Bethesda: Starfield being a "next-gen game" refers to both hardware and gameplay | ResetEra
Todd Howard cleared up any confusion here.
He also states it's possible there could be crossgen versions, but they're designing it for next-gen hardware.
Eurogamer said:QuoteWhat, then, does Starfield being next-generation mean?
"That to us means two things," Todd Howard told me. "It does mean hardware and it does mean software on our side, and it also means gameplay - what does the next generation of epic single-player RPGs feel like to us?Click to expand...Quote"What systems we put it out on - what's the hardware requirements - is still to be determined. We're pushing it; we're thinking very, very far in future so we're building something that will handle next-generation hardware. That's what we're building on right now, that's where our mind is, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't exist on the current systems as well."Click to expand...QuoteTodd Howard specified Starfield was a single-player game but will it be a Bethesda Game Studios game in the way Fallout and The Elder Scrolls are?Source: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018-07-02-bethesda-new-ip-starfield-next-generation-todd-howard
"I don't want to say yes or no to that because I don't know what that means to you or whoever's going to read that," he said. "It's different, but if you sit down and play it you would recognise it as something we made if that makes sense? It has our DNA in it. It has things that we like."
Then he added: "But it has a lot of new systems we've been thinking about for a while that fit that kind of game really well. We'll talk about it in the future. See now I wish I hadn't announced it!"Click to expand...