The first installment of The Elder Scrolls to adopt the MMORPG mold, The Elder Scrolls Online was viewed as an ambitious undertaking by publisher Bethesda and developer ZeniMax Online Studios when it was announced last May.
And that’s when it was thought to be a PC-exclusive.
But Sony‘s press conference this week at E3 2013 tossed another layer of intrigue around the project. It wasn’t just about unveiling the rhombic facade and rounded features of the PlayStation 4; outlining the console’s forthcoming software lineup, Sony confirmed The Elder Scrolls Online as an available PS4 title.
The PlayStation 4 will serve as the first platform to offer the beta for The Elder Scrolls Online, but Bethesda later clarified that the game would also be releasing for the Xbox One. The franchise might be breaking its longtime solo-RPG mold, but it’s not cutting down on hardware real estate — which with recent installments has only been expanding.
Naturally, the best compliment for Bethesda’s big-stage announcement was a taste of brand new gameplay footage for The Elder Scrolls Online. The game clung to CGI and conceptual details at last year’s E3. But the new trailer tours the varied expanses of Tamriel in all their real-time veracity, showcasing its troika of warring factions (The Aldmeri Dominion, the Daggerfall Covenant and the Ebonheart Pact) and warning of the overarching, amassing-an-invasion-force-in-a-plane-of-Oblivion threat posed by the Daedric Prince Molag Bal.
Even if the format is new, the story and scope of The Elder Scrolls Online appears just as far-reaching — just as rich in TES lore and just as conducive to unique characters and unique destinies — as any in the franchise. Thanks to an official press release and a tweet from Bethesda’s Pete Hines, the game appears slated to launch on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in the Spring of 2014 — not, as was previously expected before its console announcement, this Fall.
Expect even more details to surface out of E3, however, and be sure to check back with GR when they do.
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