The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim looked amazing when we saw Bethesda’s gameplay demo at E3 2011. But one detail you may have missed in preview coverage was that the build on show was played on an Xbox 360. This isn’t unusual. But it’s always especially striking when we see a 360 demo for a franchise known for its PC roots. Even though Skyrim looked fantastic running on a 360, it seems reasonable to ask why the game wasn’t demonstrated on a PC. Wouldn’t it look even better running on more powerful hardware?
In response to that question, Bethesda’s Todd Howard explained why his team decided to demo Skyrim on a 360 at E3 in an interview at AusGamers. “Yeah it does, obviously the PC version looks better,” explains Howard. “It has higher textures, it can run much higher resolution and a lot more graphic features. We tend to show it on 360 so that it’s a good baseline for people to look at. So when they then see the PC version it’s going to go up. We’d rather do that than have people see the 360 later and it takes a step down.”