Bethesda will fix 'Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim — Special Edition' audio issues

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim — Special Edition released this past Friday, finally giving Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners the chance to play the game on new hardware — and to try out the ridiculous fan-made mods previously limited to PC. Audio problems have kept PC and Xbox One players, however, from enjoying the game as it was meant to be played, but a fix is currently in development.

Reddit user “LasurArkinshade” discovered that the original, 2011 version of Skyrim available on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 used largely uncompressed .wav files for its audio, leading to clearer effects and overall higher sound quality, but Special Edition appears to use a more compressed .xwm format instead.

The result is pretty remarkable, with background noise and the game’s famous chants muddled significantly, but the problem appears to be primarily limited to the Xbox One and PC. The Reddit user calls the PlayStation 4 version’s audio “much higher quality” than that of the original game.

“The voiceover and music audio in the PS4 version of the Special Edition is astronomically higher quality that even the original PC release of Skyrim,” the user added.

Bethesda, for its part, told users that it is “currently testing a fix” and the issue should be resolved at some point this week.

Skyrim‘s original launch in 2011 was plagued with its own set of bugs, many of which were much more significant than the current audio issues. Installing the game to your Xbox’s hard drive, for example, would cause textures to no longer load properly, and the “fix” implemented by Bethesda then caused dragons to fly backward and broke elemental resistance. The PlayStation 3 version had it even worse, with some players believing performance issues and lag were due to ballooning save files. Director Todd Howard said at the time that it actually had to do with what players had done up to a certain point, and how the game dealt with memory in response.


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