At the start of this console generation, Microsoft made a surprising decision. Instead of splitting its consoles between disc and digital-only mode like Sony has, it’s actually split them between power level. The Xbox Series S was cheaper, but it lacked the horsepower of the more expensive Series X. It was meant to be a bridge between generations and a less expensive entry point, but Microsoft made an important promise.
While there will be some variance in technical capabilities between the consoles, feature parity between the two will remain the same. It will stay the same because Microsoft will stay Requests remain the same, whether from their respective studios or third parties.
However, over time, it became more and more difficult to meet this. Some developers have grumbled about the Series S requirements for a while, but now we have a prime example of this parity demand actively hurting the Xbox ecosystem and players in it. Larian delayed release of Baldur’s Gate 3, is currently on its way to being Game of the Year for 2023, so they can see how split-screen works on the Series S.
Michael Dawes, Director of Publication, explained the problem very clearly:
“We’ve said many times in the past that the problem is getting split screen to work on the Series S, which takes longer, but it’s a work in progress,” Douse said. he said on Twitter. “This is a huge technical hurdle, but we are unable to launch the game on the ecosystem without this feature.”
“We can’t remove the split-screen feature because we’re bound to run with parity, and so we continue to try to make it work. We have quite a few engineers working hard to do what no other RPG of this scope has achieved: seamless sharing, collaborative drop-off in the Series S. We hope that We’ll get an update by the end of the year.”
Microsoft’s claim of feature parity between the Series X and S quite literally means that Xbox gamers may not be able to play potential 2023’s GOTY until… 2024. Larian simply can’t cut the feature because Microsoft won’t let them. A feature that the majority of game players will probably never use, keep in mind.
You could say “Well, Microsoft just needs to end requiring feature parity between X and S.” In this case, Microsoft can give approval for split screen cuts and the game can be launched. However, you can see how Microsoft has kind of cornered itself. For Baldur’s Gate 3, that means split screen, Xbox owners no Following the video game news every second of the day they might find themselves buying a Series S version thinking they can play co-op with their friend who owns a Series X and they… they can’t.
You can extrapolate this to any number of games. Various pain points in Series S development could result in any number of broken features, and have to be explained in fine print to Series S players, or they simply buy games and get upset that those features weren’t there, I don’t know any of that.
This is Microsoft not really thinking about the Series S concept from the start. The parity feature actually requires Do It seems necessary, but the further we get into this generation, the more modern games push the technical envelope, and the more effort the Series S has to keep up, the more developers make an effort to meet Microsoft’s requirements. As we can see in this example, Microsoft essentially handed the PlayStation an exclusive console for one of the biggest games of the year, without even having to make a deal. this is a disaster.
It is not clear if there is a way out of this. It would be a mess to stop requiring feature parity. Stopping Series S sales isn’t going to solve the problem that there are millions already out there that just can’t be let go. Time travel for not launching the Series S in the first place can’t avoid all of this. So, they are stuck, unless they think of something else.
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