Whether or not the Xbox Series S and its comparatively weaker hardware is holding back game developers this generation has been a major topic of discussion for as long as the console has been around, and while that’s likely to be the case for the foreseeable future (and beyond), in the here and now, we have a remarkable example of how the console has actually helped a game improve on a technical level on all platforms.
Larian Studios is currently in the process of bringing its acclaimed RPG Baldur’s Gate 3 over to Xbox Series X/S, and while the Xbox Series S is the original reason for why the game is seeing a delayed launch on Microsoft’s current-gen console duo, as part of the ongoing optimization process, it has led to impressive optimization for the game’s memory usage.
Larian Studios CEO and Baldur’s Gate 3 creative director Swen Vincke recently took to Twitter and shared a couple of graphs showing how memory usage for Baldur’s Gate 3 has improved thanks to the studio’s work on an Xbox Series S version. Between September and now, the RPG’s RAM usage has dropped from 5.2 GB to 4.7 GB, which is roughly a 10% reduction, while VRAM usage has dropped from 3.5 GB to 2.3 GB, a whopping 24% reduction.
How Larian has accomplished that is something we’ll likely only find out once the game is out on Xbox consoles, but it’s nonetheless good to see that the process of optimizing the game for Xbox Series S’ hardware has helped Larian improve how it runs on all hardware (which will presumably be implemented through future updates).
Baldur’s Gate 3 is currently available on PC and PS5. An Xbox Series X/S release date hasn’t been officially announced, but Larian has confirmed that the port will launch this year, while a recent leak claimed that it would be arriving on December 6.
Got a nice present from our engineers. Ensuring memory is well under control and having buffer for peaks was the main thing holding us back I think this will benefit all platforms too. Still some work left but very close now. pic.twitter.com/xvtUDPFebo
— Swen Vincke @where? (@LarAtLarian) November 8, 2023