Coming to the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 on September 9, Destiny won’t feature any sort of cross-platform play, meaning those with a PS4 can’t compete against someone on PS3. This isn’t due to a technical issue though, but rather Bungie not wanting to give players on the new consoles an unfair advantage, as Bungie Engineer Roger Wolfson told Digital Trends:
I’ll speak for the hypothetical player. I have a disadvantage sniping across the map because [my opponent with a new-gen 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. 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.
While the new-gen versions of Destiny may have more detail to them, Wolfson discussed how the last-gen version holds up quite well:
I’ve been playing some on the Xbox 360 as well as the PS4 [at home] as we head into the beta window, and I’ve been really pleased at how I can almost forget that I’m playing on a last-gen console. There’s really no difference at all in loading, the action game is as fluid and as action-packed, there are as many combatants on the last-gen, [and] the loading times are equivalent.
When Destiny does launch and you’re able to create your character, keep in mind that Bungie plans on allowing you to carry that character for the next 10 years, all the way through potential sequels. Since there will always be new players joining the series as more potential games are released, Wolfson discussed keeping the franchise friendly to newbies:
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. [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 leveling up to do.
The Destiny beta is available to download right now from the PlayStation Store, provided you pre-ordered the game or received a beta code.
Bungie Explains Destiny Cross Platform Play on PS3/PS4 Isn't Happening