Bethesda has announced that the next-generation console versions of its recently-released MMORPG Elder Scrolls Online have been delayed for "about six months". Expect a Christmas release.

The PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game were due for release in June, but the company has had a "series of unique problems specific to those platforms", which has dramatically delayed the project.

The developer and publisher revealed that the issues centre on the networks used by both Sony and Microsoft for their next-generation machines. "Integrating our systems with each console manufacturer’s networks - which are both different from the PC/Mac system as well as different from each other - has been a challenging process," it said in a statement.

"Though we have made great progress, we have concluded that we’ll need about six months to ensure we deliver the experience our fans expect and deserve."

Because this will come as a shock and of great disappointment to console gamers who thought the game's release was just around the corner, Bethesda will transfer and characters created and played on the PC or Mac version available now to either console version when they are released.

READ: Elder Scrolls Online preview: First lengthy play of massively multiplayer Skyrim

In addition, the company will charge existing PC and Mac gamers only £12.99 ($20) to purchase a digital copy of either the PS4 or Xbox One version and transfer their characters when they are available. Another 30 days of included game time will be added too.

"Whether you decide to take advantage of this offer or not, we promise to do everything we can to get the game released on both consoles as quickly as we can," added Bethesda.

"We will keep everyone updated with additional details regarding character transfers, specific offer dates, when you can expect console beta to start, and of course, when ESO on consoles will launch."