PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds took the world by storm when it released on Steam earlier this year. The PC exclusive title quickly became a streamer’s delight as the game’s uncertainty from match to match made for excellent viewing. It has even started to challenge long-time Twitch king League of Legends for the top spot which is huge. The popularity for this game seems to have no end.
With that increasing popularity, it should come as no surprise that the title is making its way to Xbox One in the near future. We expect it’ll be out later this year but we haven’t heard anything concrete about the release date. PUBG was unveiled during Microsoft’s E3 press conference earlier this year and is arguably the biggest title coming to the console later this year, especially with the delay of Crackdown 3.
Microsoft is publishing the Xbox One version of the game and PUBG’s developer Bluehole has a good relationship with the software giant. Mike Ybarra, Microsoft’s Vice President of Xbox and Windows platform, spoke a little about that relationship in an interview with Digital Trends.
“The Bluehole/Microsoft relationship right now is an incredible positive,” Ybarra told Digital Trends. “They’re obviously the biggest game, period, out there right now–eight million copies in four months, a lot of good momentum for them.”
“Now that we’re publishing the Xbox version of it, there’s people on my team and marketing resources that have opened up for Bluehole,” Ybarra continued. We have a number of engineers helping them optimize for Xbox–both the Xbox One version, and the Xbox X version, in terms of the enhancements that they’ll bring to the title.”
“I think that it’s the standard partnership that we do with developers on specific titles when we really want to work together to bring something amazing across, and that’s a great title from a Windows and Xbox standpoint […]. I love it–I think they’re an awesome developer.”
The game was announced as a Console Launch Exclusive which suggests the game can eventually make its way to other platforms. The easy assumption would be a PS4 version but we don’t know anything for absolute certainty yet.
One of the big changes from the PC version to the Xbox One version will be the change in control schemes. Most PC gamers go with the mouse and keyboard combination but Xbox One players won’t have that luxury. Windows Central got a look at the control scheme for the title and it is pretty much what you’d expect with a console shooter. If you’re comfortable with the Xbox One controller then this title should feel right at home for you. We expect to see the addition of an aim assist to help make up for the shortcomings of a controller.
The controls aren’t the only thing receiving an overhaul with the Xbox One version. PC players will be used to the drag-and-drop inventory system but that has been replaced on console with buttons instead. Windows Central says X will be used to equip or consume items, Y will drop items while holding Y will split a stack of items in half. It can take some getting used to if you’re coming from PC but it’s pretty much the only option the Xbox One has.
Xbox One X Enhancements
With the upcoming release of the Xbox One X, a lot of games are receiving updates to take advantage of the newer hardware and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is no different.
The big promise is a native 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR). We’ve seen this is possible with games like Super Lucky’s Tale but what about with more demanding titles? Anthem was found to be checkerboard 4K instead of a native 4K, like Microsoft has said their console is capable of. PUBG probably falls somewhere in between those two titles in terms of required hardware.
Something that might worry players is the weak CPU found in the Xbox One X. With 100-man servers, there’s going to be a lot of stress put on your CPU so it’s possible the console version won’t be able to provide a stable framerate. There are still issues plaguing the game on PC even on high-end builds but that’s just par for the course for early access titles.
Eurogamer has found the title maintains 30 FPS on Xbox One X which should be reassuring to potential owners. There’s no mention of the base Xbox One or Xbox One S so we don’t know what to expect with that version. Many Xbox One games fall below 1080p resolution in favor of increased performance and it’s possible we might be looking at a similar thing here.
When is it Coming?
All signs are pointing to a release later this year. Microsoft needs a heavy hitter to release with its new console and this seems like as good of a title as any. Keep in the mind that the title is still in early access on Steam.
When the title does finally come to Xbox One it will join the preview program. Other games have been in the program in the past such as Ark: Survival Evolved and The Long Dark so that’s not uncommon to see titles released there. However, this means you can expect constant changes and probably expect to experience a few bugs in the beginning.
We don’t really have a clear idea on when the title is leaving early access on Steam and we’d imagine the Xbox One title will leave the preview program when that happens. The team has declared it will be ready by the end of this year but they have pushed back the time before. Here’s what the development team told PC Gamer in July about PUBG leaving early access on Steam.
Today I want to update everyone on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds progress through Early Access. The amount of support and feedback we have received from our community has been incredible. I want to thank you all for your bug reports, feedback and suggestions. As we continue to fix bugs, improve gameplay and add new content, it’s important to for us to deliver you a fully realized and polished Battle Royale experience as we look towards launch.
Over the past few months I have done a lot of interviews, and in many of them, I said we hoped to be out of Early Access six months after we first launched. I’ve come to realize that restricting the window to a specific month could hinder us from delivering a fully featured game and/or lead to disappointment within the community if the launch deadline is not met.
So, we have decided that we are going push the full launch back a bit from the initial six-month timeframe, but want to assure you that we are still planning a full release before the end of Q4 2017.
We will continue to push weekly and monthly updates until full launch as we want to ensure that the game we release is the best version possible. This is why we’re giving a launch window rather than an exact date. We hope this makes sense, and appreciate your understanding.
As always, I want to thank you all for your continued support.