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Bethesda Looking Into Skyrim's Texture Troubles

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Those who choose to play Skyrim, the latest entry in the Elder Scolls franchise, on the Xbox 360 may notice one problem. If the game is installed to the hard drive, blurry textures are certain to show up from time to time, peppering the landscape and detracting from the experience. This is certainly a disappointment, but fear not. Bethesda is aware of the issue and already hard at work on a solution.

What causes the problem? A senior community manager at Bethesda says, "Skyrim uses a lot of dynamic streaming systems, including textures. We’ve seen a few reports of certain textures temporarily scaling down on the Xbox 360, and not scaling back up." The textures scaling down is actually an important part of the experience. In addition to lightening the load on the system, such blurriness actually gives the game an artsty, psuedo-realistic visual style. This style helps convey the massive scale of the game's world.

It seems the issue can be avoided by not having Skyrim installed to the Xbox 360's hard drive. Those who already have installed it can uninstall it and simply play from the disc to avoid the issue. Bethesda plans to have the issue fixed by the next update for the game, so fans shouldn't be waiting long.

It is also worth noting at this time that Skyrim takes advantage of the Xbox 360 caching system. As a result, it runs better when fully cached. Playing a game other than Skyrim wipes that cache. Of course, that happening would require gamers to actually stop playing Skyrim in the first place. In that case, it won't be a problem.

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Staff article by Skyler Bunderson (November 11, 2011)

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