Baldur’s Gate 3 didn’t release an Xbox version at the same time as PC or PlayStation 5, but the good news is that its Xbox release date isn’t too far off.
The latest entry in the iconic Dungeons and Dragons-themed franchise is getting a lot of love from critics and fans. Unfortunately, those who exclusively play games on the Xbox can’t enjoy it quite yet. The game wound up in an unfortunate limbo due to technical issues related to Microsoft’s double-barreled console offering.
Larian Studios director of publishing Michael Douse was criticized by someone on Twitter who claimed that Baldur’s Gate 3 wouldn’t sell as much as it should on Xbox platforms because of this delay. They also suggested Larian Studios was on “the Playstation side of the console war.” Douse replied to the tweet and gave a bit of an update on the Xbox status of Baldur’s Gate 3.
Why isn’t Baldur’s Gate 3 on Xbox yet?
Technical limitations on the Xbox Series S have prevented Baldur’s Gate 3 from being released on any Xbox platform. In particular, the issue stems from split-screen co-op.
Microsoft demands that games be functionally identical between the stronger Xbox Series X and the trimmed-down Xbox Series S. The issue is that the reduced power of the Xbox Series S makes it difficult to run split-screen co-op. Microsoft prevents developers from removing features from Xbox Series S games, which has prevented the game from being released on Xbox Series X individually.
Given the game’s massive scale, it’s understandable why such a feature would take a while to implement on new hardware. Douse pushed back against the idea of Larian Studios having exclusivity with any platform and stated that the delay in an Xbox release largely comes down to Microsoft’s policies. He also noted that Larian is ultimately hurt by the delay in releasing it on Xbox, and that the game would have been even bigger if it got a simultaneous release across all platforms.
When is Baldur’s Gate 3 being released on Xbox?
Baldur’s Gate 3 will be released on Xbox Series X/S in 2023. No exact release date has been confirmed but the Xbox release was previously slated for 2024, so this is a marked improvement.
Given the popularity of Baldur’s Gate 3, Larian would most certainly like it done as quickly as possible. Members of Larian Studios have also discussed wanting to avoid a prolonged crunch at the office, which may have seen output slowed since the PC release of the game.
While it was necessary for the last month towards release, development likely relaxed a bit once the PC release was stable. Meanwhile, Baldur’s Gate 3 will come out on PlayStation 5 soon, so Sony players will be enjoying Faerun a bit sooner than their Microsoft counterparts.