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Starfield now belongs to Xbox: Here's everything else we know about the Bethesda space game

Bethesda has confirmed that Starfield is its next big project after finishing Fallout 76, and the game was originally announced at E3 2018. But, aside from that, specific details on the upcoming sci-fi RPG are very light. Sure, the studio has stated that the sci-fi RPG will be releasing on next-gen platforms, both the PS5 and Xbox Series X, but the latest bombshell news that Microsoft has bought Bethesda could mean Starfield is now an Xbox and PC exclusive. 

We've collected everything we know about Starfield so far into this helpful guide to the upcoming RPG, including the latest info on its release date, genre, platforms, and trailers. Sure, the information out there is as sparse as a hectare of the milky way, but look closely, and there's plenty to already get excited about...

The Starfield release date isn’t until 2021 at the earliest

Bethesda has confirmed that Starfield is the next AAA game the studio will be releasing, and the project is already in full production. But the company’s time and resources are also split between developing The Elder Scrolls 6 (which will arrive after Starfield) and The Elder Scrolls: Blades, and supporting Fallout 76.

Additionally, Todd Howard has hinted that Starfield won’t be releasing on current-gen platforms, so we’ll at least have to wait until the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X  before the game finally lands. Fans should "be very, very patient" hints Howard, in an interview with Gamespot

The first Starfield trailer gives plenty of clues about its setting

You can watch the Starfield teaser trailer above, which shows the sun rising on an arid planet as the camera pans down to a space station hovering above, bearing solar panels that curiously take the shape of a star itself. But before we can even take a breath, a brilliant flash of light quickly eats up both planet and space station within seconds, suggesting this part of the solar system is prone to breakdowns in the space-time continuum. 

But wait! There’s more! Pause the trailer at the 0:16 mark, and you can spot part of a word in the bottom left hand corner, which reveals a logo followed by the letters “conste…”. This suggests we’re actually viewing the trailer from a constellation camera, though what that could mean for Starfield’s story is anyone’s guess.

Starfield is a single-player science fiction game, and parts of it are already playable

While the Starfield release date may be a ways off yet, Howard has confirmed that parts of the game are already in an operational state. “There are sections of it that are very playable,” he told GameSpot at E3 2018. “We know the game we’re making now, and one of the reasons we announced it is that it’s looking really awesome. We have a runway in front of us and we know what’s happening.”

And though it may seem obvious to anyone who’s seen the trailer, Bethesda has confirmed that Starfield is a sci-fi game, but has refrained from specifying whether it’ll follow in the RPG footsteps of Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, or play as a different genre completely. Speaking to Geoff Keighley at E3 2018, Howard clarified that Bethesda’s approach to Starfield has been to ask itself; “What is the tone of science fiction that we think is unique and that really excites us? What would we want to do with that kind of game?” 

Starfield's PS5 release could be in doubt as Microsoft buys Bethesda

It was assumed that Starfield would be a PS5 and Xbox Series X game, but the news that Microsoft has purchased Bethesda for a cool $7.5 billion could mean that the highly anticipated new IP just became an Xbox exclusive. 

Microsoft announced the deal on September 21, one day before Xbox Series X pre-orders went live. 

"We will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC," said Phil Spencer. "One of the things that has me most excited is seeing the roadmap with Bethesda’s future games, some announced and many unannounced, to Xbox console and PC including Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios."

Bethesda has been working on Starfield for over a decade

Howard has called Starfield "the biggest most epic science fiction thing you could possibly imagine” during an interview with NoClip, but a project of that magnitude requires years of development before a studio is comfortable even acknowledging it in public. According to Howard, Bethesda has been working on the IP in some form or another for over ten years, though the company only filed the trademark in 2013, which was around the time it entered full pre-production on the game in earnest. 

Still, four studios under the Bethesda Softworks family (Washington, Montreal, Dallas, and Austin) are currently helping out on Starfield in some form or another, which perhaps explains why Howard thinks the company is now “uniquely positioned to pull this game off.” So yeah, Bethesda is really going to town on this thing, in case you had any doubts. 

Well, this could be a big change for our list of upcoming Xbox Series X games.

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!