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Starfield PS5?… will Bethesda ever release its future games across multiple consoles again?

Starfield has been announced as a Xbox console exclusive, which has many PS5 owners displeased. However, there may be hope for other console owners yet!

Bethesda games have been coming to multi-platform consoles since The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in 2006. Oblivion sold an estimated 9.5 million copies worldwide. And sales of releases has only grown higher since. Fallout 3 sold – 12.4 million, Fallout 4 – 13.51 million and Skyrim… estimated at selling a whopping 30 million copies worldwide. This begs the question, will a lack of Starfield PS5 release hurt Bethesda’s game sales long-term? Let’s review the facts!

Why is Starfield an Xbox exclusive?

Bethesda has always been an independently run games developer. Whose early achievements in games such as the early The Elder Scrolls series, gave them much notability and success. With popular growing interests in their game styling and quality, their releases have continued to perform well in both console and PC sales. However, as of March 2021 Microsoft acquired Bethesda’s parent company (ZeniMax Media), and since has merged as part of Xbox Game Studios.

By trying to capture all of Starfield’s sales for themselves, which is almost certainly going to be substantial, Microsoft deals a major blow to one of its main competitors: Sony. And for anyone who was on the fence about which console to purchase, or doesn’t have an Xbox X/S already, and is keen to buy the game… Microsoft may just increase their console sales at the same time.

While it has always been slightly back and fourth in victories during consoles battle for prominence, Microsoft’s strategy seems to be expanding the exclusivity of its content. Like Nintendo heavily investing in their sole IPs and franchises. A sure bet like Bethesda and their history of success isn’t a bad decision to make. However, this makes any hope for Playstation owners who are longing to see Starfield at some point in the future, very slim. Microsoft will guard ongoing Bethesda releases closely. Especially considering it cost them $7.5 billion for the privilege to do so.

Astronaut shown in Starfield game trailer
Footage of gameplay from Starfield Teaser Trailer
(Image Credit: Bethesda)

What to do if you’re a PS5 owner but you want to play Starfield

So the chances of Starfield coming to the PS5 are highly unlikely. But you don’t want to purchase an Xbox X/S just to play the game. Fortunately, there are other options for you. Starfield will also be coming to PC. And owning the PC version may be a better option anyway!

Firstly, although Starfield is being developed specifically for the Xbox consoles, fixed hardware means that you may never experience the maximum graphical experience that Starfield and its newly developed game engine will have to offer. The PC version will allow for more flexible display settings for its performance to run. And depending on the capabilities of your computer, you may get a better game experience than what the limitations of a console can provide.

Secondly, like previous PC game releases by Bethesda including Skyrim, Starfield will likely have moddable functionality available. Optional game add-on mods will allow third party scripts, content and customization to be included into your game. Providing greater enjoyment and prolonged entertainment for you to play. Check out this TBR Fallout 4 London mod as an example.

Although the console releases of Skyrim and Fallout also made downloadable mods available to its players, the store and content was never as extensive as what was available on the PC.

What if I don’t have a high-spec PC?

The major disadvantage of relying on the PC version of course, is you need a top quality machine to run it on. Considering this will probably cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to buy one, it is not a practical solution for everyone. Luckily there are new services being released which will cater for players who don’t want to spend out on an expensive machine.

Game streaming platforms allow players to stream games running from a virtual computer. All that is needed is a reasonably capable desktop, laptop or device of your own, and an internet connection. Depending on the platform, you may not even need to purchase the game itself, and only pay for the subscription to the service. Although these services are still in their infancy, and some are only at beta stages of public release, much investment is going into their full releases in the likely not too distant future. One of the top platforms accessible at the moment include Xbox Pass Ultimate; which is the most likely place we’ll see Starfield available on one of these services first. However, there is also Amazon Luna, NVIDIA GeForce Now and Sony Playstation Now; all available for a monthly fee.

Concluding thoughts on a Starfield PS5 release

Will Starfield ever come to the PS5? – Probably not. Microsoft have invested heavily in acquiring Bethesda and it’s unlikely they will share with Sony or any other console. Bethesda games have proven to attract large sales numbers, and they can rely on players familiarity and fondness of the brand to use their platforms to play the game anyway.

Can you play Starfield without an Xbox S/X? – Yes! There will be a PC release of the game. And hopefully it will appear on game streaming services for greater accessibility as well. Although you might have to be waiting a little longer to get it.

What do you think?…

We want to hear more of what you think about Starfield’s Xbox exclusivity. Why not discuss it more on our forums… or add a comment below?

Written by @Nick Lambert for www.starfieldguide.com. Starfield Guide is a fan run unofficial guide site about Bethesda’s game Starfield. You can tweet us @GuideStarfield, or you can follow our official Facebook, Instagram and YouTube Channel.

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Photo of PS5 Console by Kerde Severin on Unsplash

4 thoughts on “Starfield PS5?… will Bethesda ever release its future games across multiple consoles again?”

  1. Avatar for JPP

    I’m 6 months late on my comment…but that is the business world for ya. As it saddens me, I will not be dishing out $500 for an Xbox to play Starfield. I already had my PS5 before this merger. So, no more Bethesda, but such is life…

    1. Nick Lambert

      I have to agree JPP, I’m with you there. I think part of Bethesda’s previous successes, apart from being such rich and well developed games, had to do with their inclusivity across multiple platforms. Becoming an Xbox exclusive, and ‘shutting off’ Playstation owners seems like a real shame to me. Fingers crossed you’ll get a chance to play it one day though.

    2. Avatar for Dan

      I agree, I only bought a PS5 shortly before the merger came out of nowhere and I’m not buying an Xbox Series console or a gaming PC just for one game. I’m not using a game streaming service either as I’d like to continue playing single-player games offline. When Starfield was announced in 2018 people at the time would have expected it to be on PS5 as that was pre-Microsoft buyout. The whole “play it on PC” part of the article is no use, the whole point of owning a console is to be able to play games without needing a decent spec gaming PC.

      It’s a real shame Bethesda have decided to leave their PlayStation fans behind, I’ve been playing Bethesda games on PlayStation consoles since 2007, but I’m not interested in spending more money on being in two console ecosystems at the same time. I can only hope the buyout gets blocked somehow or at least is only allowed to go ahead on the condition that franchises like the Elder Scrolls and Fallout stay on PlayStation for all future games.

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