PUBG is officially releasing next month on Xbox, but like the PC version it's still not ready

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (Image credit: PUBG Corporation)

Last year's record-breaking Steam hit PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) ended up making its way to the Xbox Preview Program in December, but the title has been frustrating for Xbox gamers. While PUBG is known for its heart-stopping intensity and strong mechanics, it has also built up a reputation as one of the buggiest titles in recent history, and this issue is worse on Xbox One than on PC. Despite numerous patches, the game still has a long way to go.

Surprisingly, Microsoft announced at Gamescom that PUBG is leaving the Preview Program on September 4 — less than two weeks from now. Here's why I think officially launching the game this early is a big risk.

Optimization takes time

If games like the Master Chief Collection and The Division are any indication, restoring a broken game to intended stability levels is a large task that requires plenty of resources, time, and patience. These two games have been making a comeback, but the only reason why is because they've been given adequate amounts of all three of these things.

Because of this, it would be best for the PUBG developers to hold off on an official release for now, or at least until they finish their Fix PUBG campaign at the end of October. Rushing things is risky, and could even lead to the problems worsening. It's still not perfect on PC, which is another issue altogether.

An opportunity too good to miss

One major area that the Xbox One is currently lacking in compared to the PlayStation 4 is the exclusives department. The fact that PUBG will only on Xbox is significant. PUBG has the potential to be a competent system seller for Microsoft, especially since there has been zero news about a PlayStation 4 version for almost a year, but the game needs to work well when it officially comes out.

It would be in Microsoft's best interest to push PUBG's release back a while in order to ensure quality. While they'll make less money in the short term, they will most likely make a much heftier profit in the long run.

Competition is fierce

With upcoming titles like Battlefield V and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, as well as the ever-popular Fortnite to contend with in the battle royale war, PUBG is going to need to strive for perfection.

This matters even more for the Xbox version, where the performance is significantly worse than it is on PC. If the team behind PUBG don't take a careful and thorough approach to fixing the game, they could fail to get it into the state that it needs to be in so that it can compete with the other heavy-hitters.

Your thoughts

Do you think that Microsoft and PUBG Corp. are taking PUBG out of the Xbox Preview Program too early, or do you disagree with me and think that they're making the right call? Let me know your thoughts.

PUBG is available now for $29.99.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

