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Baldur's Gate 3 dev says Xbox version still coming but "compromises" may have to be made

Co-op on Series S remains sticking point.

Larian Studios has once again addressed the Xbox version of its upcoming RPG Baldur's Gate 3, confirming that while it's still in the work, the developer may ultimately be forced to make "compromises" in order to release on the platform.

Larian's struggles with Baldur's Gate 3 on Xbox first surfaced in February, when - amid fan fears the game was a PlayStation console exclusive - the studio confirmed it was working on an Xbox version but that it had "run into some technical issues - particularly with split-screen co-op."

In a statement provided to Digital Foundry shortly after, Larian explained its decision not to formally announced an Xbox release was more specifically down to issues it was having getting "split-screen co-op to work to the same standard on both Xbox Series X and S". And now, in an interview with IGN, studio founder and creative director Swen Vincke has shared more.

Ignore the release date at the end of this old trailer and just soak up the Baldur's Gate 3.Watch on YouTube

For starters, Vincke confirms Larian's struggles relate to Microsoft's policy that games must have feature parity across Xbox Series X and S, meaning it can't ship an Xbox version until co-op has been optimised enough to reach an acceptable quality bar on the lesser-powered Series S - a challenge given the demands of Baldur's Gate 3's split-screen.

"You're very free in what you do, more free than people expect,” Vincke explained. "That means you can run into a really big city that's much more dense than people expect. You can do all kinds of craziness, so it requires a lot of optimisation. On certain platforms we're just faster than on other platforms."

“It's not that we planned this," he added. "We wanted to have a simultaneous release... There's constraints we have to overcome, so we just work on them. Some take more time."

A potential solution - to remove co-op from the Xbox version entirely to secure a release on the platform - appears to be one Larian is keen to avoid, but Vincke admitted the studio may ultimately have to make some "compromises" to get the Xbox version out, but declined to say what those may be. "We're trying to be very limited in our compromises we have to make,” he added. "That's one of the reasons why we're taking more time also."

"This one's not exclusive," Vincke reiterated. "You're going to be able to play it [on Xbox]. It's just a matter of patience. This is really a question of time." And how much time is the studio talking? Vincke says the "ambition" is to get Baldur's Gate 3 on Xbox "ready for this year".

Baldur's Gate 3 is now due to release for PC on 3rd August, nearly a month early than plans as it shuffles out the way of a certain Bethesda space game. The PlayStation 5 version will launch slightly later, on 6th September.

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