Split-screen co-op might still come to Baldur’s Gate 3 on the Xbox Series S

Baldur’s Gate 3, a widely anticipated role-playing game, has recently sparked a fascinating debate, especially in light of its Xbox Series S release. The contentious split-screen feature is at the center of the discussion.

Baldur’s Gate 3 may not have meant to do it but it has forced many to reconsider buying an Xbox Series S.

After Larian Studios and Microsoft had a disagreement at Gamescom 2023, the console maker finally gave up and approved the game’s release on their most recent systems. The sole caveat? The Xbox Series S, the flagship console’s less expensive sister, will be the only one without split-screen co-op.

Larian Studios provided some clarification on Twitter, as if in response to the subsequent backlash and the alleged precedent that it set.

Due to issues getting split-screen co-op to function on both consoles, Baldur’s Gate 3, which has already had a huge impact on the PC as one of the highest-rated video games on the platform ever, was initially delayed on the Xbox Series S/X. The Xbox Series S has lesser hardware than other Xbox models, and Microsoft’s feature parity requirement made it difficult for the game’s creators to successfully integrate this functionality on that platform. This rule effectively requires that games provide the same capabilities for the Xbox Series X and Series S. It was possible that Larian’s issues with the split-screen functionality on the Series S might prevent the game from being released on any of the Xbox platforms.

Despite these difficulties, a fascinating turn of events happened. Microsoft made an exception since they understood Baldur’s Gate 3’s enormous popularity—it quickly rose to the top of the Steam charts and required a hotfix owing to the intense demand, and the upcoming PlayStation 5 launch is anticipated to be just as large. The decision to enable the game’s release on the Series S without instant split-screen support underlines the game’s importance to the gaming industry.

The idea behind the Xbox Series S was good but, ultimately, it’s on Microsoft for thinking that this wouldn’t happen.

Although this exception might seem like a minor footnote in the larger story of game releases, it has sparked important discussions online, or as they say, opened a bag of worms. The Xbox Series S’s status as a backup console had already been established, but this simply served to confirm it. More significantly, it might encourage designers to give the Xbox Series X higher priority.

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One game, NARUTO X BORUTO Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections, has already disregarded the Xbox Series S in favor of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Microsoft has taken the initiative to explain its position, emphasizing that the choice did not represent a change in its developer policy but rather was made purely to ensure that Xbox players could quickly access Baldur’s Gate 3.

Xbox Series S owners aren’t being treated as “second-class” citizens yet but many feel like it’s only a matter of time.

The PlayStation 5 version of Baldur’s Gate 3 will be released on September 6; the Xbox One release date is yet unknown. Players may also expect cross-platform save functionality, which will make their gaming experience seamless.

In the end, the continuous story surrounding the Xbox Series S release of Baldur’s Gate 3 provides fascinating insights into the intricate interaction between technical advancements, developer restrictions, and consumer desires. The situation is expected to teach both developers and gamers important lessons as it develops.

It’s still uncertain how everything will pan out, but for the time being, the popular narrative is that Microsoft handed the PS5 a pseudo-exclusive game called Starfield that will release around the same time it does on the Xbox Series S/X.

This should guarantee that Microsoft won’t think about releasing a console similar to the Xbox Series S again.

Speaking about Starfield, individuals who spent more for the most expensive version are happy with their purchase, particularly the Starfield Chronomark Watch.

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