Super happy to confirm that after meeting @XboxP3 yesterday, we’ve found a solution that allows us to bring Baldur’s Gate 3 to Xbox players this year still, something we’ve been working towards for quite some time.— Swen Vincke @where? (@LarAtLarian) August 24, 2023
After a slight delay, Baldur's Gate 3 is coming to the Xbox Series X|S! Larian announced this on August 24th and also indicated that the team at Microsoft Game Studios was an active partner in helping them to make this happen. However, the announcement came with a slight shocker that there would be a slight difference between how the game plays on the Series X and Series S. The Series S edition will not have split-screen co-op while the Series X version will. Both consoles will have the same campaign and no story or character-related content has been removed for the Series S version and both Xbox releases will have cross-save progression between Steam and Xbox Series X|S.
For those unaware, the primary reason why Baldur's Gate 3 was not on the Xbox Series X|S is because Larian, still a relatively small development team, could not find ways to make many of the game's features and modes that are included in the base game work at a decent framerate and graphical setting on the Xbox Series S. Though it should be noted, Swen Vincke, BG3's creative lead, affirmed that they did not think the Series S was harming the current generation of games and compared it to developing a PC game with considerations for "minimum spec PCs and the Nintendo Switch."
Prior to this announcement, Microsoft has maintained a pretty strict rule that any game that releases on the Series X MUST have the same features and modes on the Series S. This has been a point of consternation with some developers citing issues with making the Series S's significantly less VRAM and storage as major hurdles.
Baldur's Gate 3 is the first game to force Microsoft's hand in waiving that requirement and it remains to be seen if this rule has been scrapped entirely for future game releases.