Bungie jumps to next-generation systems with added support for Destiny 2 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S, and X, bringing the main feature many fans have been waiting for – the transition to 60fps for gaming. But how successful will the next generation transition be? How do the three new consoles compare and what are the main upgrades after boosting the frame rate? Bungie has a reputation for not only providing excellent visual design and robust technology, but also for providing very similar experiences across platforms – as well as with Destiny 2.
To get the basics out of the way, Destiny 2 delivers true 4K resolution on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, with a native 3840×2160 pixel count resolution on each in the vast majority of test shots. Bungie developed a dynamic resolution system for this engine (as used specifically in the PS4 pro), and it is likely posted here as well, although its appearance is minimalistic. There is an element of uncertainty about how the DRS system will also operate; A lower boundary of 2560 x 2160 is indicated as a very rare border in every next generation device. However, if the original sub-rendering rendering renders brief, it might simply be the case that low-resolution effects buffers produce an alias. On the whole it is net positive though. Basically, when you switch from PS4 Pro to PS5, you double the frame rate and remove the most noticeable resolution drops while using DRS. Meanwhile, when comparing the 4K picture on the Xbox One X and Series X, there isn’t much to differentiate it visually, except for the mega performance upgrade.
For the tests afterwards, I used the initial tutorials to make comparisons, which take us back to the classic Cosmodrome of Destiny’s first game – as well as the static battles from the recent expansions of Destiny 2. Crucially, there is compatibility with crossplay within specific console families – so it can PS4 / Pro owners play with PS5 players, while the same applies to Xbox One and Xbox Series families. This probably explains why so little has changed other than performance: key display features remain unchanged, and even the disappointing texture filter quality is exactly the same as the Series X’s comparison with the One X’s. The reflections may have changed a bit, but Bungie’s obviously the focus here was on paying the rate. Tires hard – something that cannot be done on last generation systems due to CPU limitations.
Image quality comparisons between the PS5 and Series X reveal that Bungie has put a visual tape on the consoles that he does not intend to deviate from. The games are effectively identical – the PS5 only shows a slightly higher frequency of resolution dropping under 4K. In fact, the evidence seems to indicate that Microsoft’s hardware does not use DRS much, if at all. 60fps performance is generally excellent in the X series as well, but it has some slight frame rate dips from the 60fps target, while the PlayStation 5 is a bit more consistent in that area. In short: a touch that’s sharper on Xbox, but sometimes smoother on a Sony. For its part, the S-Series has a similar performance profile to its older brother, and while we noticed DRS in effect here (with a maximum aim of 1920 x 1080), it hardly ever appears. It is a solid version of the game.
Another major improvement to the next generation is the ability to adjust the field of view, expanding the visual playing area to the user’s taste. It’s a slider available on all Next Generation systems, and it’s undoubtedly a welcome addition to competitive play. For the record, I did not notice any performance in expanding the field of view. It’s also interesting to add a bit of contention: 120fps games in the PvP Crucible region of the game, and it’s only available to Series X and PlayStation 5 users (where it tops the Series S at 60). On a technical level, the PS5 and Xbox Series X both drop the target display resolution to 1440p at 120Hz – which is, coincidentally, the maximum gaming 120Hz on select HDMI 2.0 TVs. In order to keep frame rates high, the horizontal dynamic resolution scale is enabled – I’ve noticed at least 1520 x 1440. In gameplay, the X-series again has more drops under 120fps, although each can Drops into the 80-90 fps region in Iron Banner mode, specifically when lots of Super Charge motions are accumulating.
Finally, Crucible’s 120Hz display is a nice plus, but I’m concerned that players of last-generation console games persist at 30fps have to take up 120fps and 60fps on their shiny new consoles. It’s definitely an unequal competition when next-generation users get a lot of visual feedback along with less input latency, plus a FOV slider for an expanded view of each map.
Ultimately, while next-generation improvements beyond frame rate are weak on the ground, Destiny 2 on Xbox Series and PlayStation 5 is wisely using the optimized capabilities of each device to deliver competitive improvement while online. Running the game at 60fps and beyond was previously reserved for PC and Stadia players only, and finally here we have it. With all this in mind, it is time to get back in the game – the Beyond Light expansion is worth a review, while Bungie clearly has ambitious plans for Destiny 2 in 2021: cross-platform gameplay is promising with a high frame rate – the average performance is now available to users. Console, there is now closer parity with the premium PC version. We can’t wait to see what Bungie has in development with next-generation consoles as a baseline, but at the same time, new content and performance enhancements give Destiny 2 in the console’s gamer’s arm.