It is known that The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim will be headed to Nintendo’s upcoming console/handheld hybrid, the Nintendo Switch, but comments from Bethesda director Todd Howard have made it unclear which version will coming. In a new interview with Polygon, Howard was asked which version of the game would be coming to the Switch, the original 2011 version, the 2016 Special Edition, or a custom-made version, to which he answered, “can’t say“.
With Howard holding his cards close to his chest in regards to the Switch’s version of Skyrim, it is difficult to decipher what his comments mean. Since details about the Switch’s hardware specifications are nothing more than rumors at this point, there is a possibility that Nintendo’s new console may not be able to run the remastered version of the game at the desired performance, thus necessitating a custom-made version.
Given that Bethesda have fully supported mods for all its major titles, perhaps there’s an issue regarding Nintendo’s stance on game mods on its new console, meaning that the Switch version of Skyrim isn’t truly a port of the 2016 Special Edition. This isn’t too far outside the realm of possibility as Bethesda has previously had issues with Sony in regards to PlayStation 4 mod support for Skyrim and Fallout 4, which saw several delays and setbacks before finally being implemented.
Ultimately though, Howard’s noncommittal answer could simply be a case of careful PR planning and Bethesda would rather announce the Switch’s version of Skyrim on its own terms rather than revealing it mid-interview. This isn’t something new as Howard has kept tight-lipped in regards to upcoming projects several times in the past, most recently teasing that Bethesda was working on a new mobile game without divulging on any specifics.
Regardless of what the real reason is and which version of Skyrim will be coming to the Switch, it appears that this game could signal the start of a productive relationship between Nintendo and Bethesda as Howard recently revealed that the Big N is now quite interested in what his studio is working on. Given that Bethesda currently has seven games in various stages of development, perhaps we may see another Bethesda title arrive for the Nintendo Switch once Skyrim is released.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is scheduled for launch in Fall 2017 for the Nintendo Switch.