While guardians of the city who own Xbox 360s and PlayStation 3s would love to trade fire with rivals on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Bungie chooses balance over cross-platform play for sci-fi MMO Destiny.
Bungie has already stated emphatically that developing Destiny for the PC would stretch the studio's hundreds of millions of dollars in resources too thin, but the development studio cited fairness, instead of workload, when it ruled out cross-gen, cross-platform play for Destiny.
Roger Wolfson, Bungie engineer, said the studio has already worked to hide mountains of complexities from consumers and he said Bungie has had to approach each of the game's four platforms differently to maximimize players' enjoyment in the game on their console of choice.
"I'll speak for the hypothetical player," Wolfson stated. "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."
Destiny's beta phase has been under way since July 17 for the PS3 and PS4, with the testing period opening up to the Xbox 360 and Xbox One on July 23. So far, players have found the content in the beta to deliver on the game's initial promise, much more so than the shooting gallery and beacon retrievals that caused some gamers to nod off during the alpha phase.
Wolfson said he was pleased with the degree of parity his team has been able to achieve in gameplay elements across all four console.
"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," stated Wolfson. "There's really no difference at all in loading, the action game is as fluid and as action-packed, there are as many combatants on the last-gen, [and] the loading times are equivalent."
While the gameplay mechanics were said to have realized execptionally well across all four platforms, there lies, of course, a graphical divide. Reviewers who've been able to compare the Sony versions of Destiny praised Bungie for delivering a beautiful experience on the PS3, but acknowledged that the sheer power of the PS4 allowed it to deliver the game in 1080p, with flicker-free shadows and high-fidelity smoke effects.
Though PS4 will likely bear the definitive version of all four platforms, the seven-year-old PS3 was said to hold up surprisingly well and serves as an indication that Destiny proper will be a memorable experience on every platform.