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Don’t expect Bethesda’s Starfield anytime soon

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‘We’re thinking very, very far in future,’ says Todd Howard

Starfield - star-shaped satellite hovering in space Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks

Aside from a very brief and very vague teaser shown at this year’s E3, not much is known about Bethesda Softworks’ Starfield. And according to an interview with Eurogamer, people shouldn’t expect to be able to play the game anytime soon.

Eurogamer managed to corner Todd Howard in Spain at the Gamelab conference. The site pressed him on the game’s tech, and during the interview, Howard let slip that the game won’t be out for a good long while.

“What systems we put it out on — what’s the hardware requirements — is still to be determined,” said Howard, game director at Starfield developer Bethesda Game Studios. “We’re pushing it; we’re thinking very, very far in future, so we’re building something that will handle next-generation hardware. That’s what we’re building on right now, that’s where our mind is, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t exist on the current systems as well.”

To put that into perspective, I asked the team at CD Projekt Red if fans should expect to see Cyberpunk 2077 on next-generation consoles. The developers told me flat-out that they haven’t heard anything about what a next-generation system would look like from either Sony or Microsoft. While they’re building their futuristic role-playing game for advanced PC graphics cards, they’re also tailoring it specifically for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Sony and Microsoft have both been cagey about the timeline for next-generation hardware. Phil Spencer mentioned the possibility of a successor to the Xbox One at this year’s E3, while Sony has suggested that a PlayStation 5 won’t launch until 2021 or later.

Howard detailed more of Starfield’s production timeline, too. Fans first heard about the project in 2013, when Bethesda trademarked the word alongside “Fallout 4.” But it turns out that the team was thinking about the game as early as 2004.

“We had made a list of what we might want to do in the future, and an epic science-fiction game has always been on my mind,” Howard said. “Post-apocalyptic was our first choice, sci-fi was our second at the time — we were going to do our own post-apocalyptic universe if we didn’t get Fallout [from Interplay in 2004].”

For all the other news from Bethesda at this year’s E3, check out our dedicated page.