On September 26th, Sony announced they will be enabling
cross-platform play, progression, and commerce for Fortnite players across all
consoles, including the Xbox One. This is in response to mounting pressure
following the June 12th release of the Nintendo Switch version of Fortnite that
allowed cross-platform play with the Xbox One - something Nintendo and Microsoft
teamed up to promote. This added further frustration for PlayStation owners,
who wanted to know why it wasn't happening for them.
are a few of reasons that Sony have publicly made about the lack of
cross-platform play on the PlayStation 4. Their stance on the possibility of it
being introduced has been varied, however, making statements that appeared to
reject the concept altogether, where others sound open to it.
Last year, Sony said they would not be allowing
players of Minecraft on PlayStation 4 to cross with users on other consoles,
citing the inability to guarantee the safe experience of all users, especially
considering the young installation base of that game. Xbox division boss, Phil
Spencer rejected this statement, suggesting it was an unhealthy comment to be
making for all involved, also saying that Microsoft was happy to see other
consolers succeed alongside them through cross-platform gaming.
In the summer of last year, Jim Ryan, head of marketing and global sales commented, ‘We’ve
done it in the past. We’re always open to conversations with any developer or
publisher who wants to talk about it. Unfortunately it’s a commercial
discussion between ourselves and other stakeholders’. This is certainly more
hopeful than the previous statement, but the concerns here surround the
financial aspects of introducing cross-platform action, as opposed to the
safety reasoning given earlier.
the end of August, at the IFA technology show in Berlin, Sony gave a new
reason, concerning the quality of gaming on PlayStation. According to the Press
Association, Sony chief executive Kenichiro Yoshia claimed, “On cross-platform,
our way of thinking is always that PlayStation is the best place to play.
Fortnite, I believe, partnered with PlayStation 4 is the best experience for
users, that’s our belief”.
Outside of the statements made by Sony, there is
another key reason why they hadn’t introduced it just yet. Sony is currently
the most popular console to play on. By the end of 2017, Microsoft had sold
around 30 million consoles, whereas Sony had sold roughly 73 million (although
Microsoft had claimed these statistics were inaccurate).
From a financial
standpoint ,Sony were winning and did not need to introduce cross-platform play
to attract new players.
Sony has been triumphant in 2018 as well, with the
successful launch of two huge PlayStation exclusives, God of War and Marvel’s Spider-Man.
It’s genuinely quite surprising that they have given in to pressure and enabled it in Fortnite. Sony claim that they now understand some game communities see the
cross-platform experience as adding ‘significant value’.
Hopefully, this major change is policy will see the
introduction of cross-platform play to other games, the first of which should
probably be Rocket League.