Starfield, one of the most hotly-anticipated game releases of 2023, is finally here. But will a Starfield PS5 launch ever happen?
Everyone knows that Microsoft bought Bethesda for a staggering $7.5 billion in 2021, but there remains a level of confusion about whether the Skyrim studio’s games will appear on consoles outside of Xbox or not.
- Read more: Our Starfield review is out now!
Of course, part of the confusion comes from people wanting to play the huge RPG on the PS5.
We’re here to clear things up for you. Read on to find out if there is (or ever will be) a Starfield PS5 release date.
Will Starfield ever come to PS5?
Starfield will not launch on PS5 - and expect it to likely never release on Sony’s console. Starfield is an Xbox exclusive, it has been confirmed.
Since Microsoft purchased Bethesda for $7.5 billion, prospective players were uncertain about how this would impact Starfield, which was revealed to be in development before the massive acquisition.
This has since been cleared up during the court case surrounding Microsoft’s attempted purchase of Activision Blizzard.
Based on reports of those hearings, it’s safe advice to never expect a Starfield PS5 port. Why else would Microsoft buy Bethesda if not to have the studio’s games as exclusives for its Game Pass service?
Why is Starfield an Xbox exclusive?
Starfield is an Xbox exclusive because Microsoft bought its developer, Bethesda Softworks, when it acquired its parent company ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion back in 2021. The studio is now part of Xbox Game Studios.
There was some initial confusion over what games would remain multi-platform - including Starfield, which was already confirmed to be in development at that point. But more recently Microsoft has made it clear that Bethesda games moving forward will be released on Xbox exclusively.
During the court hearings over Microsoft’s attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the head of the Xbox brand Phil Spencer implied that Bethesda was bought to keep Starfield off of PlayStation.
Spencer explained (thanks, Kotaku reporter Ethan Gach): “When [Microsoft] acquired Zenimax, one of the impetus for that was that Sony had done a deal for Death Loop and Ghostwire and [would] pay effectively Bethesda to not ship those games on Xbox, so the discussion about Starfield, when we heard that Starfield is potentially also gonna end up skipping Xbox, [was that] we can’t be in a position as a third place console.”
Based on this, it appears as though Microsoft essentially bought Bethesda to stop Starfield from becoming a PS5 exclusive.
In the FTC document (page 122), Microsoft Gaming CFO Tim Stuart adds that Starfield had more than “10 million units forecasted… on PlayStation, Microsoft believed it could offset losses incurred from taking ZeniMax games exclusive through upside to Game Pass and increased console sales.”
So, it's safe to assume that’s why Starfield is an Xbox Series X/S console exclusive: to drive console and Game Pass sales.
Read more on Starfield:
- Starfield missions list - how far are you?
- Starfield tips and tricks - how to get started
- Starfield romance - all potential relationships
- Starfield character creation - all your options explained
- Starfield digipick - how to lockpick
- How long is Starfield? The hours you'll need
- Starfield cast - all voice actors
- Starfield companions - who to recruit
- Starfield soundtrack - how to listen
- Starfield storage guide - don't be overburdened
- Starfield FOV - change your point of view
- Starfield FPS - developers explain 30fps
- Starfield PC requirements - specs needed
- Starfield performance - potential fixes
- Starfield factions - all possible groups