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Destiny 2’s free next-gen upgrade arrives in December

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The non-upgraded Destiny 2 will be backward-compatible at launch on PS5 and Xbox Series X

Shadebinder Warlock with their ice staff in Destiny 2: Beyond Light Image: Bungie

Bungie will launch the upgraded next-generation version of Destiny 2 on Dec. 8 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, the studio announced Thursday.

All Destiny 2 owners on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will be able to upgrade to the next-gen version for free. The game is part of Microsoft’s Smart Delivery program, so Xbox players will automatically download the appropriate version for whatever console they have.

After the upgrade, Destiny 2 will run at 60 frames per second on all next-gen consoles. However, the resolution will be different depending on which Xbox console you’re using. The game will run in 4K on PS5 and Xbox Series X, but only in 1080p on Xbox Series S.

All three consoles will support faster load times, cross-generation play, and a field of view slider. The latter should be the most exciting addition for console players — it’s a feature that is relatively common in first-person shooters on PC (and exists in the PC version of Destiny 2), but is very rare on consoles. Bungie said the FOV range should be similar to that in Destiny 2’s PC version.

Bungie did note that while there will be faster load times in some activities and the character inventory, Destiny 2 does rely heavily on a networking and matchmaking system, so console hardware isn’t solely responsible for loading. Basically, if your game is loading slowly on your new console, that might be an issue with your internet connection, not a problem with your giant $500 supercomputer.

In addition, Bungie clarified that cross-generation play is limited to console families: Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X players can play with Xbox One players, and PlayStation 5 players can play with PlayStation 4 players. In June, Bungie did mention a desire to enable cross-play between console families in Year 5, which is scheduled to begin in fall 2021.

But with the Beyond Light expansion launching on Nov. 10 — alongside the Xbox Series X and Series S, and just two days before the PS5 — plenty of Destiny players will want to use their new machines to play the new content. Destiny 2 will be available on both systems at launch, in its standard backward-compatible state. That version of the game will still feature faster load times and cross-gen play. But everything should be even better come Dec. 8.