  • I remember when Microsoft said that allowing patches on games didn’t mean they were allowing incomplete games on their platforms. Now, is there a game that launches in a complete state?
  • Its there way of getting us stupid people to just go along with and pay for them releasing unfinished games to us. Release game quality has been in a steady decline for years now. It's the new norm: they sell us trash at full price with the promise that they'll keep working of developing their game for years after release.
  • old games from NES era also have lotta bugs... (and games back then, are much smaller, simpler, easy to build). It's not new.
  • this is a big mistake to launch early
    wait until it is ready then you have success
  • that means this game would have to launch in 2050 to be completely ready.
    I am happy with playing older DOS games like STUNTS
  • Well if we are going by the PC game quality, it may be unrealistic to expect any better performance on the Xbox. PUBG may be in as good a form as it's ever going to get, no matter how long we wait. It could be that they are just much more ambitious than what the present tech can deliver :-(
  • HAHHAA is that a joke? The developers suck. That's all. Any AAA studio could do a better job of this. Wait for COD and BF. You will see
  • Plenty of higher quality first person shooters on Xbox, has nothing to do with the tech. Switch to a different game and see. This is a PUBG problem, that will become a Microsoft problem as well if released too buggy.
  • They should have released the work in progress version that they sold us -- FOR FREE and then charge us once a truly fixed and complete version is done.
  • I think the real reason is that sales have pretty much died. Releasing it like this means they can introduce those damn keys you have to buy to unlock loot crates. They need to be pulling revenue from somewhere...
  • True, I never thought of that. Now that no ones paying for this crappy unfinished game, theyre releasing a supposedly complete version for sale (to entice and fool more people into buying it). I bet the release version is still a sluggish, delayed reacting, crappy hit detection mess.
  • 'Bugs' are few and far between on PUBG now. I have the Xbox One X now, which I'm sure still makes a big difference, but the only bugs I have these days is running into random and/or invisible objects when driving. I watched my nephew play Fortnite yesterday, it took so long to load. I could have loaded, played and died in PUBG before it loaded.
  • Lies. You the time it takes to find a match is longer than fortnite load time. Also, fortnite load times arent long, it's only the first initial load of the game that's long. Not matches.
  • Then I guess its not a bug for the reaction time to be so delayed (melee and pretty much every other action is delayed and feels sluggish) and I guess the lousy hit detection (emptying rounds into enemies yet they don't get hit) isn't a bug either.
  • They should stick to the end of October because by going early and if turns out it's botched job than it will not only make them look incompetent (poor planning) but it will be very on bad morale and productivity of the team across the board. As people will have to pick the pieces and naturally fingers will be pointed internally thus fueling petty office politics. If after October it's a botched job than the fallout will be nowhere as bad as going early. The master chief collection is indicative of how long it can take for a game to be optimised and "fixed".
  • im enjoying PUBG a lot more than Fortnite, on Xbox One X and on PC, with the day 1 tricks to up the performance on xbox, its been more stable than hitting a few bugs here and there, nothing that made me angry. Anyways, the decision is pretty much a decision from Bluehole with Microsoft obviously allowing them to do it, cause BH seems comfortable with the 1.0 version. a thing I found out from a dev view on things, BH has a totally different way of putting PC assets to console. its Copy paste > release > optimize when next patch is in the works. in that case I think everyone blaming the performance of the console is wrong. their way of working is just different. imo 1.0 will do fine for release since making the console version better is a continues thing. may take a while with how they work but its getting there.
  • PUBG has always been available on Xbox. Whoever wrote this is dumb af.
  • Someone doesn't understand the difference between a preview build and a release build. Here's a hint: It's you.
  • Keyword: “official” As in the official release, not preview release.
  • Whoever wrote this comment is dumb af
  • What's sad about the PUBG saga is that the version of this that was successful is still not the best version of the concept. Fortnite is a marketing hit because it aims to reach a wider audience. It's basically a mobile game, aimed at kids. There's no better "realistic", military simulation oriented Battle Royale game than PUBG. So it's either buggy, janky but fun PUBG or a kid game if you like Battle Royale right now. This is even made worse when, going after an easy slice of success, they're releasing Fortnite clones now. Awful.
  • I can appreciate the concern regarding early release, but this game is modeled differently than a game like The Division. It is a constantly evolving game with a regular patch cycle that will keep it updated with bug fixes and new content for years to come. I have been playing this game since it's release on XBOX, and it has made significant improvements. It isn't quite as polished as the PC version, but it is very close and runs reliably enough to match up against other "New Release" games for the most part. I am concerned with them not testing Sanhok and War Mode before the release though. Both Sanhok and War Mode on PC had significant issues at launch, so it seems very aggressive and a little reckless to release those 2 features without running it on the test server first.
  • No big deal. The last years Microsoft only release beta and unreleased things (unfortunately)
  • The game is still a sluggish, delayed-reaction, lousy hit detecting, waste of time. And these screenshots must be taken from a super high end pc because I have an X and the visuals look nowhere as good as these.
  • I don’t think it’s too early, in fact I think the exact’s too late. PUBG on Xbox was fun, but the word embarrassing comes to mind when I think about the current state and how long it’s taken them to get there. I was a day one preview program PUBG player and while the tethering has gotten a lot better, the game still crashes regularly, gives black screens for minutes when starting a match, sees players teleporting, has floating guns, buggy noises, buildings that don’t load, etc. On top of this, the game isn’t balanced between Xbox One and One X players. I once did a LAN-style PUBG game night and me and three teammates were looking at an enemy team about 200 yards away. On my game they were perfectly hidden in the grass and shadows (X1X), but on my brother’s screen the entire team was clear as day with no obstructions. The fact that mobile is leaps and bounds better than Xbox, when we actually PAID for the game, is frustrating and infuriating. I will play PUBG again when the developer decides to hire a full staff and treat this game like the hundred million dollar revenue generating game that it has been. There’s no more excuses. Grow your team, fix bugs, add content, create value. I’m tired of deceptive developers in this industry.