In a previous Bethesda discussion with Microsoft, director and executive producer of Bethesda Game Studios, Todd Howard, revealed that it was possible for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrorwind to reboot the original Xbox console if the game is running low on memory. Even more interesting is how it would do this without the player knowing. But how is this possible - if it is at all? One YouTuber has attempted to find out.
Modern Vintage Gamer has uploaded a new video, in which he tested whether the game actually does what Howard has claimed. The evidence seems to suggest it does, with the game being left in a save state while the console quietly reboots. MVG tested the theory on an original Xbox development kit and found that it appears to reboot during the loading screen.
Obviously MVG's analysis is a lot more technical, but he manages to break it down fairly easily. After diving into Morrowind's code, he also found that the game does the same technique when starting a new save.
"I think we've solved it, guys. I think we've cracked the case here, that yes, Todd Howard is 100% accurate on his words. The Xbox does reboot itself when memory is low in Morrowind, but I guess the other part he didn't mention, and he may have forgotten about, it also occurs if a new game is started, which I think is quite interesting as well."
So there you have it. MVG appears to have proven that the Xbox does in fact reboot without the player knowing what is happening. It's a clever technique, and if Howard had never mentioned it, we probably would never have known. We wonder what other tricks developers have implemented in their games?
Know any other interesting design choices developers use? Let us know in the comments below.