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Why Destiny doesn’t allow cross-play

Monday, 21 July 2014 01:39 GMT By Brenna Hillier

You can carry your Destiny character back and forth between PlayStation 3 and PS4, but you can’t play alongside your buddies on the other console. Bungie explains.

destiny

Destiny doesn’t allow cross-play between Xbox platforms and PlayStation platforms, and that’s understandable: the platform holders are to blame for that. But why doesn’t it allow cross-play between PS3 and PS4, or Xbox 360 and Xbox One?

According to a recent interview with Bungie engineer Roger Wolfson it all comes down to providing an equitable experience on all platforms: the older consoles just can’t match the resolution of the newer ones.

“I’ll speak for the hypothetical player. 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,” Wolfson told Digital Trends.

“You see that in the world of PC gaming, where people are always racing to the best video card to give themselves the advantage. Regardless of where the reality is, there’s definitely a perception among gamers that better hardware means you have an advantage. 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.”

But if Bungie’s insistent that the platform barriers will remain in place, why is it that Destiny characters are cross-generational?

According to Wolfson, it’s because “a decade from now when we’re into the later sequels” you’ll still be able to use the same characters you created for the first Destiny.

“Our goal for Destiny is that each time you play it, you’re going to have a different experience,” he said.

“Not just because of the social interaction, and the fact that you can play with different people, but because your character is growing and will have different ways of playing the same content every time you go back and replay it.”

Meanwhile, Bungie is working hard to make sure the game won’t become unfriendly to beginners when these hypothetical sequels manifest.

“Let’s say Destiny 2 [and] Destiny 3 are out, and we have new players joining the fun. [They] want to play those new games alongside those who have been playing Destiny from the beginning,” Wolfson said.

“[We want to ensure] they won’t feel like they’re four years behind. And then, if they want to, they’ll be able to go back and pick up the old content on their same character. So we’ve done a lot of planning for how that’s going to work, to not make people feel like they have years worth of levelling up to do.”

Destiny comes out in September. A beta is currently underway on PS3 and PS4, and will arrive on Xbox 360 and Xbox One this coming week.

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20 Comments

  1. The_Red

    Bullshit personified.
    Instead of just saying “it’s hard to do” or “costs too much”, they had to rely on the insane resolution difference (Which only makes sense if you are comparing HD to 320p or something). There are a LOT of multiplayer gamers on PC that purposefully REDUCE their resolution while in a MP match.

    #1 9 months ago
  2. fengato

    Agreed. Bungie gimps the PS4/X1 versions to 30fps (so as to ‘avoid creating a major difference between platforms’) then fails to capitalise on the advantage of having cross gen play. I live in Oz – having a larger player base makes an enormous difference to the quality of matching making. The lag for me in the Iron Banner events (whilst playing Americans) was atrocious.

    #2 9 months ago
  3. polygem

    I didn’t count the hours but I played this a lot over the weekend. A lot lot. I haven’t experienced any issues at all. Well, I got kicked out of the game ONCE but when I checked I saw that psn was down.

    I am very impressed by how well this game runs and plays. Very first ps4 game that makes me excited about actually owning a ps4.

    I had huge expectations for this one and they have been met.

    In the gameplay department I think they have totally nailed it. They have taken elements from halo and from other shooters, then they added some destiny specific stuff. The formula feels close to perfect to me. Their interpretation just feels right. It’s crazy fun.

    I bet that the gameplay will also drastically change the more you level up, making this game much more strategic than most shooters.

    I am complaining a lot. Here I can’t find a single reason to do so.

    I also completely dig the art design. In most games there is something I don’t like with the aesthetics. Here everything just looks right. From the menues to the bosses.

    The game will become a HUGE success and I can’t wait for the final build.

    Regarding cross play…well I think it’s great that you can play this on the last gen too and it looks like that version is rocksolid as well.
    That’s the most important part, isn’t it?…That you can enjoy the game no matter the platform.

