Xbox Series S performance issues result in Baldurs Gate 3 delay

Xbox Series S performance issues result in Baldurs Gate 3 delay

Xbox Series S performance issues result in Baldurs Gate 3 delay

Larian Studios’ Baldur’s Gate 3 is close to release on PC and PS5, but the game’s Xbox port is nowhere to be seen. As it turns out, the studio is still working on an Xbox conversion, but poor Xbox Series S performance is holding the RPG back.

On Thursday, Larian revealed that Baldur’s Gate 3’s release date has been pushed forward on PC. Alongside other games, the change in release dates has occurred in order to avoid the massive Starfield hype that will dominate September’s sales.

However, Larian’s work on the game’s Xbox port is far from finished, and may never be. While the studio does want to create a Baldur’s Gate 3 Xbox Series port, issues with split-screen multiplayer on Microsoft’s cheaper, lower-powered Xbox Series S are proving to be troublesome.

Speaking to IGN, Larian explained that Xbox releases must have feature parity between Xbox Series S and Series X. If split screen is on one, it has to be on the other, and the studio doesn’t want to remove split screen multiplayer altogether. While Xbox Series S performance can be worse alongside poorer graphics, features must be kept the same across both console SKUs.

In a very conservative statement, Larian Studios’ Swen Vincke explained that the team is having an easier time bringing the same to some platforms than others, avoiding the mention of Xbox.

“It's not that we planned this. Our plan was that we wanted to have a simultaneous release,” they explained. “But we've been on this game for a long time. It's a really big game. The amount of things you can do in it is insane. I think people will be surprised when they see everything. There's constraints we have to overcome, so we just work on them. Some take more time.”

Baldur’s Gate 3 on Xbox Series S has become more complex as time as gone on. The massive character RPG game not only includes hundreds of hours of content, but also myriad physics calculations and graphical effects that can be incredibly taxing on even high-end PCs. As the game as evolved, bringing the game to consoles in an entirely optimised state has been a challenge.

“It was very hard for them to do this when the game wasn't ‘finished finished’ yet, because all the content kept on coming,” Vincke told the outlet. “Now they have everything, so they see what they're up against.”

To combat the Xbox Series S performance woes, Larian is being helped by Microsoft engineers that know the hardware inside-and-out to bring the game to the cheaper console. Microsoft’s engineers have often helped in large-scale porting projects, including the much-needed fixing on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on Xbox One after its horrendous launch.

“We've certainly had support from Microsoft,. We had support from the [Xbox Advanced Technology Group] ATG group. They've been doing great. They've been helping a lot,” Vincke explained. “Everybody wants this out on Xbox. It's not that we don't want it out on Xbox. It's just that, our problem — and this is us, Larian — is that we just made a very big game. And it's a very complicated game.”

Since the start of the generation, developers have expressed upset at the enforcement of feature parity across Xbox Series X and Series S. Due to Xbox Series S performance constraints, bringing games to the hardware can be a bigger challenge than many assume. While most games are fine with running on the lower-power console, other intensive titles — such as Baldur’s Gate 3 — are not.

The Baldur’s Gate 3 Xbox port is still in development at Larian, and it’s expected to release sometime this year. Meanwhile, PC players will be able to enjoy the title on August 1st, and PlayStation 5 players will be able to play on September 6th.

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