Baldur’s Gate 3 is launching on PC in just a matter of days, with the PlayStation 5 release coming a little over a month later on September 6. There’s still no sign of an Xbox release date though, and questions are still being raised over when it will actually launch. Developer Larian Studios has explained previously that trying to get split screen working on the Xbox Series S version is the cause of the issue, as Microsoft wants feature parity with the Xbox Series X.
This entire debacle has meant that the developer has been unable to provide a release date for Baldur’s Gate 3’s launch on Xbox. After some poking and prodding by fans on Twitter (thanks VGC), Larian’s director of publishing Michael Douse explained that the split screen problem is a “huge technical hurdle” and seemed to suggest that we might be waiting until 2024, as Larian aims to have an update regarding the situation “by the end of the year.”
“Far from being exclusive, we have no exclusivity deal that prevents us from launching on Xbox,” says Douse. “The issue is a technical hurdle. We cannot remove the split-screen feature because we are obliged to launch with feature parity, and so continue to try and make it work.”
“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.”
Before all you Xbox owners start panicking, that seems to be worst case scenario for Larian, as creative director and Larian co-founder Swen Vincke stated in an interview with IGN back in June that the team is determined to get the game on Xbox at some point this year. However, they “don’t want to compromise”, and want to make sure that the game is the best it can possibly be on both Xbox Series S and X when it eventually launches.
You’d think with so much distress caused by the Xbox Series S, those at Larian would have nothing but contempt for the machine, but Vincke recently said that he believes it isn’t holding back current-gen in the slightest. Instead, Vincke sees it as developing for a Switch or low end PC, acknowledging that extra effort has to go into making something for the Xbox Series S, but that it just “defines certain parameters within which you have to develop”.