Screenshot: Larian Studios
Yesterday Larian Studios announced that Baldur’s Gate III will be released for PS5 on the same day as the PC version leaves Early Access. It sounded like an exclusivity deal would keep it off Xbox, but developers say that’s not the case. So what is the delay? Making the co-op RPG’s split-screen action work on the weaker Xbox Series S.
Larian revealed the launch date for the PS5 console port on August 31st in a new trailer during Sony’s latest State of Play, which included actor JK Simmons voicing newly revealed villain General Ketheric Thorm. It’s normal for teasers promoted by Sony to omit the competing platforms, but when fans didn’t see an Xbox release date on Larian’s website either, they began to wonder.
Today the studio clarified what’s going on, stating that an Xbox version will arrive if and when Larian can get the split-screen gameplay to work on both Series S and Series X:
We see a lot of different interpretations of what that means, so we wanted to elaborate on that. We’ve had an Xbox version of Baldur’s Gate III in development for a while. We ran into some technical issues developing the Xbox port that prevented us from feeling 100% confident in announcing it until we were sure we had the right fixes – most notably we couldn’t do split screen -Get co-op to work to the same standard on Xbox Series X and S, which is a requirement for us to ship.
There is no platform exclusivity preventing us from releasing BG3 on Xbox day in, day out should it be technically possible. As we announce additional platforms, we want to ensure that each release meets our standards and expectations.
It’s a particularly interesting wrinkle considering gamers have long speculated about the tradeoffs and challenges involved in developing games for the similarly specced PS5 and Xbox Series X, which also feature the less powerful Series S have to record. Split-screen can be a particularly taxing feature, and it was notably dropped from Halo Infinite last year when 343 Industries tried to salvage the online shooter’s live-service ambitions.
Baldur’s Gate III minimum PC specs already require at least an Nvidia GTX 970 graphics card, with a GeForce RTX 2060 recommended. While it’s unlikely to push PC gamers’ hardware the way recent blockbusters like Dead Space remake or Callisto Protocol have, it’s still more than what your average isometric RPG game has to offer. fan probably has on hand. The console port could then potentially be a huge boon for those who don’t already have a high-end gaming PC or the funds to upgrade. That said, for now, it seems like the $250 Series S might get in the way.