    #3 9 months ago
  4. The_Red

    @polygem
    You are reaaallly digging the game, aren’t you? :)

    Wish I could feel the same because Halo 1-3 are among the best console FPS games ever made IMHO. I found Destiny to be the most generic shooter I’ve tried in the last 12 months (With the MMO-ish design of beta missions being bafflingly bad).
    If anything, it kinda made me sad that Destiny is going to be the biggest PS4 game of 2014 when much better like shooters like Wolfenstein exist.

    #4 9 months ago
  5. polygem

    @The_Red

    yes, i really do. there was a big chance that i´d be disappointed by it because i had crazy expectations.

    imo the beta shows that the basics work and i think that the gameplay will change a lot in the full game, the more your characters progress and level up. you are getting a glimpse of that already.

    the way you´re making progress is done very well and you constantly want to keep playing to unlock the next thing to see what it does, be it a weapon unlock or your skill tree. for me it even works already wiht most things not even available in the beta. i am hooked.
    i am thinkng about this game a lot and i want to keep playing it. that´s always the very best sign.

    playing the strike mission with friends is great. chalenging and fun. you can also adjust the difficulty of your sp missions from orbit. playing harder ones results in more XP. i recommend trying that. it changes the game a lot, giving it a true halo, heroic, legendary vibe.
    you need to play this much more slow paced then. it feels good.

    i like the sp a lot too eventhough there is clearly so much more to come. the sp also allows me to test out weapons and playstyles that i could later use in the pvp section of the game.

    i completely dig the pvp. i had some terribble, terribble matches this far :D but also some very great ones. this game is very skill based and despite the crazy amount of abilities and different weapons this game plays around with, the beta already feels very well balanced to me.

    and then the art- and sounddesign. i can´t see a single flaw here. just right.

    this beta is also only a shy glance at the game really, with the most stuff not even abvailable at all – but judging it on what´s there already…i am thinking this will become one of my most played games in the next few years and man, i am looking forward to that now.

    yeah i dig it – can´t help it :D

    #5 9 months ago
  6. polygem

    @polygem
    oh…and enemy AI: smart!

    #6 9 months ago
  7. Game Hunter

    @polygem hmm why do I get the feeling That Erthazus might show up in any minute and disagree with you?oh well,he’s our AI expert after all(no offence intended Erth)

    #7 9 months ago
  8. The_Red

    @polygem
    I honestly can not agree with most of your points :(

    The only parts that really shine are AI (In parts) and UI (Super slick). Regarding the sound design, some of melee hits are awesome but other sounds are really lame. The general themes and music has also been disappointing so far (For Bungie). Art direction is indeed decent and colorful but also highly derivative of both Halo and Mass Effect.
    It’s not a technically impressive game that can’t go beyond 30fps. A game with average visuals like this needs to be at least 60fps (Though I realize it’s too soon to judge these aspects since most of otherworldly elements haven’t been unlocked. Maybe if they do unlock moon during beta things might feel different).

    Sure, it is polished but that’s it. A polished but boring and super generic title IMO. The gunplay (Core of gameplay) feels especially weightless when compared to recent Wolfenstein or even Battlefield 4.

    #8 9 months ago
  9. Hcw87

    @8

    I really like the atmospheric ambient Music in the beta. I disagree slightly on the AI though, it’s OK, but nowhere near Halo-quality (killing elites will make grunts flee for example).

    There are too many instances of enemies leaning out from behind cover to take a few shots at you and repeating it over and over, instead of trying to flank you.

    #9 9 months ago
  10. The_Red

    @Hcw87
    Wait what? The AI was actually really good at flanking me! Though I have to agree that they are not as awesomely dynamic as some Halo enemies. When it comes to music, I need to be invested in lore and general feel of the world to enjoy atmosphere and here. Without it (This being a beta and feeling really generic) the ambient music ended up boring me instead of immersing.

    #10 9 months ago
  11. polygem

    The beta is obviously limited contentwise (compared to the expected full game content that is).

    i have listened to the bungie podcast quite a lot over the last year or so. there will be A LOT of different areas and planets to explore. i think the enemies and breeds, locations, tasks and gamemodes, weapons, skills will vary a lot in the final game.

    again, i disagree with the criticism – what´s in the beta is spot on imo and the more i Play it the more i realise that this game is extremely well designed and thought out. the game looks beautiful, plays like a dream and is almost drowning in style.

    i can´t see a flaw here. not a single one. it´s crazy really. it´s like the mario kart of the shooter games.

