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Bungie’s Destiny: Release Date and Consoles

bungie-destiny

By now most of you have probably seen the results of the press conference Bungie held last week to unveil their new game Destiny.

It certainly didn’t disappoint.

While it played some things safely into Halo territory, like the fact that it’s a Sci Fi shooter, the plans they have laid out are ambitious to say the least. For anyone who isn’t up to speed, Destiny is planned to be a ‘next generation’ shooter which combines traditional FPS elements with a persistent world more akin to what you would find in an MMORPG.

How exactly will this work? Well it’s a narrow split they are trying to navigate. Like a shooter it’s based mainly upon your own experience, and you can play the vast majority of it solo. Like an MMO, the world is persistent and requires an internet connection to access (so no offline play).

It also incorporates a new kind of “silent” matchmaking which is designed to pair you up with players automatically when you reach content requiring more than one person – but without load screens or map selections or even voice chat. The person would just seamlessly appear, help you with whatever dungeon you are exploring or base you are attacking and then disappear just as quickly when you are done.

It sounds too good to be true, which makes me cautious, and yet the inspirations here are something to be excited about. It’s made by the people who made Halo, one of the best shooters of all time. It’s an online world akin to games like World of Warcraft, but with a matchmaking system more like the PlayStation downloadable title Journey. It has a loot system similar to Borderlands, where your characters are rewarded with better armour and weapons based on the content you complete. And finally it has classes and competitive multiplayer.

It basically sounds like one big worldofhalojourneylands sandwich. Which looks pretty appetising from where I’m sitting.

But the big questions are: When do we get it and what will we be playing it on?

Now this isn’t really set in stone as of yet, but there are a few things we can work out.

Firstly, the release date:

  • Activision has confirmed that it won’t be in the next financial year, this was first hinted at when they didn’t mention any Destiny related profits in their financial profit forecast for the next year
  • The last time Bungie released a new title, Halo, it was announced in July 1999 – it came out November 2011
  • The console world is a little shaken up right now, the PS4 just got announced, the new xbox is on the way and the Wii U is still finding it’s feet – it might be a little premature to risk dev time on any of these so far
  • We haven’t seen much yet, and there are no rumours of Beta and a game like this needs months if not years of testing

Conclusion: Well the obvious part is obvious. We aren’t seeing it this year, Activision has confirmed. So when will we see it? My money is on Christmas holiday period 2014. It’s got the 2 year announcement cycle Bungie used for Halo, it’s a major commercial period which guarantees game sales, and its far enough away that they can show off a bunch of stuff at E3 this year and then announce a Beta and show off the completed product around E3 next year.

So, where does that leave us with the consoles? Well:

  • It has been announced for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4
  • Bungie have said they are “interested” about doing a PC version
  • There were hints in the press conference that they were looking into Nintendo as well, for example they had a reference to a Nintendo slogan in one of their videos
  • The next Xbox hasn’t been confirmed, so they can’t say whether it’s coming to it or not as of yet
  • Bungie have said “they want to bring it to as many consoles as possible:

Conclusion: Well it’s probably better to break this down by console and give my thoughts.

PlayStation 4: Definite yes. This is happening.

New Xbox: Definite yes. Bungie knows Xbox tech like no other platform, you better believe this is what Destiny was designed for.

PlayStation 3: Most probably yes. Why probably when it’s been announced? Well, Bungie also announced Halo for Mac and PC – and it eventually launched as an Xbox exclusive. The fact is that the game would have to be “dumbed down” a certain extent to even be playable on “older consoles” – and updating across platforms could prove difficult.

Xbox 360: Most probably yes. Same reasoning as above.

Wii U: Maybe. The Wii U is a funny beast in that it has the same capacity (give or take) as current consoles like the PS3 and 360, but the way the controller plays into things complicates development. If you don’t utilise it, it seems like a waste. If you do, you have to rework your tech specifically for one platform – which is wasted dev time for the product as a whole. I’m sceptical on this one.

PC: Even more maybe. Sure, Bungie said they would love a PC version, but the fact is that they have always been a console company. Not to mention that PCs already have plenty of multiplayer shooters like PlanetSide 2 or Firefall for people to enjoy, why throw your head into the ring with big contenders like this when you can make it console specific and capture an untapped market? I can see them expanding onto PC after success on consoles – I don’t know about available on launch day.

Anyway, that’s my thoughts, and I have to say I’m pretty excited.

All we have to do now is wait…

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