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Elder Scrolls Online on PS4

Elder Scrolls Online's PS4 and Xbox One versions still haven't been released. However, ZeniMax Online Studios decided to throw console gamers a bone today and share a few details on its development.

In a new blog post on Elder Scrolls Online's website, game director Matt Firor emphasized that the Xbox One and PS4 editions of the game aren't "just ports" of the original PC/Mac game. They've put a lot of time into customizing the MMORPG for those platforms.

"We have completely replaced the PC user interface with a console-specific UI designed from the ground-up with a controller and a living room play experience in mind," Firor said. He added that both versions will also support voice chat - a necessity considering how few console gamers have keyboards for text communication.

Firor said that the console versions of Elder Scrolls Online are "playable and fun" now. However, they're not ready to release them yet or even provide a date. They still have big tasks to finish.

"First and foremost, we want to make sure that two of our most important systems still in development—the Justice and Champion Systems—are included in the console release. Those two systems will introduce a huge amount of content to the game, and we know everyone is looking forward to the new types of gameplay they provide."

The Justice and Champion systems are major features coming in the January update on PC and Mac. The Champion system is a progression system for players who have hit the cap of level 50. These players earn Champion Points through everyday activities and can spend them on ability changes or passive bonuses. Their Champion progression will also be unlocked for their other characters, even if they're below level 50.

The Justice system allows players to become criminals. They can rob or kill NPC's throughout the world. Stolen items can be sold to fences. This behavior may draw the attention of the guards, though. Players can pay off their bounty or kill any guards in their way.

Eventually, the Justice system will be expanded so that players can hunt these law-breakers. ZeniMax decided to make sure that the Justice feature has a "solid foundation" before they add this player-versus-player aspect.

"These are large changes to the game, and go hand-in-hand with our vision to add more freedom and sandbox-style elements to the world. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and we just need to make sure that we phase it in carefully to ensure the best experience for everyone."

Elder Scrolls Online debuted on PC and Mac in April. The PS4 and Xbox One versions were first scheduled for June, but Bethesda delayed them by six months. They've obviously missed that new deadline. Firor says that more news on the console editions of ESO will be forthcoming in "early 2015," though.