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Todd Howard on Starfield Skipping PS5: Fewer Platforms Makes for Better Games

Todd Howard on Starfield Skipping PS5: Fewer Platforms Makes for Better Games - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 July 2021 / 1,942 Views

Publisher Bethesda Softworks and developer Bethesda Game Studios over the weekend announced at E3 2021 Starfield will be an Xbox console exclusive and it will launch on November 11, 2022 for the Xbox Series X|S and PC. 

Bethesda Game Studios’ Todd Howard in an interview with The Telegraph said being able to focus on fewer platforms, since the game isn't coming to the PlayStation 5, will make for a better game. 

"Pick a side' meaning… PlayStation? Is that what you mean? Well.. a little bit," said Howard. "You don’t ever want to leave people out, right? 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.

Todd Howard on Starfield Not Coming to PS5: Fewer Platforms Makes for a Better Game

"By focusing on those platforms, you really get to lean in a lot on making it the best it can be for those systems. [...] And we’re big believers in all of the avenues that Xbox and Microsoft are doing to get games to more people. Whether that’s the integration with the PC, which is huge for us, the cloud streaming and all those things.

"So I think it’s about taking a long term view. And our belief that those things are really fundamentally good. So we see it actually opening up more and more and more so that people’s ability to play our games - via GamePass and other things - their ability to play our games doesn’t go down. It goes up dramatically.

"And I can say I’m proud to be part of Xbox. I think it’s great for the community of gamer."


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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26 Comments
Shiken (on 15 June 2021)

Can't wait to see what this does for ES and Fallout. A comment like this should translate to, "Our game might actually release without bugs now."

All eyes on you Todd!

  • +14
shikamaru317 (on 15 June 2021)

Fact. It's always easier to optimize for fewer platforms than more platforms. I'm also glad that Starfield is no longer cross-gen like it was when Bethesda first announced it in 2018, not having an Xbox One sized anchor holding it down is great.

  • +13
Shiken shikamaru317 (on 15 June 2021)

Yes I agree. Very excited to see how this game turns out.

  • +8
method114 (on 15 June 2021)

Sony would agree with that statement and I think the results speak for themselves.

  • +10
gtotheunit91 (on 15 June 2021)

I'm really excited to see how BGS redeem themselves here! You can tell there's excitement within the studio about this game and were tired of working on Fallout only for so long, and it showed in Fallout 76. Even Ashely Cheng made a statement that the studio has a new vitality due to Starfield. He even said "I love Fallout. But after seven years of Fallout, it's a little nice to slip away to be working on something so new and fresh"

BGS really seem to be taking this universe seriously and I love the premise that Todd said they were going to a more hardcore RPG roots with this game. Trying to contain my excitement, but man is it hard not to be excited!

  • +4
Mr Puggsly (on 16 June 2021)

Clearly a moneyhat. Why else would they pick Xbox?

  • +3
Angelv577 (on 16 June 2021)

As it should be. Just focus on your platforms which not only also helps developers but also help to improve the brand.

  • +1
mjk45 (on 16 June 2021)

Why not have the damn courage to say since we are now owned by MS , XBOX and PC are now our platforms of choice and even if we were faced with a very best scenario that showed PS platform sales matching PC and Xbox combined we are no longer invested in multiplatform console development.

  • 0
Dante9 (on 16 June 2021)

Oh, please.

  • 0
ClassicGamingWizzz (on 15 June 2021)

That means game will be bug free. Right? RIGHT?

  • 0

No. The game engine is severely lagging behind

  • -2
Kakadu18 KratosLives (on 16 June 2021)

It's a new engine, Creation Engine 2.

  • 0
KratosLives Kakadu18 (on 16 June 2021)

i'll be looking forward to see what it does, because judging from the trailer, i wasn't impressed with the lighting and the texture work.

  • -2
Bandorr (on 15 June 2021)

True. Leaving me wondering how he feels having to put everything on the series S, and PC. Everything he makes has to be on at least three systems.

  • 0
shikamaru317 Bandorr (on 15 June 2021)

Thankfully porting to S is pretty easy since the SSD and CPU are virtually identical between S and X, and since GPU features tend to be highly scalable, it's mainly a matter of reducing the resolution and maybe putting a few other graphics sliders from the PC version down one notch to get a game to run well on Series S.

  • +10
KratosLives (on 15 June 2021)

What a load of bull. Do people actually believe him? Both systems have an ssd drive and share the same pc based processor and gpu, and this guy is talking as though making it for another console is a hindrance, lol. Oh so making their games for series s with less ram and gpu is better than making the game for series x and ps5 , ok.

By the way, that creation engine is an outdated mess. Maybe todd should consider using unreal engine for the games going forward.

  • -1
ironmanDX KratosLives (on 15 June 2021)

Sound like a bitter ex girlfriend.

  • +6
KratosLives ironmanDX (on 16 June 2021)

am I wrong?

  • 0
shikamaru317 KratosLives (on 16 June 2021)

There is more separating Xbox Series and PS5 than what you seem to think. The two have totally different SSD setups, different RAM setups, very different GPU’s focused on different aspects of graphics (Xbox Series GPU has more cores at a slower, locked clock rate, PS5 has fewer cores at a higher, variable clock rate, and certain games respond better to one method or the other). Xbox Series and PC both have access to the DirectX12 Ultimate API, PS5 doesn’t. There would simply be a lot more graphical optimization work involved than just slapping the game on PS5 and hoping it runs well. Also each specific platform can develop unique bugs that don’t affect other platforms, so for each new platform you add, the number of bugs that need to be stomped out increases, once again putting a greater workload on the dev team.

Also, Starfield is running on the new Creation Engine 2, not the original Creation Engine. Starfield began development as a cross generation game on a lightly modified build of the Creation Engine used in Fallout 4, but they soon realized it was causing too many issues, particularly with loading hitches during faster space and vehicle travel, so they decided to move the game to Creation Engine 2, which they had already been building for Elder Scrolls 6, and decided to scrap the planned last gen versions. Reportedly Creation Engine 2 is almost entirely rebuilt with very little of the old Creation Engine code remaining. Creation 1 to Creation 2 is more like an Unreal 4 to Unreal 5 or id Tech 6 to if Tech 7 upgrade.

  • +2
KratosLives shikamaru317 (on 16 June 2021)

Still, can't deny that was xbox pr talk. if they were making the game for ps5 and claimed that the end product wasn't as good because of multiple systems or that they couldn't achieve their goals, then the blame would go to them being lazy or simply not good enough developers.

  • 0
mjk45 shikamaru317 (on 16 June 2021)

Yes their are differences but nothing major and far less than PC with Nvidia AMD and all the spec variations , plus we have continually heard from developers about the ease of cross development,

  • 0
Zkuq (on 15 June 2021)

That's true, but that's also a nice spin on the situation. The real reason for this is Microsoft and not this improving the games. What improves the games even more is making more money from a larger audience and being able to afford creating better games. While what he says is true, in the end it's just PR with not that much point behind it.

  • -1
drkohler (on 15 June 2021)
  • -7