    #11 9 months ago
  12. Kreion

    @polygem
    I think comparing it to Mari kart is a bit much, considering that, in that example, pretty much everyone likes the game. However that’s not really so for Destiny – you clearly like it a lot but I’ve never found it to be particularly engaging. It’s okay, it’s fun but certainly not amazing…especially since this is being made by Bungie so naturally the standard which it’s being held up to is higher.

    It’s above average, thanks to all the polish – but the gameplay’s not that incredible and everything felt a bit lacking to me if I were to compare it to say Halo 3. With that said it’s design is solid and it is only the beta – so hopefully it can continue to grow.

    #12 9 months ago
  13. bradk825

    Because no game has ever allowed cross-gen play? Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think it’s ever been done.

    #13 9 months ago
  14. Goffee

    Simple rule here, let the players decide!

    #14 9 months ago
  15. Legendaryboss

    @bradk825 It exists, so Bungie’s excuses are indeed to quote The_Red “bullshit personified.”

    #15 9 months ago
  16. Legendaryboss

    @The_Red +1

    #16 9 months ago
  17. polygem

    @Kreion

    i absolutely respect your opinion – i just strongly disagree :D

    imo, from what i have played this far, it indeed completely nails a formula, just like mario kart does.

    the polish to be found here (played the ps4 version) is really on a nintendo level imo, maybe even beyond that. it is certainly something extremely rare.

    it´s just a rock solid product, even in it´s beta state and it is a relief to play a game like that again after so many triple a disappointments i had in the last years.

    i can´t understand the criticism because to me this game feels just right in almost every way. this far, i like literally everything about it and i can count the games i feel the same about on one hand probably.

    i can´t understand how anyone could call this average. i mean i have played tons of games in the past 30 years and this one is definitley among the most polished and smooth experiences i have had in gaming. it´s presentation blows me away.

    it all feels natural, effortless, fluid and smooth without frustrations (the general interaction with the game and it´s mechanics). everything works like it should and the way you interact with the game – it just becomes second nature instantly.

    you, the controller and the game become one. that´s a huge achievement.

    i can imagine that these bold words can easily trigger some severe rolleye moments…but it´s how i feel about this :D

    #17 9 months ago
  18. polygem

    @Legendaryboss

    You absolutely can´t compare a FF mp experience with a super competitive twitch reaction MP shooter though.

    “Scratch the surface. Don´t waste my time” (Sick of it all)

    #18 9 months ago
  19. Aullah

    @polygem “twitch reaction MP shooter”

    Lol I laugh so hard.

    #19 9 months ago
  20. polygem

    @Aullah
    Yep. This isn’t halo anymore.

    #20 9 months ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Codemasters has launched an online store and is celebrating by giving you 50% off the titles listed. Here’s what’s on sale: F1 2013 Classic Edition F1 2014 – F1 RACE STARS BUNDLE F1 2013 GRID 2 GRID 2 Reloaded GRID Autosport DIRT 3 Complete Edition DIRT Showdown Toybox Turbos F1 RACE STARS Hit up the […]

  • Spy_Watch coming to Apple Watch from Surgeon Simulator devs

    Surgeon Simulator developers Bossa Studios have announced its working on an Apple Watch game called Spy_Watch. Spy_Watch, according to the developer, has players heading up a spy agency which isn’t faring too well. Players will need to train a spy and then send him out on various missions to “reclaim the agency’s former glory.” Real-time […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power hits Steam Early Access next week

    Frozenbyte has announced Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power will launch on Steam Early Access next week. The early access title will run you $19.99/€19.99/£14.99 and you can purchase it come April 21. If the short video above isn’t enough to tempt you, a video showing nine minutes of gameplay was released last week.

