Baldur's Gate 3 Probably Not on Xbox Until 2024 Due to Series S


  • Baldur's Gate 3 Probably Not on Xbox Until 2024 Due to Series S

    There is no exclusivity deal, it's simply a matter of the Xbox Series S.
    A character standing atop a building overlooking a bustling city below.

    An Xbox release of Larian Studios' Baldur's Gate 3 is still coming but it probably won't be out for a long while. The reason isn't due to any sort of timed exclusive deal inked with Sony, but rather because of issues related to the Xbox Series S.

    Larian Studios' director of publishing Michael Douse took to Twitter to very heavily imply that issues related to Microsoft's weaker Series console may not be resolved until some time in 2024. Specifically, it seems like the studio is having issues getting split-screen to perform at an acceptable level on the weaker hardware. It has been, as stated by Douse, to be "a huge technical hurdle."

    Hello friend! We’ve said many times in the past that the issue is getting split-screen working on the Series S, which is taking more time, but is in progress. This is a huge technical hurdle, but we are unable to release the game on the ecosystem without this feature.

    Far from being exclusive, we have no exclusivity deal that prevents us from launching on Xbox. The issue is a technical hurdle. We cannot remove the split-screen feature because we are obliged to launch with feature parity, and so continue to try and make it work.

    We have quite a few engineers working very hard to do what no other RPG of this scale has achieved: seamless drop-in, drop-out co-op on Series S. We hope to have an update by the end of the year.
    In June, Larian founder and creative director Swen Vincke shared a few additional insights into the issues the studio is facing with getting the game on Xbox. According to statements made to IGN from Vincke, the issue has to do with how Microsoft has a policy that requires games to have the same gameplay features on both Xbox Series X and Series S.

    While Series S is allowed to have lower framerates, resolution, or graphical details, the actual gameplay features must be identical. In a separate report from VGC in February, Larian confirmed that the split-screen co-op runs well on Xbox Series X but struggles on the Series S. The studio is also hesitant to remove the feature entirely from the Xbox version because it would result in a version on Xbox that includes fewer features than PlayStation 5.

    Explaining the complexity of the co-op mode, Vincke explained: “You’re very free in what you do, more free than people expect. 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.

    “It’s not that we planned this. Our plan was that we wanted to have a simultaneous release. But we’ve been on this game for a long time. It’s a really big game. The amount of things you can do in it is insane. I think people will be surprised when they see everything.

    “There’s constraints we have to overcome, so we just work on them. Some take more time.”​
    As a result of these issues, Larian may have to make some "compromises" to the Xbox version of the game. However, those compromises have not been specified yet.

    Baldur's Gate 3 is out on August 3, 2023 for PC and on Starfield release day (September 6) for PlayStation 5.

    • cikame
      cikame commented
      Editing a comment
      Man... i really shouldn't critique people who are infinitely smarter than me, but it's very surprising of all the games to struggle to get working on a Series S... an isometric game?

    • Shawn Zipay
      Shawn Zipay commented
      Editing a comment
      Well, given that you can have players in totally separate areas with their own partners possibly doing their own battles with visual effects and AI, or engaging in their own dialogue options, it's kind of a lot regardless of the isometric style.

      Let's also consider that these consoles (including PS5 and Series X) are also now several years old (late 2020) using hardware that is even older than the consoles' release dates. PS5 and Series X often struggle to run most games at 4K constantly without image reconstruction. Framerates are often sub-60 even with upscaling utilized and at sub-4K resolutions.

    • AzaleaBC
      AzaleaBC commented
      Editing a comment
      it's not isometric; you can swivel the camera 360 degrees, so it's fully 3D.

      That said, on my 2080Ti that needs to use DLSS for most games, I don't for BG3. Very crisp on my 1440P 240hz monitor
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