Destiny doesn't support cross-platform multiplayer because Bungie didn't want players with more powerful consoles to have an advantage; When it comes to things like shooting, a difference in a pixel or two could making the playing field uneven, engineer Roger Wolfson told Digital Trends.
The decision to not let PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 players participate together and Xbox 360 and Xbox One players together goes back to the initial game design. Bungie determined how many players they want roaming each space, and from there balanced the experience so it translated well across all four consoles. The decision to do this is because Bungie wants to provide the same multiplayer experience for each machine.
"I'll speak for the hypothetical player," Wolfson said. "I have a disadvantage sniping across the map because [my opponent with a newer 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.
"Regardless of where the reality is, there's definitely a perception among gamers that better hardware means you have an advantage," he 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."
Destiny is currently in beta on PS3 and PS4, with an Xbox 360 and Xbox One beta on the way. The game will launch in full on Sept. 9.