During Gamescom in Germany, Baldur’s Gate 3 developer Larian confirmed the game is expected to arrive on Xbox Series X and Series S “this year.”
Baldur’s Gate 3 has been sweeping the online gaming conversation since its PC debut. Console players are readying themselves for the PlayStation 5 and Mac launch on September 6th. However, Xbox players have been left waiting for a release date. This is largely thought to be due to development hurdles regarding split-screen co-op on Series S.
While the Xbox Series X is able to support split-screen co-op, the Series S appears to be a pain point in the Xbox ecosystem. Because of this, Larian has confirmed some concessions are required to deliver the game on Xbox consoles in 2023.
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
“All improvements will be there, with split-screen coop on Series X,” Larian CEO Swen Vincke explains. “Series S will not feature split-screen coop.” This came from a conversation Vincke shared with Xbox head Phil Spencer during the convention.
Since the advent of the Series X and Series S, parity between the two consoles has been thought to be a requirement made by Xbox. It’s been largely theorized that the Series S’ struggles to support this feature ultimately led to 343 Studios dropping split-screen support for Halo Infinite. Many believed this same issue led Turn 10 Studios not to support split-screen in the upcoming Forza Motorsport. However, Spencer dispelled that rumour, claiming it “was never going to have split-screen.”
Spencer has also been vocal in claiming that Xbox does not have a parity policy in place. “I don’t see a world where we drop S,” Spencer told VGC. “In terms of parity, I don’t think you’ve heard from us or Larian that this was about parity.”
Baldur’s Gate 3 is one of this year’s most acclaimed games and currently has a 96 rating on Metacritic. On Steam, the game reached an all-time peak of 875,343 players. Roughly 540,000 concurrents played the game in the last 24 hours. This would be a glaring omission from Xbox’s catalogue this fall had Larian not found a way to hit a 2023 target.
On top of detailing the differences between the Series X and Series S versions, Vincke also confirmed that cross-save functionality will be supported between Steam and Xbox Series X/S consoles.
Image credit: Larian Studios