During ZeniMax Online Studios‘ demo of The Elder Scrolls Online, which featured an in-depth look at the combat, world, and lore of the long anticipated MMO, they also announced something pretty unique for a PC-focused online experience that hopes to make a huge splash in an oversaturated market. ZeniMax has already explained how they plan to give MMO fans an experience that reminds them of the role-playing games of old, highlighted specifically by the inclusion of public dungeons, but this reveal was geared more towards the hardware side.

Without further ado: ZeniMax announced that The Elder Scrolls Online will be playable on PCs and Macs that are up to five years old. They wouldn’t give specifics regarding system specs, but that claim alone should get fans of the franchise interested in this game.

There is definitely the possibility of The Elder Scrolls Online being a high end MMO that taxes even the most powerful of PCs, but the developers making such a claim during their gameplay preview is something to take note of.

Unfortunately, coupled with information that this game has been in development for about five years now this has the potential of dashing fans’ expectations. The instant response to the reveal was that ZeniMax is going for the largest gaming population possible. However, when gamers think about it a bit longer they could extrapolate that the game is extremely dated, and that’s why it would be capable of running on an old PC or Mac.

Regardless of how the game might look in action — more on that in a longer preview piece —it’s hard to argue that ZeniMax isn’t trying to entice as many MMO fans as they possibly can. Maybe that goal will result in the game looking dated and featuring a few dated features, but if it gets the fans going then good for them.

Make sure to follow of our E3 2012 coverage, including closer looks at Bethesda’s other main showpiece Dishonored.

How do you feel about The Elder Scrolls Online being able to run on five-year old PCs and Macs? Does this spell bad news for the quality of the game, or is it a better way to entice old school MMO fans?

The Elder Scrolls Online will be available some time in 2013 for the PC and the Mac.