Destiny has been a controversial game from day one beginning with Peter Dinklage’s cringe worthy voice acting followed by the notorious loot cave. Since the release of Destiny 2 in September, there have been uproars over shaders as single-use items and the recent revelation that Bungie has been secretly throttling experience gains. The game has legions of dedicated players who complain incessantly while Bungie apologizes and promises to do better over and over again.
Digital Foundry set aside all the things to love/hate about Destiny 2 and compared the Xbox One X enhanced version with the game running on a high-end PC and the PS4 Pro. The results are like a breath of fresh air. Bungie is doing a great job optimizing the game for different hardware platforms which leaves little room for controversy from a technical point of view. The game looks good on all platforms and the more powerful the platform, the better it looks.
The One X vs the PC
The enhanced One X version of Destiny 2 matches performance on a high-end PC in two important respects – resolution and HDR support. The game runs in native 4K (3840 x 2160) on both platforms. Native 4K and HDR make a big difference but there are other factors that affect how good a game looks. In every other respect, the PC outshines the One X.
Shadow quality, draw distances and anti-aliasing on the One X all fall behind the PC. Digital Foundry also points out that detail is clearer on the PC because of much better texture filtering and the PC’s use of 16x anisotropic filtering.
Finally, all of the console versions are locked at 30 fps while Destiny 2 runs smoothly at 60 fps if you have a powerful enough PC.
The One X vs the PS4 Pro
No one expected performance and graphics on the One X to equal what you can get out of a high-end PC. How Microsoft’s console matches up with the PS4 Pro is a better comparison. The story here is interesting. Performance and graphics are basically identical across the two consoles with one critical difference. The One X runs at native 4K and the Pro does not.
The Pro relies on checkerboard rendering to bring Destiny 2 up to 2160p and then uses dynamic resolution scaling to decrease resolution on the horizontal axis in order to maintain frame rate. The One X does neither. Digital Foundry tested the One X on sequences that stress a tricked-out PC and found resolution held firm at 2160p while frame rate remained locked at 30 fps.
Comparing resolution differences between the One X and the Pro usually boils down to how low resolution goes under stress because game developers often rely on dynamic resolution scaling on both consoles. Destiny 2 gives players a unique opportunity to compare native 4K with a checkerboarded, dynamically scaled image because that’s the only visual difference between the One X and the Pro. You can clearly see the difference in Digital Foundry’s video. The image is sharper on the One X although you may not notice the difference in the heat of battle.
Thankfully, there’s little to argue about when it comes to a technical comparison of Destiny 2 running on different platforms. As is always the case, a high-end PC gives you the best looking and best playing game. It’s no contest.
The difference between the console versions is simple and straightforward. The One X runs at native 4K and the Pro doesn’t which means the game looks a little blurrier on the Pro.
The bottom line is that Destiny 2 looks great on the Pro, a little better on the One X and best on a PC. In other words, the game looks great no matter where you play.