Baldur’s Gate 3 Xbox version delayed due to Splitscreen issues

A dark elf looks at her Xbox Series S.

Screenshot: Larian Studios

Yesterday, Larian Studios announced Baldur’s Gate III it will come to PS5 on the same day as the PC version leaves Early Access. It looked like an exclusivity deal might be keeping it off the Xbox, but the developers say that’s not the case. So what’s the wait? Help the co-op RPG splitscreen action work on the weaker Xbox Series S.

Larian revealed the August 31st release date for the PS5 port in a new trailer during Sony’s latest State of Play which, among other things, featured actor JK Simmons voicing the newly revealed villainous General Ketheric Thorm. It’s normal for Sony-promoted teases to leave out competitor platforms, but when fans didn’t see an Xbox release date on Larian’s website either, they started to wonder.

Today the studio clarify what’s going onstating that an Xbox version will arrive if and when Larian can play splitscreen gameplay on both Series S and Series X:

We see many different interpretations of what this means, so we wanted to clarify further. We had an Xbox version Baldur’s Gate III been going on for quite some time. We ran into some technical issues while developing the Xbox port that prevented us from feeling 100% confident in announcing it until we were sure we had the right solutions—specifically, we couldn’t get splitscreen co-op to work to the same standard on both Xbox Series X and S, which is a prerequisite for shipping.

There is no platform exclusivity preventing us from releasing BG3 the day and date of the Xbox, if this is a technical possibility. If and when we announce further platforms, we want to make sure each release meets our standards and expectations.

It’s a particularly interesting aspect, given that gamers have long speculated about the tradeoffs and challenges involved in developing games for the similarly standard PS5 and Xbox Series X that also have to accommodate the less powerful Series S. Splitscreen can to be a particularly unpleasant feature and it was significantly decreased from Halo Infinite last year as 343 Industries tried to save the online shooter’s aspirations for live service.

Baldur’s Gate IIIThe minimum PC specs already require an Nvidia GTX 970 graphics card at least, with a GeForce RTX 2060 recommended. Although it’s not likely to push PC gamers’ hardware the way recent blockbusters like Dead space remake or The Callisto Protocol yes, it’s even more than the average isometric RPG fan probably has. The console port could potentially be a big boon for those who don’t already have a higher-end gaming PC or the money to upgrade. That said, for now it looks like the $250 S Series may be in the way.

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