Bethesda can never completely whitewash the legacy of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’s DLC on the PlayStation 3 — the obfuscation and frustration brought on by months of development latency; a myriad of struggles and mysteries (which weren’t entirely of the company’s own doing); and a lacking, even misleading level of communication with anxious fans (which kind of was).
But they can build on it. Bethesda began setting the stage for post-release Skyrim content on the PS3 late last year when they confirmed Dragonborn, the game’s second and most recent expansion, for an “early 2013″ release and promised it would be followed shortly by Dawnguard and Hearthfire. Today the developer validated that promise, revealing the month of February as the release window for all three.
Posting on their official blog, Bethesda announced February 5th as Dragonborn’s PC release date on Steam, adhering to the Xbox 360’s month-or-maybe-two exclusivity net. While no specific dates were mentioned with regard to the PlayStation 3, Bethesda says that Dragonborn will be February’s first release, followed by Hearthfire and then Dawnguard within same month. Skyrim update 1.8 will precipitate the process, appearing for download “just prior to Dragonborn.”
And so the wait will be over. Ending a process that began when Dawnguard released on the Xbox 360 last June, PS3 owners will finally be au courant with Skyrim DLC — and (let’s hope) ready for whatever might still remain in the Bethesda reservoir (Redguard?).
That Bethesda persisted through what had to be an arduous ordeal — the developer, even with Sony’s aid, appeared gridlocked in getting DLC to run on the PS3 last September — is quite admirable. It says a lot, even with the fair criticism that they said little. The only question lingering now is how large a market still exists for Skyrim content on the platform: Is the PlayStation 3, over a year later, still teeming with Tamriel adventurers? Or is its Skyrim user base as dwindling and desolate as Dawnguard’s Soul Cairn, a few ethereal stragglers wandering the premises confused about why they were forsaken?
Either way, though, the old adage of better late than never probably applies here. As our reviews for Dawnguard (3.5 out of 5), Hearthfire (3 out of 5), and Dragonborn (4.5 out of 5) illustrate, Skyrim’s post-release content has treated Xbox 360 owners amiably since its November 2011 debut — the Morrowind-venturing latest also being the greatest while the nadir was a non-sequiting home-building add-on. Assuming the content is running smoothly, there’s nowhere left to go but forward.
PS3 owners, will you be occupying yourself with Skyrim’s DLC when it bombards the month of February?
Be sure to check back with us when Bethesda outlines the official dates.
Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.
Source: Official Bethesda Blog