Along with a firm release date, Larian Studios recently confirmed that its early access RPG, Baldur’s Gate 3, is heading to PS5, bringing with it controller support, as well as online and local multiplayer. This led many gamers to enquire if an Xbox Series X/S port is in the works as well. Larian has now confirmed that it is, but it won’t be coming out until the developers can get split-screen multiplayer to work on Xbox Series S.
“We’ve had an Xbox version of Baldur’s Gate 3 in development for some time now“, the studio advised in a recent interview with IGN. “We’ve run into some technical issues in developing the Xbox port that have stopped us feeling 100% confident in announcing it until we’re certain we’ve found the right solutions — specifically, we’ve been unable to get splitscreen co-op to work to the same standard on both Xbox Series X and S, which is a requirement for us to ship.”
Fortunately, there is no formal PlayStation exclusivity deal in place; Larian clarifies during the interview that it could have released Baldur’s Gate 3 on Xbox alongside the PS5 port if it wanted. This isn’t the first time that developers have expressed concerns regarding the processing ability of the relatively underpowered, entry-level Xbox Series S; just last year, Senior Character Technical Artist at Rocksteady, Lee Devonald, called the Xbox Series S a “potato” and attributed having to make Gotham Knights playable on the console as a reason for the game’s 30FPS frame rate cap.
Microsoft mandates that any game that will release on Xbox Series X must also release on the Series S. The Series S is quite a decent console considering its price point. However, its lack of power relative to its competition is starting to impact development as the 9th console generation has progressed. Microsoft has shown no indication of relaxing its requirement for games to release on both Xbox consoles. If more games end up delayed or cut down due to these issues, a relaxation of that rule in the foreseeable future may be in the cards. For the time being, it is admirable that Larian is at least attempting to make Baldur’s Gate 3 on Xbox Series S as feature-rich as the other console versions, even if it means that Xbox Series X/S players will need to wait a bit longer.
Baldur’s Gate 3 will have its full release on PC and PS5 on August 31st 2023. Once Larian feels confident that the game will adequately perform on Xbox Series S, the game will release on Xbox Series X/S as well.