Baldur’s Gate 3
This week, two of the year’s biggest RPGs were released in head-to-head competition on competing console platforms. But only one of them is exclusive to consoles. Starfield was acquired by Microsoft in 2021 along with its developer and publisher Bethesda and released exclusively for Xbox and Windows PC. Baldur’s Gate 3 – which has already become an overnight hit on PC, if you can say that for a game that spent three years in Early Access – is out now for PlayStation 5,
, but the Xbox version will be available in some other versions. weeks or months. And it could have taken a lot longer.
The developer of Baldur’s Gate 3, Larian Studios, does not have a temporary exclusive deal with Sony or anyone else. Originally, he hadn’t committed, if at all, to releasing the game on Xbox before 2024 because he couldn’t get the split-screen co-op to work well enough on the Xbox Series S, a cheaper and less powerful Xbox. this generation. As Larian explained, Microsoft requires in the Xbox Series versions of the game If Larian had not worked on the Series S, it would not have been possible to release the game on Xbox.
This put Microsoft in a difficult position. Baldur’s Gate 3 wowed critics, made waves on Steam, and quickly established itself as one of the biggest and best games of the year. It would have been embarrassing to miss this opportunity to achieve a suicidal goal, not to mention that Series
The Fellowship of the Ring enter Outland in the second act of Baldur’s Gate 3 and see a vast expanse only occupied by the giant glowing mushrooms from
Baldur’s Gate 3 is illuminated.Photo: Larian Studios
As IGN reports, Microsoft has also brought in some of its engineers to help Larian with the Series S version of Baldur’s Gate 3, but progress hasn’t been fast enough. Finally, Microsoft’s games boss, Phil Spencer, met with Larian’s Swen Vincke at Gamescom in August. Vincke, hugely popular and celebrated for Baldur’s Gate 3, had all the cards while Spencer made the unprecedented move to release the game in Series S on Xbox without the
co-op mode. An Xbox version is currently expected before the end. of the year. the year.
It might seem like a small concession from Microsoft to ensure the game’s success, but it makes a big difference. This could change, or at least weaken, Xbox’s entire hardware strategy.
NOW THE SERIES REALLY BECOMES THE BASIC HARDWARE FOR ALL MULTI-PLATFORMS
Since the surprising announcement in 2020 that Microsoft will release several gaming consoles of this generation, one of them designed for 4K screens and graphics offers enhanced Features like ray tracing at an affordable price point. for $499, the latter with fewer features and less storage, but exclusively with “next-gen” features; Compatibility for $200 less – There has been debate as to whether the Series S really compares to the quality of the Series and Xbox One. Only now, with games like Baldur’s Gate 3 ignoring those platforms, has the Series S become the hardware of choice for all cross-platform releases.
S series has the same central processor as the X series, but with a significantly weaker graphics processor. Given that it’s designed for displays with a resolution of 1440p or lower, that’s not a huge issue – it displays less than half the pixels per second of the 4K series. It also has less memory and less memory bandwidth. This can be a bottleneck in Baldur’s Gate 3,
‘s split-screen co-op, which attempts to present two viewpoints on a very complex game simulation. (Microsoft specifically removed the split-screen modes from the co-op game Halo Infinite and the upcoming Forza Motorsport.)
These are technical questions. For gamers on a budget or those who haven’t upgraded to 4K displays yet, sacrificing image quality and even frame rate to save $200 seems like a steal. However, developers are starting to get frustrated, especially those using cutting-edge technologies or moving to new engines like Unreal Engine 5. The TeamKill Media team developing the horror game called Quantum Error in UE5 says the game is currently “unacceptable” with
on the Series S. The
game will be coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox in November, “TBD.”»