PS4 and Xbox One May Not Be Powerful Enough to Run Baldur’s Gate 3
Baldur’s Gate 3 had its big unveiling yesterday at PAX East, complete with over an hour of gameplay footage and an absolutely wild opening cinematic video. In the wake of the presentation, developers from Larian Studios are going into a little more detail about the technicalities of the game, including the reasons it’ll be available for PC and Google Stadia, but not PS4 and Xbox One.
Larian Studios did a lot of things differently with Baldur’s Gate 3, expanding the company’s numbers significantly, and in an unusual turn for games of this size and caliber, it’s being self-published. This comes in addition to the news that not only is BG3 slated to release for Stadia, but that version of the game will come with exclusive features, including a multiplayer screen sharing ability.
Considering that its predecessors, the acclaimed Baldur’s Gate series from the early 2000s, just made it to consoles after two decades, some fans may have been expecting a console release for 3 as well, but design producer David Walgrave explained why that isn’t the case. In an interview with Eurogamer, Walgrave confirmed that Baldur’s Gate 3 is most certainly going to be a triple-A, which is again unusual given that the studio remains entirely independent; the success of its earlier Divinity games left Larian with plenty of funds to make a high-quality BG3 into reality. To that end, Walgrave’s reasoning for the lack of PS4 and Xbox One support is pretty simple: he’s not convinced that current-gen consoles would be capable of running the game.
If the truly impressive graphics of Larian’s gameplay reveal are anything to go by, that does make sense, even if console-users may be disappointed. Walgrave conceded that current-gen console versions could be possible if the studio “toned down the textures and this and that,” but then the game “wouldn’t look as cool anymore.” So instead of lowering standards after all the “technical upgrades and updates” that Larian reportedly did to its game engine of choice, the studio is simply keeping Baldur’s Gate 3 exclusive to PC and Stadia–at least for now.
For those restricted to consoles, Larian also hasn’t completely ruled out a port of the game, but right now the studio’s focus is fixed on getting the PC and Google Stadia version up to snuff. “So, the previous games, we ported them to PC, Mac, Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation. Because when you’ve been working on a game for three years or so, you just want to maximize the audience, like let’s sell it to more people!” Walgrave said. “I think we’ll work on it, but let’s first make it for PC. Let’s make it work.”
And that’s fair enough: Larian is well-aware of the legacy left by the old Baldur’s Gate games, and its developers seem committed to making BG3 both a worthy successor and a good game in its own right. Whether or not they achieve that goal will become clear when the game goes into early access, which is happening sometime later in 2020.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is in development for PC and Stadia.