I would like to pick up a copy of Skyrim today but am undecided if I should get it on PS3 or 360. IGN says that the 360 load times are lengthy and frequent and unfortunately their PS3 review is not up as they don't have a copy to review.

Does anyone have first hand experience with the load times on both platforms?

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    Welcome to Gaming.SE. I recommend expanding this to include PC as well. I know it isn't relevant to you specifically, but this is the perfect place to help PC users with this info.
    – user9983
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 2:54
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    @OrigamiRobot thanks for the comment. The review I linked to states that the 360 version load times are a lot worse than the PC. Of course that depends on your PC, and because there are so many different configurations I don't think you could get a clear answer about in which situations/configurations the 360/PS3 version would load faster than the PC.
    – row1
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 3:22
  • Very good point
    – user9983
    Commented Nov 11, 2011 at 3:56
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    Just and FYI, you should probably watch out for the PS3 save file bug which is being reported by quite a few people now. kotaku.com/5859983/do-not-let-skyrim-overflow-your-ps3/gallery/… I have my save file at about 5 MB and did start noticing some performance issues. Hope Bethesda release a fix soon. Edit: One more link: reddit.com/r/skyrim/comments/mdwli/…
    – OrioN
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 16:50
  • If you really want to cut down on load times, consider the PC version. My PC Skyrim always loads much, much faster than the PS3 version that my guy has, often so quickly that I don't have time to fully read the tips that are displayed on the loading screens. I personally have not seen how the Xbox compares, but that's been covered above.
    – Amber
    Commented Jan 2, 2012 at 19:39

6 Answers 6


Since I don't know too many people who buy a $60 game for both XBox and PS3, I decided to compare load times using youtube vidoes.

Summary Table of Average Load Times (in seconds)
Console  New Game  Saved Game  Dungeon  House  Outside  City  Fast Travel
XBox     47        10*         21       9      22       20    28
PS3      22*       33*         17       7*     17       18    36*

*Low sample size (< 3)

Loading a new game:

Loading a new area (dungeon):

Loading a new area (house):

Loading a new area (outside):

Loading a new area (city):

Loading a saved game:

  • Might be a good community wiki answer. I'll be adding more data as my time allows.
    – Arkive
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 20:01
  • Do you know if the xbox version was installed? The interesting one is when loading a saved game as the PS3 one seems to get a lot slower as the file grows in size, but apart from that the PS3 seems to have the slight edge. This appears to be the best answer I can expect (will wait a bit longer). A huge thanks for your effort and I think I will go for the 360 version based on my experiences with lots of saving/loading games in fallout 3.
    – row1
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 3:16
  • Wow, get it on PC! I have a max load time of about 3 seconds. It's so fast I dont' even get to read the description that comes up.
    – Coomie
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 3:53
  • Yeah PC has much better loading times. I have a slow-ish laptop that I play on and I never have a load time over 5 seconds.
    – Arkive
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 4:56
  • @row1 I do not know if the XBox version was installed or not, but these samples are from 2 or 3 different XBoxes. I've only gotten one sample for XBox for loading a saved game, so I don't feel very comfortable with that metric being your determining factor. I'll try to find more samples.
    – Arkive
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 4:58

This article is all you need:

Loading: When we look at the loading times for each version, there is a clear cut winner here. In just about every instance the PS3 version managed to load at least fifteen to almost thirty seconds faster than its 360 counterpart. One can only help but feel that the PS3 mandatory install played a huge roll in this, as these times are made with the 360 running off of the disk. Sure you could install the game on your 360 to remedy the insane loading times, but by doing so you compromise the visual advantage of the 360 due to the streaming glitch that is still present on Microsoft’s console when run off of the HDD. When you look at all of these factors based on how the game CURRENTLY runs, there is little doubt that the PS3 commands a large advantage here.

PlayStation 3 Load Times        Xbox 360 Load Times
Sample 1: 33 Seconds            Sample 1: 59 Seconds
Sample 2: 38 Seconds            Sample 2: 48 Seconds
Sample 3: 30 Seconds            Sample 3: 45 Seconds
Sample 4: 34 Seconds            Sample 4: 52 Seconds
Sample 5: 29 Seconds            Sample 5: 50 Seconds
Sample Average: 32.8 Seconds    Sample Average: 50.8 Seconds
  • I recently got the Xbox version and my load times are closer to or faster than your listed PS3 times.
    – row1
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 1:21

Technically on xbox if you install the game to your hard drive the load times increase but it also scales down textures and makes the graphics look worse because of the xbox's cacheing system. PC completely depends on your setup and if your pc is more powerful than the xbox/ps3.

According to this

Another article says that xbox 360's gameplay is "smooth as silk" and ps3 has slow downs and lag.

also on ps3

  • Hi, thanks for your answer but it does not actually answer my question. Your linked article also fails to mention the ps3.
    – row1
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 6:40
  • Xbox load times from disc are typically quicker than PS3. Basically it is a DVD vs. BluRay comparison.
    – DavidGrove
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 16:56
  • You are right that the Blu-ray drive is slow, but it is not a direct DVD vs. Blu-ray comparison. There are many other factors involved.
    – row1
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 1:37
  • @row1 I agree, this is not simply a BluRay v DVD issue, but that is certainly the base that the additional factors are built on. As far as side by side by side graphics comparisons go, this article has great examples. eurogamer.net/articles/…
    – DavidGrove
    Commented Nov 14, 2011 at 14:10

I'm playing on xbox360 (not installed).

Most load times are approx 10 seconds. While in a load screen, they throw a 3d model viewer up that you can control with the sticks, which helps pass the brief time.

What is jarring, is the auto-safe every 15 minutes on menu activation. It completely freezes the game. This is approx 5 seconds, but it comes at a time when I open the menu for a purpose, and I can forget that purpose during the frozen 5 seconds. This feature can be turned off, but I haven't done that yet. Also, I'm auto-saving to a flash drive, which may be slower/faster than saving to the main drive.

  • 10 seconds doesn't sound too bad, hopefully they can fix the loading issues with it being installed.
    – row1
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 3:09

I don't have first hand experience with any version of Skyrim - I haven't bought it yet.

However, searching on Google for "skyrim ps3 load times" gave this site as one of the results: http://gamingbolt.com/lag-issues-affecting-some-skyrim-ps3-owners

I'm sure you can find similar results (if not the same issues) for the XBox360 version.

My point is that both versions seem to have their issues. If you're looking for a definitive answer as to which is the best, you may be disappointed.

With any luck, Bethesda is working on a patch for both platforms, and hopefully the major issues will be straightened out. If not, perhaps you should base your choice on other criteria, or consider buying the PC version instead.

  • Thanks for that link. It is good to see that this information is starting to pop up. Just to clarify, I am not asking which version is best in terms of graphics or other, just which version has the least amount of load time.
    – row1
    Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 12:40

The Ps3 has immense slow down which ruins the game past 100 hours or so, the xbox doesn't, i know because i have the xbox version, and my friend ps3, he's been playing 130+ hours and i've been playing roughly 160 hours on mine, while he's slows down and becomes even unplayable at times, mine works fine and i'm still conquering and enjoying skyrim as much as 160 hours ago :)

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    I don't think this is a very good sample set to be making such bold claims.
    – user9983
    Commented Dec 25, 2011 at 0:37

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