  • Journey, Flower, flOw trilogy to be released this summer on PS4 in 1080p at 60fps

    A remastered version of the Journey Collector’s Edition is coming to PlayStation 4 from ThatGameCompany. According to Gamespot, the trilogy will contain PS3 titles flOw, Flower and Journey on one disc, and it will run in 1080p at 60fps. A standalone version of Journey will arrive close to the trilogy’s release on PS4 through the […]

  • Here’s a few screenshots of PS4-exclusive Alienation from Housemarque

    Screenshots for Alienation, Housemarque’s four-player co-op PlayStation 4 exclusive, have been released and you can have a look at them in the gallery we’ve posted. Announced at gamescom 2014, the game features three main character classes, weapon customization, and various team set-ups. The game has players shooting at things with twin-stick gameplay with a top […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront website notes November 17 release, teaser video and first image hit

    The first Star Wars: Battlefront image has been posted, and apparently it appeared on the official website at some point this morning. The game will also be released on November 17, according to the official website’s source code. The release date is noted in the code located in the image below. Props to Gematsu for […]

  • Mortal Kombat X is the fastest selling entry in the series to date

    Mortal Kombat X has sold faster than any other game in the series to date, making it the “biggest launch” in Mortal Kombat history, according to creator Ed Boon. Speaking in a series of tweets, Boon said both the mobile and console versions have “literally millions of players getting online” resulting in the servers being […]

  • Shadow of the Beast reboot resurfaces with some new screenshots

    The Shadow of the Beast reboot, which was announced in 2013, has show its face once more with early screenshots. Screenshots of the Amiga classic remake show off the Karamoon’s desert and the main character, Aarbron. According Matt Birch, CEO and founder of Heavy Spectrum, the team is currently hard at work on the “core […]

  • Halo: Spartan Strike arrives on Windows 8, iOS and Steam today

    Halo: Spartan Strike is now available on Windows 8, Steam, iOS devices and Windows 8 phones. The mobile top-down shooter will run you $5.99. Halo: Spartan Strike tells a new story in the Halo universe set during the events of Halo 2 on New Mombasa in 2552. Those playing on Windows 8 devices can compete […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video shows highlights from the Episdoe Duscae demo

    Square Enix has released a Final Fantasy 15 video which shows highlights from the Episode Duscae demo included with launch editions of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. FFT0 has shipped over one million copies worldwide, and a player feedback survey is available for the Duscae demo until May 19. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is available on PlayStation […]

  • Bloodborne has sold over 155,000 digital units since release – SuperData

    PlayStation 4 exclusive Bloodborne has sold over 155,000 digital units since it was released on March 24, according to SuperData’s latest report. The figure produced by SuperData is worldwide and comes on the heels of the one million units sold announcement earlier this week. “After the release of the beautiful but terribly short game The […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update: Mega May returns, Super Smash Bros. update, Mii Fighter costumes

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a Super Smash Bros. update and the StreetPass Mii Plaza games Battleground Z and Ultimate Angler. The update is rather detailed, and a bit larger than normal, and you may wish to pay special attention to the activities listed. Here’s the full update: StreetPass […]

  • Here’s your first look at Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida in Super Time Force Ultra

    Sony Worldwide boss Shuhei Yoshida is a playable character in Super Time Force Ultra, and today, Capy Games has provided a couple images of the man himself in the game. Yoshida was announced as a playable character in the game during Sony’s PlayStation Experience event back in December 2014. The PS4 and Vita version will […]

  • The wait is almost over – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has gone gold

    CD Projekt RED has announced the news we’ve all been waiting to hear: The Witcher 3 has gone gold. This means Geralt’s latest, and possibly last, adventure has been sent to the factory to be pressed into lovely gaming discs. “We worked so damn hard over the past three years to bring you this game,” […]

  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a “couple weeks out from beta,” new trailer

    Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is just a “couple of weeks out from beta,” according to development studio The Chinese Room, and a release date will be announced “shortly.” To give you an idea of how development has been coming along since it was announced at gamescom 2013, the team has released a new trailer […]

  • GTA 5 on PC looks incredible, but I can’t recommend it to console players

    As much as Matt Martin loves GTA 5, he can’t recommend upgrading from console to PC just for a slick editing suite and even prettier graphics. “This is the third time in as many years that I’ve bought GTA 5.” I have a Grand Theft Auto 5 obsession, as I’m sure you know if you’ve […]

