The Elder Scrolls Online getting 'Project Scorpio' upgrade this year

While it's been quite some time since Bethesda's last entry to the main Elder Scrolls games, its MMO RPG, "The Elder Scrolls Online," has been a focus of the company's efforts in recent years. We now have confirmation that Bethesda plans to upgrade the game later this year, to bring support for Microsoft's upcoming "Project Scorpio" Xbox console.

In an interview with Finder, Creative Director at Zenimax Online Studios, Rich Lambert, outlined the developer's plans to upgrade the game to leverage the extra power provided by Project Scorpio. Following a patch late last year which delivered an upgrade for Sony's PlayStation 4 (PS4) Pro console, Lambert expressed plans to offer similar visual enchantments.

I think we're going to be in for the same kinds of things [with the Project Scorpio version] that we did with the PS4 Pro. So visual stability will be up there. We'll probably have the same types of visual bells and whistles. As for what Microsoft is going to release, I don't know. I haven't really spent any time trying to dig through what they're doing. I'm sure they'll have something [at E3], but as it relates to exactly what I'm focused on right now, I don't know.

Following this statement, Lambert continued to outline the hardware improvements which will best aid a multiplayer-focused game like The Elder Scrolls Online.

I would definitely say power is key. Memory is key. Especially in a game like The Elder Scrolls Online. There are hundreds of characters running around on the screen at any one time. We can have a 300 person battle in our game and that eats up memory. That eats up computing power and it eats up VRAM. So, the more they can pack into those newer consoles, the better.

While it's yet to be seen how The Elder Scrolls Online holds up on Project Scorpio, the hardware breakdown we've already received seems promising. Packing 8 CPU cores clocked at 2.3GHz, 12GB GDDR5 memory and a 1172MHz GPU with 40 customized compute units, the console far-exceeds competitors in the console space.

Based on the PS4 Pro patch released last November, we already have an idea of what's in store for Project Scorpio owners. While native 4K is available, a separate "1080p Enhanced Mode" also brings improvements to ambient occlusion, water reflections, and shadow fidelity to full HD displays.

For those wanting to get started with The Elder Scrolls Online today, be sure to check out the game's latest Morrowind expansion, which just launched on Xbox One. As always, stay tuned to Windows Central for future updates on all Project Scorpio titles.

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Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.