Why Destiny doesn’t allow cross-play

By Brenna Hillier
21 July 2014 01:39 GMT

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 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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