While PC owners are complaining that Bethesda’s remastered Skyrim isn’t much of a remaster, the audio quality of the game also appears to be severely downgraded on both PC and Xbox One. Bethesda has stated that they are aware of it, and are currently testing a Skyrim Special Edition patch that, hopefully, will be released this week.
The remastered Skyrim offers quite some eye-candy on both PS4 and Xbox One in 1080P @ 30FPS, but not so much can be said about the PC version of the game. Since its release, players have been complaining about major technical issues and severely lacking graphical improvements. On top of that, sound quality appears severely gimped on PC and its Xbox One counterpart. According to Reddit user “LasurArkinshade” this is due to the fact that the remastered Skyrim uses insane levels of .xwm compression, while the original Skyrim used uncompressed .wav files.
In his Reddit post, “LasurArkinshade” supplied samples of the sound files to compare them to each other, and the quality difference is quite apparent indeed. In addition, he notes that Skyrim Special on PS4 doesn’t seem to suffer from downgraded audio – in contrary, the audio quality on PS4 appears to be even higher than that of the original Skyrim.
“Is the team at Bethesda also aware of the massive difference in audio quality on voiceover and music between the PS4 version and the others? The voiceover and music audio in the PS4 version of the Special Edition is astronomically higher quality than even the original PC release of Skyrim, to the point where it almost seems like Bethesda intended to push out higher quality audio for the Special Edition but didn't include those files in the PC/Xbox One versions, possibly by mistake or as an oversight. If not - I figure it's best to ensure that it's brought to the team's attention to ensure that the Special Edition has the highest-quality audio possible.”
Bethesda’s community lead, Matt Grandstaff, who appears to go by the name of “gstaff” on Reddit, replied to LasurArkinshade’s post and said that Bethesda is currently testing out a fix which might be released this week. “We’re currently testing a fix and hope to have an update out next week”, Gstaff said.
Skyrim Special Edition is available now for PC, Xbox One, and PS4. The game supports mods on all platforms, but the PS4 version has limited mod support.