In context: Currently available for PC, Mac, and PS5 platforms, Baldur's Gate 3 is not particularly resource-hungry. However, for the upcoming Xbox Series S port, developer Larian Studios will likely need to put in a bit more effort, and things do seem to be progressing well in that regard.
Baldur's Gate 3, the award-winning CRPG created by the role-playing specialists at Belgian developer Larian Studios, is officially being ported to Xbox Series X|S consoles. The version for the lower-powered Xbox Series S won't feature the same split-screen support available on other machines, but it will seemingly provide significant optimizations in how system and video memory are utilized.
According to a couple of screenshots provided by Larian founder Swen Vincke, the studio's engineers have found a way to significantly reduce the amount of RAM required by BG3 on Xbox Series S. The game now uses 4.7 GB of system RAM and 2.3 GB of video RAM, whereas at the beginning of September, it needed 5.2 GB and 3.5 GB, respectively.
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
Baldur's Gate 3 memory and VRAM requirements on Xbox Series S have been reduced by 10 percent and a massive 34 percent, as confirmed by Vincke. Ensuring that memory usage is "well under control" and having a buffer for "peak" cases was seemingly the main hurdle holding back development on the platform.
While memory utilization still needs some work, according to the Larian boss, the newly found "secret" behind recent optimizations should benefit other platforms as well. The Xbox Series X|S version appears to be very close to completion, based on Vincke's statements.
The reduced memory requirements for BG3 are unlikely to be related to lower resolution rendering or degraded texture quality. If that were the case, Larian developers would have adopted this approach much sooner. The system requirements for the game's PC version include 8 GB of RAM and a 4 GB VRAM GPU, while recommended requirements include 16 GB of RAM and an "8 GB+" VRAM GPU.
Actual tests on VRAM utilization show that Baldur's Gate 3 can go from 4 GB in 1080p at low settings to 5.6 GB at 4K Ultra. Graphically intensive occurrences are few and far between, except for the notoriously heavy Act III. Considering the work being done on the Xbox Series S port, PC gamers can rightfully expect some future performance improvements for their platform as well.