Xbox Series X/S have “led to our largest engine overhaul since Oblivion” – Claims Todd Howard

Xbox Series X/S have

Xbox Series X/S have “led to our largest engine overhaul since Oblivion” – Claims Todd Howard

Earlier today, Microsoft confirmed that they had acquired Zenimax Media, the company behind Bethesda Softworks, the publisher behind The Elders Scroll, Fallout, DOOM and Dishonored franchises. 

As part of a blog post on this acquisition, Todd Howard, the head of Bethesda Game Studios, discussed the potential of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X/S hardware, praising the system’s generational leap in both CPU and data streaming performance. 

With the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, many developers were disappointed in each system’s lack of CPU power. The AMD Jaguar cores within each system didn’t offer the generational performance leap that many developers expected. However, each system’s high core count and large RAM allotments somewhat made up for that shortcoming.  Even so, the CPU power of these systems was seen as lacking by many developers, as was each system’s storage performance. 

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X/S systems both offer hardware specifications that are “optimised for the vast world’s that we love to create”, says Todd Howard. The Zen 2 CPU cores within both systems offer vastly higher clock speeds and raw performance per clock than last-generations Jaguar cores. In addition to this, Microsoft’s use of a dedicated storage decompression chips frees up vast resources for developers to utilise. These innovations will allow game developers to create more complex game worlds, enabling titles that aren’t possible on today’s consoles. 

With PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, SSD storage has also become the norm, allowing data to be streamed into memory at a moment’s notice. This could potentially eliminate loading times, and allow games to feature more variation within shorter timeframes. This generational leap has massive implications for large scale RPG games. 

Todd Howard has claimed that Bethesda has been forced into its “largest engine overhaul since Oblivion” thanks to the hardware innovations of next-generation consoles. These changes will be seen first in Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI, both of which should be exclusive to next-generation console platforms.  


  With each new console cycle, we evolved together. From bringing mods to consoles with Fallout 4, now over a billion downloads, to the latest technologies fueling Xbox Series X/S. These new systems are optimized for the vast worlds we love to create, with generational leaps not just in graphics, but CPU and data streaming as well. It’s led to our largest engine overhaul since Oblivion, with all new technologies powering our first new IP in 25 years, Starfield, as well as The Elder Scrolls VI.