Perhaps the biggest story from E3 2021 was the one many were expecting; Bethesda’s next AAA exclusive Starfield will be exclusive to Microsoft’s Xbox and Windows platforms.
Given Microsoft paid $7.5 billion to acquire Bethesda last year, it isn’t exactly a surprise, but it’s still a blow to PlayStation gamers who enjoyed franchises like Skyrim, Fallout and Doom and wanted to jump aboard space-themed RPG, coming late 2022.
Now Bethesda has rubbed salt in to the wound by claiming Starfield will be a better game for not having to bother with developing the game for PS5 too.
Speaking to the Telegraph after the E3 announcements, director Todd Howard said sticking to Xbox Series X/S and PC will result in “a better product” for those gamers.
“You don’t ever want to leave people out, right,” he said. “But at the end of the day, your ability to focus and say this is the game I want to make, these are the platforms I want to make it on, and being able to really lean in on those is going to make for a better product.”
Howard was asked directly whether he was upset about leaving PlayStation gamers behind. The term the Tele reporter Dan Silver used was “picking a side.”
“‘Pick a side’ meaning… PlayStation? Is that what you mean? Well… a little bit,” Howard said. The next bit pertaining to not being on PlayStation was particularly intriguing. We’ll quote it so as not to destroy the context.
“Well, we’re still…” Howard begins before correcting himself. “I will just say I want everybody to have the ability to play it in some fashion.”
Does this mean that some Bethesda games will still be coming to PS5? Does he mean there will be a way around this for PS5 gamers through Xbox Cloud Gaming? Microsoft has been pretty vague about this so far, with the working assumption that all of the big hitters will remain exclusive, unless there are existing contracts precluding this.
Will Starfield’s Xbox exclusivity determine which console you’ll buy? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.