Destiny’s PlayStation-exclusive content has typically been released on Xbox platforms one year after it debuted on Sony’s consoles. However, that is changing with Destiny: Rise of Iron. The expansion offers its own PlayStation 4 exclusives; those items won’t be released on Xbox One until "at least Fall 2017." But Rise of Iron also extends the exclusivity window to that point for the PlayStation exclusives in the previous expansion, Destiny: The Taken King.
Thanks to a marketing deal between Sony and Destiny publisher Activision, the game and all of its expansions have featured content that is available only on PlayStation, not Xbox. The content includes items like powerful exotic-level weapons; lengthy cooperative missions called strikes; entire quest lines; maps for Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer component; vehicles such as Sparrows, a Guardian’s personal hovercraft; and unique sets of armor.
Until now, the window of exclusivity was as long as one year. When The Taken King launched in September 2015 to kick off Year Two of Destiny, all of the PlayStation-only content from the game’s first year — a period that included the base game plus December 2014’s The Dark Below and May 2015’s House of Wolves expansions — finally came to Xbox. Players on Microsoft consoles were at last able to try the exotic hand cannon Hawkmoon and Crucible maps like Timekeeper.
The Taken King featured four types of PlayStation-exclusive content: Jade Rabbit, an exotic scout rifle; Echo Chamber, a Vex strike; a set of armor for each of the game’s three classes; and a Crucible map called Sector 618. Bungie’s April 2016 update for Destiny also included some PlayStation exclusives: Zen Meteor, an exotic sniper rifle; a Sparrow called Velumbra; and one armor set for each class.
All of that content was originally listed as exclusive until "at least Fall 2016," the beginning of Destiny’s third year existence. But it turns out that the operative phrase there was "at least."
The page on Destiny’s website about PlayStation exclusives currently lists Rise of Iron’s PS4-only content as well as three Taken King exclusives: the Sector 618 map, the Echo Chamber strike and the Jade Rabbit scout rifle. What’s more, the PlayStation Store page for Destiny: The Collection mentions "legendary armor sets," and beneath that phrase is a screenshot featuring the April update’s PlayStation-exclusive armor sets.
All of the content is listed as being exclusive to PS4 until "at least Fall 2017," whether on the Destiny website or the PlayStation Store. An Activision representative confirmed to Polygon that the fall 2017 timing is accurate. A spokesperson for the publisher said they could not confirm exactly when the timing had changed from 2016 to 2017.
That means that Destiny players on Xbox who were hoping to check out The Taken King’s PlayStation exclusives will now have to wait another whole year to play that content. (It’s unclear at this point if the April update’s exclusive weapon and Sparrow will also be locked away until next fall; we’ve asked Activision for a full list of the exclusives, and will update this article with any information we receive.)
Were Bungie, Sony, and Activision lying to Xbox owners this whole time? No — not technically, anyway. The phrase "at least" in every description of Destiny’s timed exclusivity gives the companies the wiggle room to extend the window, as they have done here. But it’s misleading at best, especially when they’ve already established the precedent of a one-year exclusivity window.
Destiny: Rise of Iron launches Sept. 20 on PS4 and Xbox One. For more details, check out our interview with Bungie from Gamescom 2016.