Many gamers’ concerns over the latest generation of consoles, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, is that they’re currently hindered by their predecessors, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This trend is largely present in cross-gen titles, such as Destiny, which was lauded as a ‘true next-gen’ experience prior to launch. According to Bungie, however, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 weren’t up to the task, and held the newer consoles back.
Bungie’s DeeJ and Rob Adams filmed a ‘ride along’ video with members of ‘Dads of Destiny’ to explore Earth’s Cosmodrome in Destiny. During the video, they touch on a lot of topics, ranging from Destiny‘s performance across the consoles to the history behind every area of the Cosmodrome.
‘Parity’ between consoles, and generations, is often the focal point of scrutiny against a new release, and the main point behind the current push to create more current-gen exclusives. It’s often brought up when comparing the graphical fidelity between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4,
When speaking in the Hangar (see 9:10 of the video), the room in the Cosmodrome where the player finds their first ship, Adams confirms that Destiny‘s last-gen versions definitely suffered from memory issues:
“Another thing that this space does, is it separates the Divide from the Steppes. So the Steppes and the Divide are both really really big areas, and when we shipped on the PS3 and Xbox 360, there was no way that we could get those two areas to be adjacent to each other, because of memory constraints. So, one of the reasons we did this was to actually provide a technical memory buffer between those two spaces.”
It’s no surprise that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 held back the newer consoles, given the difference in hardware, however big or small. What’s interesting is how the differences in hardware showed in Destiny, and how Bungie went around the issues.
It also offers food for thought on how Destiny would have changed had it only been on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 – Adams also revealed that the Cosmodrome was supposed to be five-to-ten times bigger.
Adams also revealed a technical trick that Destiny pulls off to maintain a consistent frame rate. Using the Shipyard for reference (see 57:50 of the video), he explained that Destiny‘s open areas are full of vertical or large objects obstructing the player’s view in order to render less objects at any given time.
“What we’re doing is, we’re culling out and removing geometry behind that stuff, so that in any one view you never see too many things, and so the frame rate doesn’t drop.”