Baldur’s Gate 3 developer Larian Studios recently announced the game’s exit from early access, confirming it will officially launch on 31 August 2023, for both PC and PlayStation 5. An Xbox console release was not mentioned during this announcement – and now, Larian is explaining why.
According to the studio, the delay in announcing an Xbox version of Baldur’s Gate 3 was intentional, as developers are still working out major kinks in the Xbox Series X and Series S versions of the game. ‘We’ve had an Xbox version of Baldur’s Gate 3 in development for some time now,’ Larian confirmed in a statement to 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.’
It further confirmed there were no exclusivity issues preventing the release of BG3 on Xbox, outlining that technical difficulties were the sole reason for the delay in announcing a firm release date.
While Larian did not reveal further details about the issues encountered, comments made to IGN seem to imply the less powerful Xbox Series S is proving to be a major hurdle for developers. Splitscreen mode requires significant performance for smooth action, and the Series S version of Baldur’s Gate 3 may be less capable of pulling off this feat.
As pointed out by Kotaku, local splitscreen was dropped from Halo Infinite in late 2022 – likely for similar reasons.
Given the popularity of the Series S, which is a much cheaper and more accessible alternative to the Series X, Larian Studios is likely committed to launching BG3 on the platform. For now, developers will continue to work on refining both Xbox versions of Baldur’s Gate 3, ensuring the game can be released on the Xbox Series X and Series S to the same standard.
Baldur’s Gate 3 launches out of early access on 31 August 2023. For now, it will be available on PlayStation 5 and PC.