Bethesda has been working on Starfield for a very long time, and although the studio is currently working on several other major releases, a new interview with Bethesda director Todd Howard suggests Starfield could be out sooner than anticipated.

When Starfield was first announced, Bethesda referred to it as a “next-generation single-player epic”, suggesting that the title wouldn’t be released during this console generation. We’re currently in the eighth generation, which began with the arrival of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2013. Industry sources suggest that we won’t be seeing the next generation until 2020 at the earliest.

However, Todd Howard recently clarified that the “next-generation” used to describe Starfield isn’t just referring to the physical console you’ll play it on.

“That to us means two things,” Howard told Eurogamer. “It does mean hardware and it does mean software on our side, and it also means gameplay — what does the next generation of epic single-player RPGs feel like to us?”

He went on to clarify that just because Bethesda’s next games will be designed to run on the PS5 and whatever Microsoft releases next (Xbox Two?), doesn’t mean they won’t also work on the current console generation.

“We’re pushing it; we’re thinking very, very far in future so we’re building something that will handle next-generation hardware,” he continued. “That’s what we’re building on right now, that’s where our mind is, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t exist on the current systems as well.”

Moreover, Howard also confirmed at E3 2018 that Starfield is currently playable.

Does that mean we should expect to see Starfield before 2020? Actually, yeah, it’s not a bad theory to bank on. We know that Fallout 76 has nearly gone gold and Bethesda is ready to shift the bulk of its production towards Starfield.

Starfield is already at least five years in the making, which lines up with the initial release of the PS4 and Xbox One. If the team has been targeting current generation consoles from the beginning then it seems we may be flying through the stars sooner than expected.

Photos via Bethesda Softworks