Following our have a look at the PS5 and Sequence X variations of The Witcher 3 Full Version, we’re finishing our protection for this 12 months by looking on the one model of the sport we have but to cowl: Xbox Sequence S. Expectations must be tempered, clearly, as we’re a four-teraflop GPU on the coronary heart of the console in a world the place even the 12TF Sequence X rendition did not run flawlessly, so the omission of the ray tracing mode on Sequence S is hardly a shock. The upside? Sequence S nonetheless affords a 60 frames per second efficiency mode and likewise a better decision 30fps ‘high quality’ different – so how do they run?
Clearly the decision targets for every differ: on efficiency mode we’re a local 1080p goal, and on its high quality mode, CD Projekt RED targets 1440p. Dynamic scaling is feasible, however in Sequence S’ case it is actually been uncommon in testing; so typically every mode hits its decision targets. Whereas we’re evaluating the 2 modes there’s a number of different variations to notice above pixel depend and frame-rate variations. Firstly, to hit 60fps on the efficiency mode, the foliage draw distance is dropped again a preset, in essence, that means extra pop-in nearer to the display on Sequence S at 60fps, whereas high quality mode attracts in additional plants to the far distance.
In any other case, each different setting seems matched between the 2 modes. Reflection high quality, textures and even world shadows are all precisely the identical. In my expertise, the drop to 1080p and the decrease foliage draw setting actually are the most important sacrifices to hitting 60fps. Even so, 60fps is the way in which to go for this one, even with its blurrier picture. The principle motive being that identical to PS5 and Sequence X, Sequence S suffers from noticeable enter latency issues on its 30fps high quality mode. I recorded a response time of 157ms on PS5 in its RT mode – or 145ms subtracting my TV’s personal latency – and Sequence S has the same degree of latency for each enter you make. The very fact is that digicam motion is noticeably delayed, and the boosted res and settings simply aren’t value that trade-off.
Taking a look at Sequence S extra intently in relation to Sequence X, the apparent loss is the shortage of ray-traced ambient occlusion and international illumination. Interiors lack real looking shading, and light-weight bounce is not as correct. It is a stark distinction indoors, with Sequence S’ shading of supplies showing flatter, although in equity to Sequence S, open air areas in broad daylight are fairly comparable. Even the decision is not vastly completely different between them, since each side run at a local 1440p for probably the most half.
One of many larger losses on Sequence S – a characteristic that I might hoped we would nonetheless see regardless of the dropped RT options – is the up to date screen-space reflection approach. Alas, the brand new SSR can also be fully lacking on Sequence S, defaulting us again to the extra primary last-gen technique. It seems positive however we miss the puddle reflections and the reflections on armour that work so effectively on the PS5 and Sequence X RT modes. As an apart, Sequence S’ high quality mode really runs with a better foliage draw setting than our Sequence X run – placing it on par to PS5. However actually, I believe this can be a bug with Sequence X that can quickly be fastened.
Talking of last-gen, the older PS4 Professional model is maybe a extra real looking comparability level. In spite of everything, PS4 Professional’s not far off when it comes to the uncooked on-paper energy spec – 4.2TF up towards Sequence S 4TF. Clearly, there’s an enormous distinction in structure between them – not least a better clocked Zen 2 CPU – that affords Sequence S a vital edge in visible settings. Stacking up Professional’s 30fps output with Sequence S’ high quality mode, draw distance is effectively forward. That drops a setting for those who swap to Sequence S’ efficiency mode, however in both mode it is an enormous improve over last-gen.
Equally, texture high quality and fashions are all up to date on Sequence S, consistent with the opposite current-gen machines. Plus, shadow decision is boosted the world over. The ultimate level right here is that the NPC depend on Sequence S can also be sometimes on par with PS5 and Sequence X, that means areas like Novigrad are filled with bustling crowds, which PS4 Professional is lacking.
Elsewhere, picture high quality variations are the one different factor to remember. Sequence S renders at a local 1440p, whereas PS4 Professional targets 4K, reconstructing a 1920×2160 base picture utilizing checkerboard rendering. For my cash, PS4 Professional does really find yourself producing a sharper picture. It is a extra linear scale to 4K, however on stability the boosted foliage, higher-res textures, shadows and elevated NPC depend make Sequence S extra presentable. It is a comparable story with the older One X model – which targets 4K as effectively – and customarily produces a crisper picture than what we get on newer machines. However once more, One X misses an enormous checklist of different visible tweaks and upgrades.
Taking a look at efficiency, Sequence S impresses initially, hitting a rock-solid 30fps, it doesn’t matter what I threw on the console and irrespective of which of the traditional stress factors I used. Even within the Heirarch Sq., which is an actual CPU stress-test for PS5 and Sequence X, there are zero points. Sequence S has the identical excessive NPC depend as these way more highly effective consoles, though with out the ray-tracing options, and it is completely holding 30fps, in contrast to the 2 dearer machines. The one flaw to efficiency comes from autosave hiccups. Taking into account Sequence S’s similarity in CPU efficiency to PS5 and Sequence X, we will surmise that the RT results have a big affect on sustaining 30fps on the opposite machines.
For improved enter lag and smoother response, the 60fps mode is the place to be, concentrating on 1080p and 60fps. Sadly, it is not a stable 60fps lock by any means. For many horseback using within the wilds, Sequence S hits the mark principally, however there are vital dips wherever round Novigrad’s centre, with lurches all the way down to the low 40s as we undergo Heirarch Sq.. That is a lot worse than PS5 and Sequence X are in their very own efficiency modes, and really is the very worst performing part of the sport we have discovered. Even in different areas, there are points although: the battle with the bandits has sub-60 drops much like PS5, whereas Crookback lavatory additionally has its moments.
Basically, efficiency at 60fps outdoors of Novigrad is nice sufficient, particularly on a VRR supporting show however the heavier drops inside town, for instance, might use addressing. Between the sub-60fps drops on efficiency mode and the upper latency of the standard mode, there is not any one hundred pc good solution to play on Sequence S – although the efficiency mode is really helpful. There are advantages to the Full Version replace generally, no matter mode. The loading occasions are speedy – close to similar to Sequence X’s – whereas the foliage and texture high quality boosts are excellent in their very own proper. The absence of ray tracing options is a loss, although once more, the upshot is Sequence S’ 30fps mode really finally ends up working higher than PS5 and Sequence X’s extra bold RT mode.
It is a unusual state of affairs however the verdict is much like the one we had on the 2 premium machines. The Sequence S Full Version wants a bit extra time and a few extra work to iron out its tough factors. Basically there’s an awesome launch of The Witcher 3 for Sequence S homeowners right here, and it is maybe only a patch or two away from the place we want it to be.