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When does Baldur’s Gate 3 come to Xbox? Maybe not until 2024

Highly anticipated PC launch comes Aug. 3; PS5 follows in September

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A fire-casting mage battles a decomposing dragon in a screenshot from Baldur’s Gate 3 Image: Larian Studios
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

After years of development and early access availability, Larian Studios’ Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game Baldur’s Gate 3 has launched on Mac and Windows PC. A PlayStation 5 version is coming on Sept. 6, but a possible release for Xbox platforms is further off; Larian says that version of Baldur’s Gate 3 may not arrive until 2024, according to comments from Michael Douse, director of publishing at the studio.

Douse echoed Larian creative director Swen Vincke in explaining that it’s not “playing the exclusivity game” with Xbox fans, but that technical limitations are preventing an Xbox Series X (and Series S) release of Baldur’s Gate 3.

“We’ve said many times in the past that the issue is getting split-screen working on the Series S, which is taking more time, but is in progress,” Douse said on Twitter. “This is a huge technical hurdle, but we are unable to release the game on the ecosystem without this feature.”

Added Douse, “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.”

Larian is being cautious about officially committing to an Xbox Series X and S version of the game, as noted back in February. At the time, the studio said, “We are still working on an Xbox version of BG3, but we’re not yet confident enough to announce it. We don’t like announcing anything until we’re ready, because we don’t want to get peoples hopes up until we’re sure we can deliver.”

The Series S, Microsoft’s lower-power, lower-cost version of the current-generation Xbox has been at the center of a debate over the last year regarding whether the console is “holding back gaming” or, at the very least, resulting in compromises for Xbox Series X games. The game hardware tech experts at Digital Foundry argue against that theory, but it appears to be accurate at least in the case of Baldur’s Gate 3. No doubt Microsoft and Larian are trying to pull off some engineering wizardry to make the highly anticipated RPG playable on a Series S (and X).

For now, Xbox devotees will have to wait, likely until the new year. Beamdog’s Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate 2: Enhanced Editions might help pass the time — you might even have the time to finish one of those games before Baldur’s Gate 3 comes to Xbox.

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