The Xbox Series S has been considered a double-edged sword for Microsoft. While it offers the cheapest entry into the current generation of console gaming, its lower-end hardware can also be problematic for developers.
Since Microsoft has announced that games on the platform cannot skip the Xbox Series S, the industry has debated if the cheaper console is holding back more capable hardware like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X for multiplatform releases.
The CEO of Larian Studios was recently asked about his opinion on the subject. Contrary to popular thought, he did not have negative opinions on the Xbox Series S.
Why it matters: The budget offering from Microsoft accounts for most of the 21 million sales of the two consoles. This makes it crucial to Microsoft, and fans should not expect support to be dropped anytime soon.
In the past, the studio has faced difficulties with split-screen co-op on the budget hardware.
Following these issues, Larian Studios has yet to announce an official release date for the Xbox Series X|S versions. However, Baldur’s Gate 3 is launching on the PlayStation 5 in September.
Replying to the host’s question about the Xbox Series S affecting third-party releases throughout the generation, Swen Vincke said:
“I think it’s an okay proposition to say we have two devices, we want compatibility across the devices.”
“To answer your question, it just defines parameters within which you have to develop and there are ways of doing that.
“They just take development efforts.”
Swen Vincke is the CEO of Larian Studios and one of the Directors of Baldur’s Gate 3. According to the developer, the Xbox Series S, like any other hardware, comes with its own challenges.
This does not make it inherently terrible, even if it leads to compromises for games. The Director compared it to PC development, claiming that studios have been used to scaling games down for different configurations.
Therefore, the Xbox Series S provides a similar challenge. He also emphasized that studios have the choice between specific platforms, using a hypothetical PlayStation 7 console to make his point.
If the PlayStation 7 was currently available, it would present a choice between skipping the older hardware for more capabilities or developing for previous consoles to ensure the game reaches more players.
The PC platform has always offered a similar dilemma due to new graphics cards every two years, and the Xbox Series S is no different. According to Swen Vincke, Larian Studios does not have enough resources to work on all versions simultaneously.
As such, with enough time and effort, games can be made to work on Microsoft’s budget console. Previously, Matt Booty from Xbox has made a similar claim, encouraging developers to plan for the budget Xbox hardware.
Nonetheless, Swen Vincke remains confident in Larian Studios. The developer believes the team will eventually be able to optimize Baldur’s Gate 3 for Xbox consoles, but it could take several more months.
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Avinash is currently pursuing a Business degree in Australia. For more than three years, he has been working as a gaming journalist, utilizing his writing skills and love for gaming to report on the latest updates in the industry. Avinash loves to play action games like Devil May Cry and has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as IGN, GamesRadar, GameRant, Dualshockers, CBR, and Gamespot.