In a surprising turn of events, Sony has officially announced that they will be opening up PS4 cross-play support for Fortnite to allow PS4 and Xbox One gamers to play with and against each other. The announcement comes after Sony bashed cross-play a couple of times in the past few months saying that “PlayStation is the best place to play” so the feature is not something they were interested in. Fortnite has supported cross-play across Xbox One, Switch, PC, PS4 and Mobile but never has PS4 players been able to play with Xbox One players.
The announcement reveals that the feature will release in “beta” which is strange as a beta test for something like this is not really needed. Earlier this year there were reports of PS4 players popping up in Xbox One matches so it seems it was already working. The official PlayStation Blog details the test as an ongoing experience to see how this cross-play feature will work. Sony also hinted that they could look at the feature for other upcoming games.
For 24 years, we have strived to deliver the best gaming experience to our fans by providing a uniquely PlayStation perspective. Today, the communities around some games have evolved to the point where cross-platform experiences add significant value to players. In recognition of this, we have completed a thorough analysis of the business mechanics required to ensure that the PlayStation experience for our users remains intact today, and in the future, as we look to open up the platform.
The biggest worry about cross-play for Sony was destroying that “best place to play” reputation and in my opinion, unless these other platforms have the exclusive lineup that Sony has, there is no way people will jump ship just because cross-play is now available.
This represents a major policy change for SIE, and we are now in the planning process across the organisation to support this change. We will update the community once we have more details to share, including more specifics regarding the beta timeframe, and what this means for other titles going forward.
“Titles going forward” could mean that upcoming games could also support cross-play and that Sony has plans to merge online servers in games like Fallout 76, Destiny 2, Red Dead Redemption 2 and even Black Ops 4. Who knows what the future holds?
Let us know what you think about this in the comments section below.