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Bethesda confirms: Starfield is made for next-gen gaming hardware

Next-gen game consoles, here we come.

starfield-e3
Screenshot by CNET

Starfield is a single-player sci-fi epic, and the first new game series from Bethesda -- maker of The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom and Wolfenstein -- in 25 years. 

And it sure sounds like it's the first game to be announced for a next-generation gaming console. Not the PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One X, but a brand-new generation of hardware that hasn't even been announced yet.

That's the word from Bethesda executive producer and director Todd Howard, who told Eurogamer that when he said "next-generation" he specifically meant the combination of next-gen hardware, next-gen software and next-gen gameplay, not just one of the three.

"What systems we put it out on -- what's the hardware requirements -- is still to be determined," Howard told the publication. "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."

So it's possible you'll see a version of PS4, Xbox or Switch too. There's typically a transitional period when new consoles arrive, anyhow. But Howard told our sister site GameSpot that it's "not out of the question" for the game to skip current-gen consoles entirely.

Mind you, Howard didn't say the word "console," and we're not yet clear what next-gen consoles might look like, or if they'll be consoles at all. At E3, Microsoft said it was building the next Xbox consoles, with a rumor pegging them for the year 2020. Meanwhile, Sony has cryptically hinted its next PlayStation might arrive in 2021

But both Sony and Microsoft are also working on game streaming, as are EA and reportedly Google. So don't be surprised if your next console lives in the cloud.

Bethesda didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.

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