Why Fallout 4's PC Mods Are Coming to Xbox One Before PS4

Bethesda's Pete Hines explains why the company partnered with Microsoft for the exciting new feature.

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This week at E3, Bethesda officially announced a potentially exciting new feature where Fallout 4's PC mods will be playable on console, starting with Xbox One before coming to PlayStation 4 later. Some fans might be wondering why Bethesda aligned with Microsoft instead of Sony, and now Bethesda explained.

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Speaking with GameSpot today at E3 2015, Bethesda marketing executive Pete Hines said Microsoft's history on PC helped tip the scales. He also said Microsoft had some interesting ideas about how to solve some of the problems associated with bringing PC mods to console.

"Why Microsoft? They are a company that is in both of those spaces; they're heavily in the PC space; they're heavily in the console space," Hines said. "They had some pretty good ideas about how to make something like this work."

"It's something that [Fallout 4 director Todd Howard] has been after, and hounding folks for, not just Microsoft, but everybody, for a while now," Hines went on to say about bringing PC mods to console. "The difficulty is there is no real system in place right now today that allows for it in the way we're talking about it, which is you're on a PC, you're making all this stuff on a PC; you're not just building a new level, you're making massive, wholesale changes to a game."

Hines pointed out that consoles are often very closed systems, in part because the controlling companies are concerned about security issues, among other things. "[Microsoft and Sony are] not big fans of, 'Oh yeah, sure, put whatever files on here you want.' So that's a pretty big thing to them," Hines said.

What happens if someone downloaded a mod that broke their game? That issue, and others, must be sorted out before mods can ever work on console.

"Stuff like that has to be solved; it might be small, but it's important," Hines said.

"The simplest things have very specific requirements, and each one is going to be its own undertaking" -- Pete Hines

The Fallout 4 Creation Kit will launch in early 2016 for PC, with supported mods coming to Xbox One sometime later. The functionality is expected to launch on PS4 further into the future.

"We're hopeful that it's out on PS4," Hines said. "We'd like this to be something that works across [all] platforms."

Hines stressed, however, that the functionality doesn't yet work on Xbox One--there are still a range of problems that must be overcome.

"It's not a thing right now where we can go, 'Oh, we'll take this SDK and drop it into our game, and it works.' It doesn't exist as it needs to on any of these platforms and we have to build it," Hines said, noting that Microsoft and Sony have very specific requirements about how they want it to work.

"The simplest things have very specific requirements, and each one is going to be its own undertaking," Hines said.

What do you think about Fallout 4 mods on console? Let us know in the comments below. And be sure to check back later this week for even more insight from Bethesda about Fallout 4 and mods.

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