Destiny Doesn't Allow Cross-Generation Play in the Interest of Fairness

Bungie explains why PS4 and PS3 or Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners can't play together.

Whether you play Destiny during the ongoing beta or when it launches in September, you'll only be able to play with (and against) players on the same system as you. Mixing players from PlayStation and Xbox platforms with each another was never expected, but some might wonder why players on Xbox 360 and Xbox One or PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 can't play with one another. The reason for this isn't some insurmountable technical hurdle, but instead because developer Bungie wanted to keep the playing field level.

"I'll speak for the hypothetical player," Bungie engineer Roger Wolfson told Digital Trends when asked why cross-platform play wasn't included. "I have a disadvantage sniping across the map because [my opponent with a next-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."

Much has been made about the resolution in Destiny. While the Xbox One beta won't run in 1080p (it does on PS4), the final game is expected to hit that figure on Microsoft's new console.

"Regardless of where the reality is, there's definitely a perception among gamers that better hardware means you have an advantage," Wolfson added. "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."

Cross-platform multiplayer hasn't been an especially common thing in the past. 2007 first-person shooter Shadowrun is perhaps the best-known example of this, letting owners of the Xbox 360 and PC versions play against one another. That was an experiment with mixed results, though many of its problems stemmed from the differences in playing a shooter with a controller versus a keyboard and mouse.

While the graphics in the last-gen console versions of Destiny will no doubt be less pretty than what we've seen on PS4, Wolfson noted that many aspects of the game remain the same on all platforms. "I've been playing some on the Xbox 360 as well as the PS4 [at home] as we head into the beta window, and I've been really pleased at how I can almost forget that I'm playing on a last-gen console," he said. "There's really no difference at all in loading, the action game is as fluid and as action-packed, [and] there are as many combatants on the last-gen."

The Destiny beta launched on PS4 and PS3 yesterday. The Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions will join in next Wednesday, July 23, before the beta comes to a close on July 27 at 11:59PM Pacific. The full game lands on all four platforms on September 9.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Twitter/Xbox Live/PSN/Nintendo Network: TheSmokingManX

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Discussion

216 comments
Silvershadoh
Silvershadoh

My friends are playing this on a PS4. I don't have a PS4, just a PS3. This means I am not buying Destiny. They lost a sale.

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

There would be alot of Xbox One owners who get punished for cursing.  "F^^king Pony'". 

seanwil545
seanwil545

Can anyone really blame Bungie for not wanting to dive head first into the console piss-fest?

PS4 and XBO users playing with and against each other with MICs? You guys can't even get along in forums.

scribeman
scribeman

This. This is why PC gamers look down on console gamers for being too stupid to breath without reminders.


Why would you put up with this?

target11
target11

HI, anyone got a 360 beta code spare they don't mind sending over please.


Much appriciated.


Thanks

cboye18
cboye18

Next gen consoles are a joke. 

mr_nee
mr_nee

In that case PC players should be forbidden to play multiplayer at all - different monitors and system performances give really unfair competitive advantage to some players

brandonmshanks
brandonmshanks

Your shadowrun link does not go to the fps game you're talking about, but rather the 1993 super nes game.  

Melchior111
Melchior111

Its a Win-Win for both console owners.


bungie is just lazy

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

i am sorry but you devs are lazy as once you put a game on xbox 360 and ps3 you can port it to wii u easy. you devs were all to happy to put poor ps 1 ports to dreamcast back in the day but now that a port would not be so noticable you don't want to do it. so the wii u did not sell fast so what when it has a 6.17million and growing user basr that is big user base/ bigger than xbox one in fact and nearly as big as ps 4. third party devs need to become third party devs again and stop favoring formats and just support all three and not alienate any of there fans

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

the fact that the dev said he cant tell the difference between 7th gen and 8th gen hardware should say a lot about the quality of graphics thats going on with these cross gen games...

whynotdairy
whynotdairy

More like in the interest of selling consoles and copies of the game.

Llama345
Llama345

But this isn't PC gaming. If people were worried about 2 pixels they would spring for a good PC. 

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

I bet the person who came up with that excuse got a raise.

simon1812
simon1812

disagree, as a PS4 player I would love to play against other platforms, if the Xboxone players have extra pixels of advantage or the PCs have the mouse is irrelevant. if u ask me that would make defeating them all the more sweet.

BeNOwNz
BeNOwNz

they betters have teabagging in this,i believe bungie will make the right choice unlike 343

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

I've been playing FPS games for a long time on the PC, sometimes with relatively new hardware, sometimes with out of date hardware.  While I of course enjoy it when games run with the graphics turned up, I've never felt I had a noticeable advantage or sudden jump in personal performance just because I updated my video card.


Maybe Bungie just isn't good at creating games with different levels of detail?

imnofanboy96
imnofanboy96

I'm not saying that this isn't a decision they made to make more profit but i believe it has some sense next-gen consoles are different even if there are only tiny differences they still exist and anyone could complain that it is unfair...of course when it comes to last-gen playing with next gen we all understand there are huge differences and that could be unfair..As i said it is a marketing move but it has some sense in it too 

rickphoenixxx
rickphoenixxx

So they are basically admitting all versions are the same and cross play COULD have been possible. No real next gen games till 2015 kids.

equestrian_colt
equestrian_colt

The actual truth is they figure if you are on different systems and want to play together then you should buy the upgraded system in return they make more profit. It's all about and always about money.

nayce54
nayce54

lol, xbox is inferior!

