Zenimax Online and Bethesda have announced The Elder Scolls Online: Console Enhanced, a new version of the game that will run natively on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. This next-gen version will be free for all existing Elder Scrolls Online players and will be released in June.
While the game can be played on these consoles through backwards compatibility, the native version will introduce a number of features that only the latest consoles can perform, including improved graphics. A new Performance Mode will allow the game to run at 60FPS instead of the previous 30FPS cap, while draw distance is now doubled and textures will be in high resolution to look better on larger screens. Updated antialiasing will remove the jagged outlines of foliage, grass, and structures but will sharpen them when up close. Planar reflections have been added and will be especially noticeable in areas like Summerset that have bodies of water. Screen Space Global Illumination has been used to make the indirect lighting more realistic and natural, while shadow resolution has been doubled. Finally, circular depth of field will be enabled by default for better background views.
Away from graphics, the consoles’ SSD will cut loading times by almost half “on average”. More information on this version of the game, including its Performance and Fidelity modes will be revealed before it is released on June 8. Console Enhanced will arrive the same day as the Blackwood expansion, the second chapter in the year-long Gates of Oblivion adventure. Players can enter the new Blackwood zone and take on a new 30-hour storyline that ties into the story of the Daedric Prince Mehrunes Dagon. There will also be plenty of new features like a Companions system, the Rockgrove Trial for up to 12 players, a world event known as Oblivion Portals, delves, public dungeons, world bosses, and stand-alone quests.
Those wanting to prepare for the arrival of the new chapter can try out the Blackwood Prologue that’s available right now. The questline can be picked up from the Quest Starter section of the Crown Store. Players will join forces with the Dremora Lyranth and Wood Elf Eveli Sharp-Arrow to investigate a Daedric cult with sinister intentions. Those who don’t own Elder Scrolls Online can make use of the game’s free play event that’s also running right now and will end at 10AM EDT on April 13. Free play will allow access to the base game, Vvardenfell, and the Blackwood Prologue.