Feb 21, 2012

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Todd Howard Defends Skyrim on PS3

Todd Howard Defends Skyrim on PS3

It’s been a bleak few months for PS3 gamers itching to play Skyrim. Bethesda’s magnum opus launched with a slew of problems on Sony’s platform, and it has taken three months for any meaningful change to arrive. Still, game director Todd Howard remains optimistic about the state of the game on PS3, contending that problems are statistically rare and the game represents Bethesda’s most stable release ever. Speaking with IndustryGamers about framerate issues, freezes, and the like, Howard stated:

Statistically, it is not nearly as bad as it seems. Meaning, by all the internal and external data, this is our most solid release . . .  over the course of, like, December, the community helped us. We got their save games. We’d literally have to look in and say, ‘What quests do they have running, what order? Oh, he’s doing this. He’s got these dragons here. This script is running. Why is it kicking out this many things?’ And the 1.4 update is coming out today on the PS3 and it should – in our internal tests on those games – it fixes it, it takes care of it.

In response to consumer claims about Bethesda being unable to program correctly for the PS3′s split memory architecture, Howard defended his team:\

The PS3, in general, it handles memory much differently than a PC with lots of memory or a 360. So we did a lot of systems to have it kind of recover when it gets in a bad memory situation, but it turned out there were still circumstances where it would say, ‘I can’t.’ So it’s literally having to delve into things like ‘what spells did you have hotkeyed? How often do you use them?’ It’s very, very specific things. People will say, ‘When your save game hits this size [you're affected]‘ but that’s totally not true, because you have a much larger set of people who are fine. So it’s not that. It has to do with how many things have you done in the game in what order. What’s running right now? And because the game is so dynamic, it does tax the PS3 in a different way. Obviously, we wish we had all that information beforehand. Some of that is just very difficult to get.

I acknowledged the disconcerting number of bugs and problems with Skyrim in my review, but I stand by my contention that Bethesda’s latest is one of the best games of 2011. Despite its issues at launch, the game managed to completely envelop me in RPG goodness, and chances are it will do the same for you. As of this writing, Patch 1.4 seems to have fixed the widespread framerate issue for most users (myself included), so if you haven’t picked up Skyrim yet, now might be the time.

[Source: IndustryGamers]