There are still important differences between PC and console games, but here’s another example of how the wall erodes between them: Crusader Kings 3 Coming to Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5.
The Crusader Kings games are major PC strategy sagas in which players guide medieval families through multiple generations of war, intrigue, politics, and words ending in “-cest” and “-cide”. It’s a mosaic of menus, icons, buttons, and tooltips, giving it a “PC only” feel. It’s hard to imagine relaxing on the sofa with a console while checking out affiliate themes and reading the story prompts. This is the plan, though.
Crusader Kings 3 will release on consoles with a user interface and controls that are “optimized to bring the grand strategy experience to console,” host Kate Yeager said during today’s Xbox Gamescom broadcast. In the announcement announcement above, we briefly see what the radial slate looks like in the CK3. strange scene.
In the live broadcast, Yeager referred to the Crusader Kings 3 console version as an “adaptation rather than a direct port,” but the Paradox rep told me that the changes are mainly limited to the controls and UI, so to be clear, it’s not a major redesign of the core game. Details are light at the moment and there’s more to come, but we’ve also learned that there will be new features specific to each console.
Paradox says in Blog post. “PlayStation 5 users will experience the in-game stress mechanics themselves, as their DualSense controllers physically react to in-game events as they unfold.”
Other strategy games have appeared on consoles in the past with varying levels of success, including Paradox’s Stellaris, which was released on Xbox and PlayStation in 2019. But Crusader Kings feels more special on PC, at least among the strategy players I know. We don’t have ‘exclusives’ per se as no single company controls PC games, but it still looks like the opposite of Sony Uncharted games released on PC.
This isn’t the only time we’ve seen Crusader Kings 3 play on a console-like device lately. Appeared during the announcement of steam surfaceValve’s new laptop gaming system. Steam Deck includes trackpads that look more like a mouse than analog sticks, and can also be docked and used with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse like a regular desktop computer, so it’s not quite the same thing as an Xbox. The general message is the same, although the PC gaming experience is becoming less related to desks and desktops.
Paradox hasn’t said if Crusader Kings 3 console support in console versions will come to the PC version as an update. The ports are created by external studio Lab42, and placing their features on top of the current PC version is likely not feasible or planned. We’ve asked the question there and will let you know if we get a definitive answer.
Crusader Kings 3 console versions will be released “soon”. For more context, here’s a file 94% review of Crusaders 3 PC version from last year.