Bethesda’s Todd Howard has apparently gotten a look at next-gen consoles, and while he isn’t sharing everything he knows, he has revealed that he doesn’t think that the PS5 or Xbox Scarlett are going to screw things up too badly.
“They’re doing the right things,” says Howard of Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen plans during an interview with IGN. “The things everybody is doing, in my mind, no one is screwing up at the starting line, which some people have done before.”
That’s quite the interesting statement even if it’s incredibly vague. Howard’s references to “screwing it up at the starting line” could certainly apply to the Xbox One (which launched with some infamously controversial concepts) or even the PS3 (which was burdened by an absurd price tag). If either of those are the case, then it’s entirely possible that we can take this to mean that next-gen consoles won’t be too expensive and perhaps won’t rely on concepts that are too outrageous.
Howard also mentions how next-gen technology is going to make it that much easier for Bethesda to develop the kinds of games they typically make (which seem to be large, open-world epics). Sony’s demonstrations of the PS5’s loading times certainly seem to support that claim. Interestingly, Howard also turns the next-gen discussion into an opportunity to praise gaming’s shifting revenue model.
“Movies, television, all that, where you’re going to have games that are big tentpoles that people can buy for $60. That’s kind of like going to the theater,” said Howard. “You’re going to have games you can play on a subscription service, you’re going to have ones you can download on your phone, you’re going to have ones you can play and they’re ad-supported. I think that’s really healthy for the industry…My worry before was ‘hey, will all of that go away?'”
While that subject has been especially popular as of late, it’s interesting that Howard talks about subscription services so close to a discussion about next-gen consoles. We already know that Microsoft is all-in on Game Pass (as they should be), but maybe now is the time for PlayStation to reconsider the value and scope of their PlayStation Now service.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.