Todd Howard believes Starfield is better off as an Xbox exclusive

Starfield's absence from the PlayStation 5 is strategic, focusing on fine-tuning and accelerated development, benefiting the game greatly.

Starfield probably wouldn't have come out this year had Bethesda had to worry about porting the game over to the PlayStation 5 as well.

Starfield, the open-world RPG by Bethesda Game Studios, has finally graced the gaming universe. With the vast expanse of its worlds, space stations, and quests, players are already racing through its content, searching for the next best mod or exploit. Yet, for all its promise and allure, Starfield's absence from PlayStation platforms is a notable exclusion.

Bethesda's director, Todd Howard, has stressed that the decision, while difficult, has borne fruit for Starfield, specifically, in its development.

In a recent BBC interview, Howard expressed that exclusivity allowed the team to home in on the particulars of the Xbox hardware, leading to a finer-tuned product. "When you're making something exclusive then the more you can focus," Howard said. By narrowing the game's focus to Xbox, the team could concentrate resources and development time into the Xbox Series X/S versions, a strategy that Howard claims "always yields a better product."

Starfield will probably never make its way to the PlayStation 5.

This focused approach appears to have paid off. The early reviews of Starfield on Xbox laud it as one of the most stable console launches in Bethesda's history.

This isn't to say that it isn't without flaws, and believe us, Starfield isn't a perfect game. But, for all intents and purposes, it's as great as a AAA can be at launch - an achievement in an industry where video game development costs continue to rise.

However, the absence of Starfield from the PlayStation 5 hasn't been without its controversy. It was previously rumored that prior to Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda, Starfield was intended to be a PlayStation exclusive.

The PlayStation 5 isn't left wanting for more exclusives, but it wouldn't hurt to add one more, especially if it's something as big as Starfield.

Microsoft's purchase of ZeniMax, Bethesda's parent company, was purportedly in response to Sony's ambition to secure exclusivity rights. The move was strategic, given Bethesda's assertion that multiplatform development would've been a problem for the game's release timeline. And while there's nothing in Starfield that'd be unattainable on PlayStation 5, Bethesda's point remains: focusing on fewer platforms accelerates development and potentially elevates the end product.

Howard's belief in the power of brand association underpins his defense of Starfield's Xbox exclusivity. Drawing parallels between Nintendo and The Legend of Zelda, Howard suggests that games can become inextricably linked with consoles in the minds of gamers, a symbiosis that can greatly benefit a brand.

Such associations, he believes, might see Starfield become as synonymous with Xbox as The Legend of Zelda is with the Nintendo brand.

Starfield's commercial success is already guaranteed but it could've probably been bigger had it launched on the PS5 as well.

Microsoft's investment in Starfield - both financially and in terms of exclusivity - is indicative of their broader strategy to boost the Xbox Series X and S. Despite its technological advancements, Xbox has found itself lagging behind its rivals.

Given that Starfield is Bethesda's largest launch ever, its success or failure affects the trajectory of the Xbox brand. And with other exclusives like the upcoming Indiana Jones game by MachineGames, The Elder Scrolls 6, Avowed, and so much more, the stakes are high.

Amidst this swirl of speculation, debate, and excitement, the undeniable reality stands: Starfield is finally here. For Xbox and PC players, the vastness of space awaits. And for PlayStation enthusiasts, hope remains for a potential future where the stars align for Starfield to find its way to their console.

Related Topics


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ray Ampoloquio

Ray Ampoloquio // Articles: 5841

Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Comparison List (0)