While the news that Starfield will most likely be exclusive to Xbox/PC has been predicted since Microsoft acquired ZeniMax (Bethesda’s parent company), several analysts had tipped the game for a release in 2021. That now looks very unlikely as a tweet (opens in new tab) from Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier has suggested the game will instead be a 2022 release.
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The news gets even worse for Xbox fans, as Schreier claims that the game is facing a launch in late 2022 rather than the first half of the year. While Starfield release date rumors have been flying around for a while, Schreier is one of the most reputable sources in the industry so there’s a strong possibility the game won’t be released until 2022.
Let me make this very clear: Bethesda's plan is to tease a release date for Starfield at E3. That date is in *late* 2022. I'll leave the specifics to them. But please keep your expectations in check and refrain from sending death threats when the other rumors turn out to be falseMay 20, 2021
At least the leak has been softened somewhat by Schreier also claiming that Bethesda plans to show off Starfield at E3 2021. This would be very welcome because beyond a vague teaser and a logo we basically know nothing about the game. Hopefully, next month’s E3 showcase brings actual gameplay and a confirmed release date.
In a strange twist, if Starfield doesn’t launch this year then Bethesda’s output for 2021 will in fact be exclusive to the PS5, as both Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo (developed by Arkane and Tango Gameworks respectively, both games will be published by Bethesda) are timed exclusives on Sony’s console. That’s probably not quite how Microsoft envisaged its first year owning Bethesda would go.
Starfield vacating this year would also mean that Xbox Series X is banking solely on Halo Infinite to fight the PS5 this holiday season. Sony has already released multiple exclusives this year, with more still to come including Horizon Forbidden West, so Starfield being pushed into 2022 is a real blow to the current Xbox software lineup.
Perhaps by the time Starfield does release buying a next-gen console will actually be straightforward instead of the headache-inducing experience it currently is. If you’re still after a new gaming machine make sure to keep tabs on our Xbox Series X restock and PS5 restock guides, for the latest stock information as we get it.