It doesn’t seem as if Larian Studios will get Baldur’s Gate 3 onto Xbox Series X/S this year. The studio has been struggling to get the game running on the Xbox Series S after it proved to be a challenge for the game’s split-screen co-op mode.
Split-screen co-op has been a staple for Larian Studios across multiple of its games. Divinity 2, for example, let you play the entire story on the couch with someone else. Baldur’s Gate 3 aims to follow the same recipe but the Xbox Series S hardware isn’t powerful enough to handle the rendering.
Larian Studios has even reached out to Microsoft to help aid in the development of the mode on Xbox Series S. It was revealed earlier this year that Baldurs Gate 3 doesn’t have any exclusivity contract with PlayStation. It is just not releasing on Xbox because of development agreements with Microsoft. If you make a game for Xbox Series X, it has to be on Series S too.
In an update on Twitter, Larian’s director of publishing Michael Douse implied that Baldur’s Gate 3’s launch on Xbox will unlikely take place this year. He says that engineers are working on the project and he hopes to provide an update by the end of the year.
“We have quite a few engineers working very hard to do what no other RPG of this scale has achieved: seamless drop-in, drop-out co-op on Series S. We hope to have an update by the end of the year.”
“An update by the end of the year” definitely implies that the team will hopefully have feedback on the situation by the end of 2024. Not that the game will be ready to launch on Xbox by the end of the year.
Douse confirmed that the studio has no exclusive agreement with Sony. He states that Baldur’s Gate 3 needs to launch with feature parity. Larian Studios could essentially remove split-screen co-op from the Xbox Series S but Microsoft’s mandate means that Xbox Series X will also be without the feature. This means the Xbox version can’t skip split-screen co-op.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is launching for PC on 3 August followed by a PS5 release in September.
We have quite a few engineers working very hard to do what no other RPG of this scale has achieved: seamless drop-in, drop-out co-op on Series S. We hope to have an update by the end of the year.
— Very AFK (@Cromwelp) July 31, 2023