That theory is a "common misconception", he told Kotaku. "The way our dynamic stuff and our scripting works, it's obvious it gets in situations where it taxes the PS3. And we felt we had a lot of it under control.
"But for certain users it literally depends on how they play the game, varied over a hundred hours and literally what spells they use. Did they go in this building? [And so on.]
"It's literally the things you've done in what order and what's running," he added. "Some of the things are literally what spells do you have hot-keyed? Because, as you switch to them, they handle memory differently."
Howard admitted his development team were aware PS3 was going to run into a "bad memory situation" that might affect "a small percentage" of players, but says Bethesda did everything it could to try to prevent that from happening. "We did a ton more testing this time around, so the game is definitely our most solid release regardless of platform."
Speaking on the day Skyrim's 1.4 patch released, Howard said the work carried out for the game's most recent update was based on data from PS3 gamers' save files submitted to Bethesda throughout December. He expected the patch to address PS3 issues for many players, but was aware it wouldn't eliminate the problems for all of them.
"Now that we've been through this, we're not naīve enough to say, 'We have seen everything,' because we have to assume we haven't. There are still going to be some people who have to come back to us and say, 'Ok, my situation is this.' [Our response is:] 'OK, send us your saved game.'
"We literally need to look at what you have running. We tried doing it through e-mail. We need to open the saved game comes up and look at it. We've got one guy who has seven dragons on the other side of the world, and a siege about to happen in this city and another 20 quests running. And, ok, this is what the game is trying to do and it's having a hard time running that."