The highly-anticipated third sequel in Baldur’s Gate series still has no release date for Xbox Series X/S. And the reason for this is Larian Studio’s issues with making Baldur’s Gate 3’s split-screen mode work on Microsoft’s lower-end console.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Delayed on Xbox due to Issues with Split-Screen on Xbox Series S
After almost three years in early access, the highly-awaited RPG Baldur’s Gate 3 finally has a release date. Well, at least when it comes to the game’s PC and PlayStation 5 versions. The game is set to launch on the PC on August 3rd, and it will arrive on the PS5 a month later, on September 6th, 2023. However, fans of Larian and Baldur’s Gate who own Xbox Series X or S consoles will have to wait. The reason behind this is not some console exclusivity deal Larian struck with Sony for the PlayStation 5. Rather, it has to do with the technical limitations of Xbox Series S (Microsoft’s entry-level console of this generation) and Microsoft’s strict rules, which require feature parity for any game released on Series S and Series X.
Namely, Microsoft requires two things. Firstly, all games must be released on both Series X and Series S. Secondly, developers must not cut content and features from Series S. There must be feature parity for both consoles. Developers are only allowed to cut quality and performance on Series S. As we’re entering deeper into this generation of consoles, it has become increasingly more obvious that these strict rules over Series S are albatross around the neck of Xbox. More and more developers are pushing for Microsoft to drop these requirements as they are unable to port games with current-gen features properly on Series S.
“You’re very free in what you do, more free than people expect,” Larian boss Swen Vincke said to IGN. “That means you can run into a really big city that’s much more dense than people expect. You can do all kinds of craziness, so it requires a lot of optimisation. On certain platforms, we’re just faster than on other platforms. It just takes us time. That’s the reality of development.” Hopefully, they will be able to figure out this issue and bring the game to Xbox players as soon as possible. Vincke stated their goal is to have the game ready for Xbox by the end of 2023.