The Skyrim vampire add-on commonly known as Dawnguard, may never appear on the PlayStation 3. We might not see the new Hearthfire FLC coming anytime soon either, Bethesda warned last night. Apparently, there is a technical problem with Bethesda’s newest Elder Scrolls installment to the PlayStation 3. “This is not a problem we’re positive we can solve,” Bethesda’s global community lead “gstaff” wrote on the company’s forum. The exact issues were not said, but it’s sounding like it relates back to the save-game frame-rate glitch on the PlayStation 3 version of Skyrim during its launch and for many weeks after.
“It’s been a few weeks, and we wanted to make sure everyone knows where we’re at with Dawnguard. Skyrim is a massive and dynamic game that requires a lot of resources, and things get much more complex when you’re talking about sizable content like Dawnguard. We have tried a number of things, but none of them solve the issue enough to make Dawnguard good for everyone,” gstaff wrote.
“The PS3 is a powerful system, and we’re working hard to deliver the content you guys want. Dawnguard is obviously not the only DLC we’ve been working on either, so the issues of adding content get even more complicated. This is not a problem we’re positive we can solve, but we are working together with Sony to try to bring you this content.
“We wish we had a more definitive answer right now. We understand the frustration when the same content is not available on all platforms. When we have an update, we will certainly let you know. We deeply appreciate all the time and support you have given us, and we’ll keep doing our best to return that.”
When Bethesda had the save-game problems with Skyrim on the PlayStation 3 earlier this year, a Fallout: New Vegas developer came out from his den with a very convincing explanation as to what was happening. The engine that he used for Fallout: New Vegas was evolved for The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, but it had similar problems with the PlayStation 3. The developer, John sawyer also had forewarned that the engine problem would be exacerbated by the time DLC (Downloadable Content) came around.
When Bethesda had save-game problems with Skyrim on PS3, a Fallout: New Vegas developer came out of the woodwork with a convincing explanation of what was going on. The engine he used for Fallout: New Vegas evolved for Skyrim, but had similar problems with PS3. The developer, Josh Sawyer, also forewarned that the engine problem would be exacerbated by DLC. Here’s what he had to say for those of you that like the technical details:
“It’s an engine-level issue with how the save game data is stored off as bit flag differences compared to the placed instances in the main .esm + DLC .esms,” Sawyer explained, referencing the database files used by the Fallout 3/New Vegas engine, which remain in place in Skyrim.
“As the game modifies any placed instance of an object, those changes are stored off into what is essentially another .esm. When you load the save game, you’re loading all of those differences into resident memory.”
“It’s not like someone wrote a function and put a decimal point in the wrong place or declared something as a float when it should have been an int. We’re talking about how the engine fundamentally saves off and references data at run time. Restructuring how that works would require a large time commitment. Obsidian also only had that engine for a total of 18 months prior to F:NV being released, which is a relatively short time to understand all of the details of how the technology works.”
When he was asked why the Fallout: New Vegas lag issues the PlayStation 3 more than any other platforms, Sawyer had noted the differences between the memory set-up of the respective consoles.
“The Xbox 360 has a unified memory pool: 512 megs of RAM usable as system memory or graphics memory,” he said. “The PS3 has a divided memory pool: 256 megs for system, 256 for graphics. It’s the same total amount of memory, but not as flexible for a developer to make use of.”
On the topic of Skyrim, Sawyer’s argument, was however, shot down by Bethesda head of PR (Public Relations), Pete Hines. “No, it isn’t true,” Hines tweeted. “He brings up issues we solved long ago.” I’m curious as to why Public Relations is saying this when the man who actually developed the engine is telling us why the save-game issues are happening. While Hines may have some sort of programming background, I highly doubt that he had anything to deal with the legend. So, if Hines is right, so be it. I’m going with Sawyer’s argument though, it sounds most sensible.
If Sawyer’s wrong though, this whole situation is going to need some serious explaining. PlayStation 3 players are going to be really upset if they aren’t getting those two new DLC packages. If the PlayStation 3 developers indeed are not able to get the DLC packages, that’s really disappointing. The vampire add-on package along with the Hearthfire DLC was supposed to be really cool, especially on the console as they usually take precedence over the PC versions of the DLC. Knowing Bethesda though, they’ll probably find a work around even if it is a little buggy. Who knows if it’ll actually make it to the market though, Bethesda tends to try their best in releasing bug-free DLC.
Aside from that, I really do hope that Bethesda will try to explain this issue more thoroughly. I’m really wanting to know what is actually going on because the title is really popular on the PlayStation 3 as analysts have said before and not getting this DLC out to them could be pretty drastic on their financial milestones and etc.
Any thoughts on this issue, does anyone have any idea what’s going on with the issues? If so, we’d love to hear from you as this is a rather confusing situation with Hines entering the scene and saying “no” that’s not the issue.
Let us know in the comments below!