IO Interactive's Hitman 3 is almost here and today, its publisher confirmed that the Nintendo Switch version will launch on January 20, 2021 — alongside other platforms. This comes by way of a tweet from IO, in which it confirms the simultaneous release across all platforms, though the Switch version comes with a caveat. Unlike the version that will come to every other platform, the Switch release is a Cloud Version, meaning it must be streamed to the system, rather than running on it natively.
Check out Hitman 3 – Cloud Version's Nintendo Switch release date announcement below.
HITMAN 3 on Nintendo Switch arrives 20 January! The World of Assassination awaits… pic.twitter.com/IHVDEZwQbw
— IO Interactive (@IOInteractive) January 15, 2021
The Nintendo Switch is a less powerful machine than the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. It's even less powerful than the PS4 and Xbox One. With that in mind, there's a reason you don't see major third-party games like Call of Duty, Destiny 2, or modern Assassin's Creed entries on the platform. The system simply can't run those games — at least not in the same way other contemporary systems can.
However, with the power of the cloud, the Nintendo Switch has the capability to run pretty much anything since the game isn't depending on the system for performance. Instead, the game is housed on a server elsewhere and is streamed to the platform via the internet, much like Google Stadia or Amazon Luna.
You might recall that a version of Control came to Nintendo Switch via the cloud, as well. It's called Control Ultimate Edition – Cloud Version and you can check it out right now. The Cloud Version allows you to play the first 15 minutes of the game for free, to ensure your internet is stable enough to keep up with the performance you might expect.
From our experience, it works well enough, though you'll notice significant slowdown when there are lots of enemies on-screen, even with above average internet speeds. In Japan, Resident Evil 7 and Assassin's Creed Odyssey came to Nintendo Switch via the cloud, too (though, we'd advise against trying them unless you're in Japan since that's where the servers are located).
Here's a trailer for Hitman 3 – Cloud Version.
Since this is such a new concept for Nintendo Switch, there are many issues that need to be ironed out and it's unclear how Hitman 3 will perform on the platform. Nonetheless, if cloud gaming becomes more ubiquitous, you'll likely see bigger third-party games launch alongside PS5, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch — day and date.
Source: IO Interactive