Scorch_22
Scorch_22

I'm actually alright with it being limited to each console. I like the idea of playing a game with many others, but too many makes it very cluttered, and I don't want to have to work my way through crowds of 30 or more people just to talk to a vendor in the game.

maximo
maximo

i was looking at the PS4 and One comparisons. It looks so much cleaner and seems to be more fluid on the One. 

eyeball2452
eyeball2452

Let's segregate PC players by hardware then.  This is naive at best and total crap at worst.  Shut your trap and don't answer the question.  The answer given sounds like it came some marketer's mouth.

label07
label07

How bout making it cross ALL platforms, server is a server, the graphics in a game don't determine what is taking place in a particular moment.  That is just data...  Netcode would have to match I'd imagine for the multiple platforms to talk to one another or maybe not... the server could replicate and translate for each.


It's about GD time a company did something like this, why not be the first Bungie!

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

"Regardless of where the reality is, there's definitely a perception among gamers that better hardware means you have an advantage," Wolfson added. "We don't want to have to enter that fray, "

You don't want to "enter that fray", so you thought the best way to avoid it was to say it's true?

geekasauruswrex
geekasauruswrex

Meanwhile Happy Wars on Xbox One supports cross generation play with Xbox 360

Annnnnd.....Check.

xBinary01111000
xBinary01111000

If that's their reason then can't they add cross platform play across the same generations? Meaning that 360 and PS3 could play together and PS4 and XB1 could play together. If divided across generation lines then graphics will be similar enough that no one would be at an unfair advantage.

maxpowr3
maxpowr3

I could understand Xbox not playing with PS people but PS3 not playing with PS4? Stupid. It's why I felt they should have just made this game current gen only.

ysdc
ysdc

Really disappointed with this news. There would be millions more to play with for me as PS4 player is the PS3 players could join in.

marportex
marportex

@seanwil545 Bungie doesn't need to put up a red flag saying we are cross consoling players. If your here to play Destiny then play Destiny people would be dumb to waste their LIVE and PS+ time arguing on whats better when your in the same exact game world

anaplussetup
anaplussetup

@scribeman @scribeman Put up with what? A developer that doesn't want to attempt cross-generation play? What does that have to do with consoles, specifically? 


And maybe cross-generational play isn't something console owners care about because it's a concept that wasn't even really an option until this generation. Only a handful of games were online with the PS2 and XBOX, so playing them on PS3/360 against PS2/XBOX owners wasn't an option. Now that it is, I don't really care. There are plenty of people to play with on the PS4, I don't need to add PS3 players into the mix to feel like it's worth it.

anaplussetup
anaplussetup

@tableofjapan He said it had nothing to do with the servers, but with graphics. Someone on the new consoles has an advantage because they can see better; their target is better defined. Just think of Battlefield 3 (on PS3) versus Battlefield 4 (on PS4): on PS3, enemies were WAY more pixelated than on the new consoles, and therefore harder to pick out from the backgrounds.

seanwil545
seanwil545

@mr_nee 

In PC gaming, the option to level the playing field is there; with consoles it is not, you are locked in.

Any PC gamer who cannot achieve at least 1600x900 should be on a console.

anaplussetup
anaplussetup

@jsmoke03 He talked about loading times, action, and amount of combatants. The article states that obviously the new consoles will look better. 

anaplussetup
anaplussetup

@simon1812 This isn't about other platforms, but older platforms. They never mentioned XB1 versus PS4, but XB1 versus 360 and PS3 versus PS4.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

@simon1812 trust me....xb1 do not have extra pixel advantages over ps4 lol

Meta_Dragon
Meta_Dragon

@Scorch_22 Actually the problem right now in the beta is max level players camping the side quest mobs for whatever reason and shooting things across the map. So I am glad they are separating the consoles.

RevLux
RevLux

@Scorch_22  You will likely still encounter a # of other players surrounding certain NPCs at the Guardian tower. Luckily Bungie has made it to where you only need to be somewhat near the NPCs to speak to them and needn't actually touch them. It's unlikely that allowing cross-platform multiplayer would greatly increase the # of other players you would see at any given time because there will only be a set # of people in each instance.

simon1812
simon1812

@Scorch_22 they could add more vendors, thats how I have seen other game handling such issues.

Josh_McK
Josh_McK

@eyeball2452 I agree. It is a poor excuse, this was a business decision and saying it is anything else is an outright lie.


KSSuperhero
KSSuperhero

@eyeball2452 I hope you don't really believe what you are saying, if you have ever played a online shooter on PC you know the hardware you have can make a massive difference in your performance.

frostedtaro
frostedtaro

@label07 Bungie certainly won't be the first, because cross play is  possible and been done before.  Most recently DC Universe Online allowed PS4 and PS3 users to play together.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@KSSuperhero @eyeball2452 And yet, it's still allowed, because PC developers aren't idi.ots.

simon1812
simon1812

@KSSuperhero @eyeball2452 I detect some level of sarcasm on Eyeball's comment, so Im pretty sure he is just trying to make a point, rather valid point if u ask me.


if a publishers will play a segregation card based on platforms, then it should be equally logic to segregate PC gamers based on the hardware they have.


meaning: can your hardware meet the recommended specifications to perform with the maxed graphic settings? then you should play with other who fit such category, right? if on the other hand your hardware only meet the minimum requirements for the game, then in order to enjoy a"better" game experience for yourself and "others" you should be placed with those whose hardware can only meet the minimum requirements, right? doenst that make sense?


personally , love the idea of crossplatforming a game tittle, the more the merrier if u ask me.