April 16, 2021

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Hitman 3 on Series X has a resolution advantage over PS5

The brilliant Hitman 3 from IO Interactive is here, an ambitious cross-platform project that sees the firm’s proprietary Glacier Engine deployed to more target platforms on launch day than we’ve seen in previous series entries. We’ll be taking a closer look at this latest iteration of the engine in more depth soon, examining the enhancements made to the technology and how they play out in Hitman 3’s new levels – as well as the legacy missions from the two prior titles, which are all playable within the new game. But in the here and now, it’s PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S that are under the microscope, and it’s the first title we’ve seen where Microsoft’s additional hardware investment delivers a tangible spec increase over the competition in a cross-platform game.

But really, where it truly matters, Hitman 3 delivers on all next-gen systems – principally via a commitment to 60 frames per second gaming. In previous Hitman titles on consoles, IO offered users a choice: the ability to play with a 30fps cap, or alternatively to allow frame-rate to run unlocked. On top of that, the enhanced consoles offered both quality and performance modes, with various resolutions. Hitman 3 dispenses with all of this, delivering a flat 60fps performance level on all systems and with no need to choose between quality and performance modes. This time around, last-gen systems are pegged to 30fps instead, with the curious exception of PS4 Pro, which also offers what IO describes as a 1080p60 ‘frame interpolated’ option.

We’ll go into specifics on performance in due course, but suffice to say, IO’s gambit pays off as all three systems barely waver from a 60fps lock from start to finish, but how they deliver this varies according to the host system. Starting at the top, Xbox Series X runs the game at native 4K resolution (incidentally doubling frame-rate and increasing pixel count over Xbox One X’s 1440p). Just beneath this sits PlayStation 5, running at 1800p. Meanwhile, Xbox Series S aims for the same 60fps target, but this time the GPU is tasked with running the game at 1080p resolution. There’s no dynamic resolution scaling from what we can see, but there is a smart pass of TAA anti-aliasing on all systems.

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