When Bethesda announced The Elder Scrolls VI back at E3 2018, it was clear right away that the game was a long ways off. The team was clear on this fact, saying that it would arrive after their next single player RPG adventure, Starfield. That game also looked pretty far away, with Bethesda describing it as a “next-gen” title. Of course, that terms has been shifting a lot recently, so some still speculated that it and Elder Scrolls VI would still come to Xbox One and PS4. According to some new comments from Todd Howard though, that likelihood is pretty much gone.
“That to us means two things,” Todd Howard told Eurogamer when asked what being “next-gen” meant for Starfield. “It does mean hardware and it does mean software on our side, and it also means gameplay – what does the next generation of epic single-player RPGs feel like to us? What systems we put it out on – what’s the hardware requirements – is still to be determined. We’re pushing it; we’re thinking very, very far in future so we’re building something that will handle next-generation hardware. That’s what we’re building on right now, that’s where our mind is, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t exist on the current systems as well.”
It’s the hardware part that should really interest PS4 and Xbox One owners, even if you’ve upgraded to the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. We know that while console generations are in a state of flux at the moment there is still work being done on the successors to the current consoles. Microsoft has pointed to 2020 as a possible release date for their new platform. They could stick to the generation-less format they have pitched, with games still running on the original Xbox One and its successors.
However, there will be a cutoff at some point, and Starfield or Elder Scrolls VI could be on the wrong side of it for current console owners. With Starfield already aiming at new hardware for its release, and Bethesda possibly not wanting to sacrifice quality for the larger install base, that the current systems might not get to host the title. Todd Howard did make sure to calm those nerves at the end of his comment, but it’s still left open as to whether current platforms will get Starfield. But it’s The Elder Scrolls VI that very likely won’t.
We speculated about when ES6 might hit stores and it was already not looking good for anxious gamers. The title is certainly years away from release, which will put it deep into the next-gen console war. PlayStation 5 and whatever Microsoft calls the next Xbox will be firmly entrenched at that point, so don’t expect to see it on the Xbox One or PS4 unless we’re really past the console generation concept and the game is able to be squeezed onto the older hardware.