Baldur's Gate will finally get released on Xbox, but there is a huge catch. A feature beloved to the community, that won't be in the game for Series S players
After quite a long wait, Xbox users can finally enjoy the worlds of Baldur's Gate 3, weeks and months after the game was released for PS5 and PC.
After Baldur's Gate 3's released in early August for PC and PS5, a lot of Xbox players were curious whether the game will get a version on Microsoft's consoles. A tweet from Larian CEO Swen Vincke gave some hope, since the game is set to release earlier than expected for Xbox, but with a huge catch.
Baldur's Gate Is Finally Coming To Xbox...
Yes, it is true, everyone, stay calm. According to Swen Vincke, CEO of Larian Studios, Baldur's Gate 3 will be released in 2023. In previous testimonies, the year 2024 was set to be the year for BG3 on Xbox.
Super happy to confirm that after meeting @XboxP3 yesterday, we've found a solution that allows us to bring Baldur's Gate 3 to Xbox players this year still, something we've been working towards for quite some time.— Swen Vincke @where? (@LarAtLarian) August 24, 2023
... But With A Huge Catch
If you are an Xbox Series S player, we have bad news for you. The much-beloved coop-split-screen function won't be there for you to play and experience.
All improvements will be there, with split-screen coop on Series X. Series S will not feature split-screen coop, but will also include cross-save progression between Steam and Xbox Series.— Swen Vincke @where? (@LarAtLarian) August 24, 2023
Microsoft Breaks Its Own Rules
The decision to have “Baldur's Gate 3” launch exclusively on PlayStation 5 initially may not be entirely driven by tactical reasons but also by technical reasons. Larian, the developer, can't provide the same features on Xbox Series S as on Xbox Series X. Microsoft had previously insisted that games must offer the same features on both devices, with differences only allowed in terms of frame rate and resolution.
Now, Microsoft has broken its own rule. The split-screen mode that enables couch co-op play won't be available on Xbox Series S. Cross-save functionality will still be possible between Xbox Series S and Steam. This feature will also be available for PlayStation 5, requiring a Larian account. However, crossplay won't be possible.
Implications for the Future of Xbox Series S
The highly acclaimed “Baldur's Gate 3” seems to have been important enough for Microsoft to bend its own rules. This precedent-setting move might have lasting effects. Other developers and publishers could feel disadvantaged. The weaker hardware of the Xbox Series S has been a topic of discussion since its launch. Studios typically want to release their games on all platforms simultaneously, which could be hindered by this situation.
Some in the community even raised whether Microsoft might be burying the Xbox Series S with this move. The Xbox Series S is by far the weakest console when it comes to performance. And this processing power is necessary for features like split-screen, especially when showing numerous details of different environments simultaneously for both players. Unfortunately for Xbox Series S owners, once this precedent is set, other developers might follow suit.
- If you want to upgrade your console now, you can find an Xbox Series X (that's the better one) here.
However, there's good news for PC players. On August 25th, the first patch for “Baldur's Gate 3” was released, aimed at addressing over 1000 issues in the game. For more guides on BG3, stay tuned here on EarlyGame.
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