  • The Forest engine updated to Unity 5, major graphical and gameplay improvements made

    The Forest’s latest patch added substantial improvements to the game. The Forest version 0.16 is now live on Steam with plenty of new additions. The game has been ported over to Unity engine version 5. The plant and skin shaders have been replaced or rewritten. Many other visual tweaks have been made, such as model […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront banner leaks from Star Wars Convention

    EA has been setting up the Battlefront booth at Star Wars Celebration, and one leaked picture shows what could be the game’s main art. Someone on Reddit posted a picture of the game banner at EA’s booth. Here it is: Lots of things happening here. There’s a Star Destroyer in the distance, TIE Fighters and […]

  • Get GTA 5 working with Oculus Rift using this tool

    There’s a way you can play GTA 5 in VR if you own an Oculus Rift Dev Kit and have a bit of cash to spare. VorpX, the go-to program for adding VR support to games has received an update recently to support GTA 5. This is far from perfect, as it only translates the […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 15 team revealed

    This week’s Team of the Week is now available for anyone to challenge in FIFA Ultimate Team. The team members get selected each week based on their performance during the weekend matches. You can fire up FIFA Ultimate Team on any platform and challenge this squad. You’ll also find some Team of the Week items […]

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will let you stealth all encounters, including bosses

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will bring back one of the original game’s major features. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is considered by many to be a great game and worthy of bearing the franchise name. One of its grating issues though was its boss fights. You only had one way to fight them: be confrontational. The […]

  • Project Cars PC specs and supported wheels announced

    The release date of Project Cars is inching ever closer and more details have been revealed to answer all your burning questions. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad Studios has revealed the full list of supported steering wheels on all platforms, as well as the minimum and recommended PC specs. Minimum specs CPU – 2.66 GHz […]

  • GTA 5 gets custom FOV mod on PC

    Those not satisfied with GTA 5′s built-in field of view slider can use a new mod to push the number even further. The PC versions of GTA 5 – just like its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts – lets you switch between third and first-person view in shooting and driving. The game has an FOV […]

  • Win! GTA 5 on PC!

    Want to win a Steam key for Grand Theft Auto 5 on PC? Just enter here. GTA 5 released on PC this week and is going down a storm. We like it a lot, which is why we’re giving away a Steam code for Rockstar’s latest. All you need to do is enter your email […]

  • GTA 5 topples Skyrim’s record for highest concurrent players on Steam

    Not factoring in Valve games, GTA 5 is the new king of concurrent player numbers on Steam. GTA 5 is very popular on PC, even more popular than games like Skyrim in its heyday. The number of concurrent players for GTA 5 has peaked today at 301,246. This makes it the only non-Valve game to […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: what does a modern fighting game look like?

    Mortal Kombat continues to evolve as NetherRealm adds RPG systems and daily challenges to a solid fighting game, says Sherif Saed. “Mortal Kombat X takes many cues from games like Destiny, Call of Duty, and GTA Online with hourly, daily and weekly events.” For as many of its familiar facets, Mortal Kombat X has enough […]

  • J-Stars Victory VS+ coming west in June – new trailer

    J-Stars Victory VS+ will make the jump (see what I did there) to the west after all. J-Stars Victory VS+ is the western title for the fighting game which stars characters from a variety of Shonen Jump-published manga. Bandai Namco has announced the fighter will release in Europe on June 26 and in the Americas […]

  • Codemasters F1 license good through 2016

    Codemasters has at least one more F1 game in it. F1 2015 isn’t out yet, so Codemasters is naturally not talking about what it might get up to in the future. We do know what it can get up to, though; Codemasters’ Steven Embling told Videogamer has the option to continue the series. “We have […]

  • Project Cars has pretty deep graphics options on consoles

    Project Cars offers players a wide variety of ways to customise their graphic settings on PS4 and Xbox One. Project Cars is a graphics showcase and all early indications suggest it’s going to be one of the best-looking games out there. Slightly Mad’s commitment to graphics seems to go deeper than making things pretty, though: […]

