Home Gaming Skyrim Special Edition’s PC and Xbox Audio is horrible (But it’s getting fixed)

Skyrim Special Edition’s PC and Xbox Audio is horrible (But it’s getting fixed)

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SkyrimS

On consoles, the Xbox One version of Skyrim’s graphically enhanced Special Edition maybe the best one to get. That’s largely because its modding isn’t quite as severely constrained as it is on Sony’s console. PlayStation 4 mods can only be as large as 1GB, and can’t contain any assets that’s aren’t already in the game.

That’s not the case on the Xbox One, where mods can take up to 5GB of space, and can feature audio and imagery from outside of the core game files. That means you won’t be seeing the infamous Macho Man Dragon mod in the PS4 – but they will be there on the Xbox One.

That, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that the Xbox One version is superior in all aspects. The audio on the Xbox One and PC versions is apparently quite awful. IT’s all down to audio compression. While the original game used uncompressed audio, this time around it’s been aggressively compressed. The issue was discovered by Reddit user LasurArkinshade (via Kotaku).

“The vanilla game has sound assets (other than music and voiceover) in uncompressed .wav format,” the post states. “The Special Edition has the sound assets all in (very aggressively compressed) .xwm format, which is a compressed sound format designed for games. This isn’t so bad, necessarily—it’s possible to compress audio to .xwm without significant quality degradation unless you crank the compression way up to insane levels.”

The first bit of audio is from the original game. The second comes from the Special Edition.

This is most noticeable when playing the game with a decent headset. Oddly, this doesn’t seem to affect the PlayStation 4 version – which continues to use uncompressed audio, and is apparently higher in quality than the original game.

Bethesda is apparently aware of the issue, and will be issuing a fix for it soon.

“We’re currently testing a fix and hope to have an update out next week,” says Bethesda community manager Matt Grandstaff.

There’s no word on what that fix might be – but if it entails downloading uncompressed audio, expect it to be rather large.

Last Updated: October 31, 2016

32 Comments

  1. Original Heretic

    October 31, 2016 at 11:08

    With all the mods for PC available on the original Skyrim, is it even worth getting this Special Edition (for PC)?

    Reply

    • 40 Insane Frogs

      October 31, 2016 at 11:19

      Fus.. Ro.. NOOOOOOOO!!!! 😛

      Reply

    • Lu

      October 31, 2016 at 11:21

      Not yet. Got the free upgrade, played up to Helgen and quit. They’re slowly porting all the old mods over, but until ENB gets made for SE you may as well stick to the standard. Check out MXR Mods comparison on youtube to get an idea.

      Reply

      • Original Heretic

        October 31, 2016 at 11:23

        I don’t play on PC, so it doesn’t affect me whatsoever. I was simply curious.

        Reply

        • Lu

          October 31, 2016 at 11:30

          Coolio. The fact that the modding community is so far ahead is probly the reason PC got the upgrade for free in the first place. But I’m hoping the new platform allows for even more awesome mods.

          Reply

          • Matthew Holliday

            October 31, 2016 at 12:47

            if ENB ever gets updated for DX11, its very possible that the new mods will be super “immersive”

          • Lu

            October 31, 2016 at 12:51

            Here’s for hoping. Doubt it, but if enough people nag I’m sure we may get one

        • Dungeon of JJ

          October 31, 2016 at 12:10

          Then I’d say consider it.

          Reply

    • Pariah ???

      October 31, 2016 at 11:23

      If you played the base game without mods, yes. If you modded it graphically with all the overhauls, no. BUT, and this is a biggie, the future is where it’s at. 64bit client means much more capacity for modding. So it’s down to who jumps on the modding wagon, old masters coming back, new talent picking it up.

      Look again in 3 months. That’s where this will truly tell the difference.

      Although, it’s fun enough to jump back in anyway. I’m enjoying it. Same game though, don’t expect any gameplay changes at all.

      Reply

      • Lu

        October 31, 2016 at 11:27

        Exactly as you say.

        Reply

      • Dungeon of JJ

        October 31, 2016 at 12:11

        Yea, in three days you already saw a decent influx in mods, so it just needs some time

        Reply

        • Matthew Holliday

          October 31, 2016 at 13:08

          alot of the mods can just be transferred over, but alot of them rely on resources like ENB, SKSE and skeleton mods, theyr waiting for those to be updated atm.

          Reply

    • Dungeon of JJ

      October 31, 2016 at 12:10

      Well, then just at least get all the DLC for the original. The 64 support on the SE is nice though

      Reply

    • Matthew Holliday

      October 31, 2016 at 12:46

      Not yet.
      ENB hasnt been updated for DX11 and chances are that it wont ever be.

      Reply

    • Skyblue

      October 31, 2016 at 12:55

      If you owned it it’s a free upgrade on Steam. Modding can be murky with several mod’s clashing with each other.

      Reply

    • Kromas Ryder

      October 31, 2016 at 13:13

      Yes. In short 64bit mods are already proving to way better thantheir 32bit ancestors. Specially those that involved high AI traffic and/or battles.

      Reply

  2. Ottokie

    October 31, 2016 at 11:11

    • VampyreSquirrel

      October 31, 2016 at 11:19

      Nah, you’re just salty period.

      Reply

      • Ottokie

        October 31, 2016 at 11:26

        Cause of pvp games 😀

        Reply

        • Pariah ???

          October 31, 2016 at 11:28

          You mean like Warlame?

          Reply

        • VampyreSquirrel

          October 31, 2016 at 11:29

          That’s what you say… but no one believes you.

          Reply

  3. Skittle

    October 31, 2016 at 11:21

    Bethesda released a buggy game? I’m shocked

    Reply

  4. Dungeon of JJ

    October 31, 2016 at 12:09

    I honestly didn’t notice any audio problems.

    Reply

    • Pariah ???

      October 31, 2016 at 12:13

      Me neither to be honest. And I have a decent Sennheiser headset.

      Reply

      • Dungeon of JJ

        October 31, 2016 at 12:37

        Same here. I played both through a 5.1 speaker set and headphones. Both sounded fine.

        Reply

    • Admiral Chief - Dragonborn

      October 31, 2016 at 12:27

      Likewise, in fact, it was majestic

      Reply

    • Skyblue

      October 31, 2016 at 12:56

      It’s soft as hell. Even when I played though the game originally I always had to crank the volume and that is still an issue in the remaster.

      Reply

      • Dungeon of JJ

        October 31, 2016 at 13:37

        I didn’t notice that at all

        Reply

        • Skyblue

          October 31, 2016 at 15:13

          I am constantly reaching for the volume knob when I start playing and then shit my pants when I put on a video or something after, when I forget.

          Reply

          • Dungeon of JJ

            October 31, 2016 at 15:52

            Must then only be with some people (or systems), as mine is balanced without problem.

  5. WeetBix

    October 31, 2016 at 12:09

    Dragonborn: “Fus Ro Dah!”
    Bandit Chief: “Wait! What was that?”

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief - Dragonborn

      October 31, 2016 at 12:27

      xD

      Reply

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