The Elder Scrolls 6 will probably be released for Xbox and PC exclusively

You will probably not be able to play the planned Bethesda role-playing game The Elder Scrolls 6 exclusively with the Xbox Series X/S or a powerful PC until 2023 at the earliest. The simultaneous release of a PS5 version of the game is almost impossible. However, some clues give hope for the subsequent development of a game version for Sony consoles.

The Elder Scrolls 6: The long-awaited Skyrim sequel

With The Elder Scrolls 6, the development studio Bethesda continues its successful role-playing game series. It is considered certain that the planned Xbox and PC game will tie in with the story of its predecessor Skyrim. However, almost only speculations are known about further details on the contents so far.

Expected release of the sixth part in 2023 or later

You'll probably have to wait until at least 2023 before The Elder Scrolls 6 is released, at least for the PC and the Xbox Series X and S variants. Three years after the announcement of the sixth part of the role-playing game series, the development of the game was still in the design phase in the fall of 2021. The long break between the release of Skyrim and the next Elder Scrolls sequel is also due to the fact that Bethesda was busy with other projects through Fallout 76 as well as Starfield. In addition, the development studio definitely wants to meet the high expectations after the great success of the predecessor. The developers have not yet decided on a specific release year.

Bethesda takeover by Microsoft as reason for Xbox exclusivity

Rumors about exclusive releases of The Elder Scrolls 6 for the Xbox Series X/S and the PC have been around in social networks and forums for a long time. Especially after the announcement of the planned takeover of the game developer Bethesda by Microsoft in September 2020, numerous fans spread this assumption. Because it is basically considered unlikely that the Xbox developer will make the sixth part of the famous role-playing series and other games available for the PS5 at the same time in the future.

Because the Bethesda game Starfield is also supposed to be exclusively playable with the Xbox Series X/S and the PC, most owners of the Sony console finally lost hope in the sale of a PS5 version of The Elder Scrolls 6. Microsoft is free to decide for which game consoles the games from the acquired development studio are released. So far, the company has shown an uncompromising attitude towards the competition on the console market. 

With exclusive games like The Elder Scrolls 6, Microsoft wants to convince customers to opt for the Xbox Series X/S or use a PC with the company's own operating systems when gaming. While exclusive PS5 games are often not available for the computer either, you'll likely find planned Bethesda RPGs with a PC version as an alternative to buying an additional gaming console after all.

Confirmation of Elder Scrolls exclusive release by Phil Spencer

If you've been expecting a PS5 version of The Elder Scrolls 6 to be developed despite the rumors, you'll have to bury such hopes, at least for now, after an interview with Xbox division head Phil Spencer from November 2021. The Microsoft manager has hinted several times in the past that fans won't be able to play planned Bethesda games without the in-house console or a powerful PC at the time of release in 2023 or later.

However, a new interview now sounded like an unmistakable and final confirmation of the Xbox exclusivity of The Elder Scrolls 6 to most observers. Although Phil Spencer's statements do not mention the Sony console at all, the decision against selling a PS5 version of the Bethesda role-playing game can be interpreted from it quite clearly. However, the manager explained that Microsoft is not punishing the competition with the decision for exclusive Xbox and PC variants of the game.

Spencer wants to convince customers to buy Microsoft consoles with extensive offers. The exclusivity of video games like The Elder Scrolls 6 is obviously a central part of the plans. Bethesda's role-playing game series is one of the numerous product groups from the company's own entertainment department that Microsoft wants to use to make gaming with the Xbox Series X and the S variant of the gaming console more attractive.

Hope for a subsequent PS5 version of The Elder Scrolls 6

As far as you as a role-playing game fan and PS5 owner are disappointed about the expected Xbox exclusivity of The Elder Scrolls 6, you don't have to give up all hopes. Because it's definitely not officially denied or even clarified whether Bethesda will develop a PS5 variant of the game sometime after the fact. The only thing that has been virtually ruled out is that fans will be able to play The Elder Scrolls 6 on the PlayStation 5 as an alternative to the Xbox Series X/S or the PC on the day of its launch.

After Microsoft took over the development studio, the chance of a time limit on the exclusivity of Bethesda games was hinted at early on. At the time, company employees stated that video games from the acquired studio would be released for the company's in-house consoles first. In addition, Microsoft is working towards focusing the development of games on its own systems. Accordingly, Bethesda RPGs could potentially do particularly well on the Xbox Series X.

Because The Elder Scrolls 6 is still a long way from being finished, concrete data on the quality when gaming with Microsoft's game consoles is of course not yet available. Despite the Xbox preference, Microsoft never ruled out later additions with further versions of Bethesda's RPGs for the PS5 or other competing products. Therefore, it is conceivable that the corporation will only maintain the exclusivity in the short term and produce alternative console versions in the long term.

The development of a subsequent PS5 game version for The Elder Scrolls 6 seems to be an option for Microsoft. In the end, you'll have to decide for yourself whether to wait for the possible release of a version for Sony consoles before gaming in 2023. No expert can promise you whether this patience will be worth it or Elder Scrolls fans will have to permanently rely on the Xbox Series X and the PC as the only alternative in the future with the sixth part.

Probable Bethesda interest in game versions for other platforms

The reason to hope for the subsequent development of a PS5 version to The Elder Scrolls 6 is actually mainly the previous strategy of the Bethesda developers. With Oblivion, the studio had already developed the fourth part of the main series for both the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. After that, Bethesda established the strategy of developing compatible versions of role-playing games for Microsoft consoles as well as for Sony systems. Therefore, the development studio did not favor any console manufacturer even when the fifth Elder Scrolls part Skyrim was released in 2011. In 2016, the Special Edition of the game was released for the following console generations PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Bethesda continued the same tradition in 2021 with the Anniversary Edition of Skyrim. This means you can already play an Elder Scrolls game on the PS5 or Xbox Series X/S. In addition, there has even been a Skyrim variant for the Nintendo Switch since 2017, with which the studio repeatedly demonstrated its openness to all console manufacturers. However, because of this previous approach, you can't automatically hope for PS5 versions of The Elder Scrolls 6, of course. Because the strategy has probably changed permanently with the Bethesda takeover by Microsoft.

However, there are definitely signs that the existing Bethesda team is still interested in developing a PS5 variant. This is especially shown by the statements of Todd Howard, who played a central role in the development of the Elder Scrolls series as game director. According to the game developer, it is actually "hard to imagine" that fans will be able to play the sixth part of the main series exclusively with a single console as an alternative to the PC. Nevertheless, it currently remains likely that Microsoft will prevail with its desire for exclusive Xbox and PC versions of The Elder Scrolls 6 for the time being. A later PS5 version as a compromise solution would at least be conceivable because of Bethesda's previous strategy and current interviews.


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