Is Starfield coming to PS5 and PS4? It’s an exciting time for RPG game enjoyers, with Starfield representing one of the most exciting titles within the genre in recent years. After all, it’s the first entirely new IP to be released by legendary developer Bethesda after almost three decades, and its next mainline game since Fallout 4 in 2015. Having already launched on PC and Xbox, PlayStation fans are eager to know if there will be a Starfield PS5 or Starfield PS4 version on the horizon.
While the Starfield release date is here for team green, we do have an answer for PlayStation fans on whether you can play Bethesda’s newest IP. Will those on PS5 and PS4 ever be able to navigate the Starfield planets? Can one of the best RPG games of 2023 join many other big, expansive games on our best PS5 games list? Here’s all the info you need, and check out our Starfield review to learn more about the game.
Will there be a Starfield PS5 and PS4 version?
Starfield will not be releasing on PS5 and PS4 consoles. The game is now a first-party Xbox game and is only coming to Xbox Series X|S and PC because Microsoft acquired Bethesda in 2021.
Starfield is just one of several new releases published by Bethesda that will be Xbox-exclusive and that won’t come to PS5 or PS4. Other recent examples include Redfall and Hi-Fi Rush, though these were smaller titles which didn’t hurt quite so much as the lack of a Starfield PS5 release.
This isn’t just launch exclusivity either – unless a rare exemption is made, future Bethesda titles will not launch on the PlayStation platform. Yes, that means a Starfield PS5 and PS4 release is not on the tables, and likely won’t ever be. That also means that The Elder Scrolls 6 release date will follow suit, with no PS5 or PS4 version. In other words, the lack of a Starfield PS5 or PS4 release is the new norm for Bethesda games.
So, we’re sorry to break it to you PS5 and PS4 players, but you won’t be getting your hands on Starfield unless you’ve also got access to a PC or Xbox console. Bethesda games are always popular, landmark releases, but being its first new IP in over two decades, the absence of a Starfield PS5 release is certainly felt by many.
To make matters more confusing, the lack of a Starfield PS5 or PS4 release is in stark contrast to Microsoft’s approach to Call of Duty. With Microsoft having spent $68.7 billion to acquire Activision Blizzard, you would expect Microsoft to want to make games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 exclusive to Xbox as well. However, MW3 is on PlayStation consoles, as will future CoD titles.
At first, this gave team blue hope that a Starfield PS5 launch could potentially happen in the future. After all, another highly anticipated now-Microsoft-owned franchise is still launching on both systems. Nevertheless, it appears Microsoft wants to keep Bethesda’s games, at least its landmark single-player RPGs, under the Xbox banner, likely to compete with Sony’s popular single-player games like The Last of Us, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and God of War. With future Bethesda titles also slated for Xbox exclusivity, the nail is, sadly, in the coffin for a Starfield PS5 version. Nevertheless, Xbox finally has true competition to Sony’s heavy-hitting single-player line-up as, so far, Redfall, Halo Infinite, and other key Xbox exclusives have fallen flat.
Microsoft wants its first-party studios to release games only in the Xbox ecosystem to drive both hardware sales for its Xbox consoles and to increase subscriptions to Game Pass. In fact, Microsoft stated as much during the FTC case, in which “Microsoft believed it could offset losses incurred from taking ZeniMax games exclusive through upside to Game Pass increased console sales”. Starfield was available on Game Pass on day one, so those already paying for a subscription have been able to play it at no extra cost, while new subscribers joined up.
However, Microsoft Gaming CFO Tim Stuart testified during the FTC case that when Microsoft evaluated the exclusivity of ZeniMax games in December 2020, it had “more than 10 million units forecasted for both Starfield and Indiana Jones on PlayStation”. Despite the loss of overall sales, Microsoft’s focus on Game Pass gave undeniable value to players.
For those who are eager to dive into another rich world by Bethesda, unfortunately, you’re left with two options: buy an Xbox Series X|S console or a suitable PC.
Thankfully, unlike PlayStation exclusives, Xbox exclusives release on both Xbox consoles and PC on day one. Therefore, you won’t have to hang around waiting for a PC release like you do with PlayStation exclusives. Nevertheless, don’t hold out hope for a Starfield PS5 or PS4 release, as it’s simply not in Xbox’s interest when it can strategically release on PC and Xbox to have its cake and eat it too.
Outside of Starfield, there are other games we recommend playing, such as the best PS5 RPGs which will fill the Starfield-shaped hole in your heart. If you’re looking to the future, we have a list of all the new PS5 games too.
Starfield PS5 exclusivity
In an odd turn of events, Sony had originally been planning on making Starfield PS5 and PS4 exclusive, similar to its approach to Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo, two other Bethesda-published games (not to be confused with Bethesda Games Softworks, the developers of Starfield).
As reported by Imran Khan, Sony had been negotiating timed-exclusivity on Starfield, which would have resulted in, not only a Starfield PS5 and PS4 release coming to fruition, but also before an Xbox and PC release.
However, in a bid to secure Starfield to launch on Xbox, among many other factors, Microsoft sought to acquire ZeniMax Media. As Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer claimed during the FTC hearing, “when we heard that Starfield was potentially also going to end up skipping Xbox, we [couldn’t] be in a position as a third-place console where we [fell] further behind on our content ownership.” Furthermore, he noted that “When we acquired ZeniMax, one of the impetus for that was that Sony had done a deal for Deathloop and Ghostwire and pay, effectively, Bethesda to not ship those games on Xbox.”
In other words, Microsoft did not want Sony to bag Starfield PS5 and PS4 exclusivity, even for a time, as this would have put the Xbox brand behind on one of the biggest games in recent years. So, instead of a Starfield PS5 timed-exclusive, PlayStation fans are stuck without the game at all now that Microsoft has acquired ZeniMax Media.
If you have bitten the bullet and already picked up Starfield on either PC or Xbox, then be sure to check out our guides on everything from the best Starfield ships, to the best Starfield weapons, as well as our Starfield missions list to assist you on your journey across the stars.
Still looking for more? While a good Starfield wiki can be a handy source of information, our new Starfield Database goes further, offering you daily news, updates on the Starfield PS5 edition, searchable databanks, and even interactive tools.