  • Super Smash Bros. patch nerfs Diddy Kong – report

    Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U is great but Diddy Kong is a beast and must be stopped. The latest Super Smash Bros. 3Ds and Wii U patch seems to have nerfed Diddy Kong, a character so over-powered that serious tournament players generate controversy by choosing to use him. Nintendo doesn’t publish patch notes, […]

  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer shuttered

    Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer 2K Australia has been closed down. Kotaku broke the news, and also had word from an anonymous source, who said that all staff have been let go. 2K responded to our request for comment with the following statement: We can confirm we have taken steps to begin the studio closure process […]

  • Samorost 3 trailer shows Amanita still in fine form

    Samorost 3 looks as delicately beautiful as its siblings. Samarost 3 developer Amanita Design has a reputation for gorgeous, slightly surreal world building. This new trailer for its latest adventure looks just as if not more lovely than the previous Samarost games and Botanicula. Samarost 3 is coming to Mac and PC later this year, […]

  • Amnesia dev’s new project SOMA now in beta

    SOMA is nearly here and I am torn between excitement and horrified dread. SOMA is the latest horror project from Frictional, the team behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent. We’re pretty excited to see what Frictional comes up with next, and we won’t have too long to wait, apparently; the developer has announced that SOMA is […]

  • Steam Guard mobile authenticator now in beta testing

    Steam is now testing its latest security measure. Steam helps you protect your account by offering two-factor authentication, a solution so beautifully elegant and effective that it’s astounding every gaming network doesn’t do the same (looking at you, Sony). Valve’s version is called Steam Guard, and it works via email. This isn’t always super convenient, […]

  • Godzilla battles Mothra in new trailer

    Godzilla lets you stomp around cities and battle classic kaiju. I’m in. Godzilla is coming to PlayStation 3 and PS4 in early July, but we haven’t seen a great deal of it since its December reveal. The new trailer below gives you an idea of just what Natsume has done with one of the biggest […]

  • Tales of Zestiria to launch this year – new trailer

    Tales of Zestiria continues Bandai Namco’s delightful new habit of bringing the popular JRPG series to the west before the shine wears off. Tales of Zestiria is coming west in northern autumn, the publisher has announced. That’s not a bad turnaround, given it first hit Japan in January, and localisation of text-heavy titles is expensive […]

  • Project Cars release date locked down, new trailer released

    Project Cars finally has a release date. Project Cars will release on May 8, Bandai Namco UK has announced. We haven’t yet had an update from Namco Bandai’s other regional offices, but its probably safe to bet the racer will release around the same time in the Americas, Europe and ANZ region. We can now […]

  • Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains trailer shows combat, online multiplayer

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains has plenty to offer fans of the anime. Previously known as Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind, the Spike Chunsoft action game is coming west thanks to Atlus. Gematsu reports it’s due in both Europe and North America in May, via the 3DS eShop. The trailer below […]

  • Bloodborne stamina recovery rate affected by equip weight

    Bloodborne players have unearthed an important gameplay detail not mentioned in the game’s menus or manual. In Bloodborne, players need to manage their stamina carefully for best results. A far more aggressively-tuned affair than past Souls games, Bloodborne does away with equip weight limits, and items have no listed weight details. As far as players […]

  • Street Fighter’s Ryu, Fire Emblem’s Roy spotted in Super Smash Bros. patch – rumour

    Street Fighter’s Ryu is rumoured for future Super Smash bros DLC following datamining of the latest patch. Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U were updated recently, and hacker shinyquagsire23 claims to have found some interesting files while poking around in the 3DS patch data. As detailed on Reddit, the audio files included a new […]

  • Suikoden 3 PEGI rating suggests PS2 Classic re-release

    Suikoden. Suikoden 2. And now: Suikoden 3. Suikoden 3 has been rated by PEGI for PlayStation 3, presumably ahead of an upcoming re-release. Gematsu turned up the rating, and although we have no further information at this time, it’s not much a leap to assume the RPG will turn up as a PS2 Classic on […]