Bungie explains why Destiny doesn’t have PS4-to-PS3, Xbox One-to-360 cross-platform multiplayer

Above: Bungie's collaborative shooter Destiny in action.

Image Credit: Bungie

Destiny will hit PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on Sept. 9, but new-gen players won’t get to play with their last-gen buddies.

Developer Bungie’s sci-fi online shooter doesn’t support cross-platform multiplayer. That’s nothing new when it comes to Microsoft and Sony systems, but the game also won’t enable PlayStation 4 gamers to get online and shoot aliens with people on PlayStation 3. In an interview with Digital Trends, Bungie engineer Roger Wolfson explained that it decided to cordon off new-gen from last-gen players for gameplay reasons and not due to technical limitations.

“I’ll speak for the hypothetical player,” Wolfson said. “[On PS3], I have a disadvantage sniping across the map because [my opponent with a new-gen console] is only two pixels on my screen, and I’m four pixels on his. You see that in the world of PC gaming, where people are always racing to the best video card to give themselves the advantage.”

That situation is due to the difference in resolution between the various versions of Destiny. On PS4 and Xbox One, the shooter will hit 1080p high definition, which means the game is rendering 1,080 horizontal lines for each frame. On PS3 and Xbox 360, the game will run at 720p.

That disparity in resolution doesn’t necessarily mean the PS3 player would always have a disadvantage compared to his PS4 counterpart. In most circumstances, a new-gen player and last-gen player would probably have even footing, but Bungie also wanted to avoid the appearance of giving Xbox One and PS4 a more favorable experience.

“Regardless of what the reality is, there’s definitely a perception among gamers that better hardware means you have an advantage,” said Wolfson. “We don’t want to have to enter that fray, so to create the best, most-level playing field, both actually and perceptually, we separated it by platform.”

So, does all this mean that Destiny looks lackluster on last gen? No. Bungie is insisting that isn’t the case. The developer notes that while the graphical fidelity may suffer, a lot of the other aspects are spot on.

“There’s really no difference at all in loading; the game is as fluid and as action-packed,” said Wolfson. “There are as many combatants on [screen as new-gen], and the loading times are equivalent.”

Players are getting their first taste of Destiny on PS3 right now. Bungie opened up a beta test yesterday for both Sony platforms for anyone who preordered (and thousands of others). The Xbox One and Xbox 360 beta will start next week.

More information:

Activision (Activision Blizzard) is an American video game developer and publisher headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, but now operating worldwide. It was the first independent developer and distributor of video games for gaming consol... read more »

Bungie was founded in 1991 with two goals: to develop games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, intelligent stories and deep gameplay, and then sell enough of those games to achieve our real goal of total world domination... read more »

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Ace E
Ace E

I call bull. It's likely that on PS4 you will have to pay for PSN+ to be online, where as on PS3 you wouldn't. So how would people react to being able to play on the same servers without paying for PSN for one system while paying on another. Sony likely gave Bungie shit over it. I highly, HIGHLY doubt graphics had anything to do with it.

Junior Perez
Junior Perez

That is fucking retarded cause its not fair to all the cry babies out there like seriously this makes me say fuck this game cause you get people's hopes up and then turn them down so your company can make more sales for people that might buy both gen versions

Joel Ford
Joel Ford

That's totally dumb, and the primary reason I won't be getting Destiny.

Ethan Sequeira
Ethan Sequeira

Oh God. This is for sure gonna make a LOT of gamers like me mad cause this game is freaking awesome and not being able to play with most of your friends which own a last gen is cruel!!!

Brian Kvalheim
Brian Kvalheim

I would love to be able to go online with my Xbox 360 friends that are getting Destiny since they do not have an Xbox One yet.

David Ngo
David Ngo

I think I would have liked the option to enter servers WITH and WITHOUT PS4 players.  If we want to be cooperative as well, it should be allowed.  I don't like it when game designers make arbitrary decisions that hurt the social interactions of players, when the problem could easily be solved with just allowing the players to make their own informed decisions.

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