NPC - NO! You would actually need a faster CPU for processing more AI. If they use repeated textures, then extra RAM will not help out at all.
-More detailed enviornments - YES. But only because of what you already mentioned before with the higher res textures.
-Longer draw distances - YES. It helps.