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The Banner Saga gets PS4 and Xbox One release date

UPDATE: Vita version back in business.

UPDATE 23/12/2015 8.32pm: Good news, everyone! The Banner Saga will be coming to Vita after all.

Developer Gio Corsi confirmed on Twitter that the game's publisher, Versus Evil, has decided to fund the Vita version's development.

The Vita version was previously "put on the back burner" after a third-party porting company folded, leaving developer Stoic under budget and needing to focus on the PS4 and Xbox One ports. The developer has promised more news about the Vita version in 2016.

UPDATE 17TH DECEMBER: The Vita version of The Banner Saga has been put on "the back burner". John Watson, co-founder and programmer lead of developer Stoic, explained why on the official game forum.

"Our console and Vita porting has been more expensive and time consuming than we had originally expected," he began. PS4 and Xbox One development started at the same time as iOS and Android development - two versions of Banner Saga that are already out - originally with a deadline for November 2014. The same porting company was given Vita porting duty, and a deadline of July 2015.

But after promising initial progress, problems set in and deadlines were missed. Then in May 2015 the company porting The Banner Saga "folded". "All of the expenses sunk into that project were lost, with no realistic way for us to recover them," Watson said.

"Over the next few months, we scrambled to find another porting company that was able to pick up the porting where it was left off. Fortunately, we found a great company who has been able to exceed our expectations in every way. They started work in August, and now, four months later, we have the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports completed and ready to launch.

"The side effect of this is that we have had to put the Playstation Vita port on the back burner," Watson announced. "I have been excited about the Vita port since day one, and I would love to see The Banner Saga running on my own Vita. The realities, however, of a very small team and a limited budget, put an immutable check on the speed of our progress. Stoic is composed of only four full-time internal team members, all of which are currently working 100 per cent on Banner Saga 2.

"Our initial budget for porting to Vita has been burned by essentially having to pay twice for the console ports. Once we can recover the substantial costs of initial console porting, we can consider our strategy to move forward with Vita."

ORIGINAL STORY 16TH DECEMBER: The Banner Saga finally has a PS4 and Xbox One release date and it's surprisingly close at hand: 12th January 2016. That's a Tuesday, which means the European PlayStation Store arrival will be the following day, Wednesday 13th.

The console versions are localised in French, German, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Italian, publisher Versus Evil said on the PlayStation Blog.

There aren't any specific examples of - or videos showing - how the near-two-year-old PC game works on PS4. All that was mentioned was: "John Watson [one of the founding trio of developer Stoic, and the programmer] has been working on porting the game to consoles for quite a while. The process involved not only getting Banner Saga playable on consoles, but redesigning the user experience to better fit PS4 and its controller."

The Banner Saga shouldn't be too demanding for console controls to cope with, what with being a turn-based game in combat and a Choose Your Own Adventure-style game out of combat. There are some menus to navigate but not many. The PS4 should also easily cope with the game graphically.

No price for the PS4 game was mentioned but, as a guide, The Banner Saga costs £14.99 on Steam.

The Banner Saga came out of Kickstarter - it was one of the first games to materialise. Its gorgeous artwork turned heads while its grid-based strategical combat and provoking tone and story provided the depth. We Recommended it.

The game sold well enabling work on a trilogy to go ahead, and a second instalment is planned for first-quarter 2016 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Saved games carry over from BS1.

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About the Author

Robert Purchese avatar

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is a long-time writer and now podcaster for Eurogamer. He loves telling a story and listening to them.

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