After facing months of backlash due to their stubborn position on cross-play, Sony is finally allowing PS4 Fortnite users to play online with other players, no matter what device they’re using (save for a few exceptions). Following a couple of missteps, including their refusal to really get into why they disliked the idea of cross-platform play, along with the fact that any Epic Games account linked to a PSN account was blocked from accessing the game on a Nintendo Switch, this is a long-overdue smart move on the manufacturer’s part.
Seeing as a huge part of Fortnite’s appeal lies in granting players the ability to compete and collaborate with their real-world friends across many different platforms, the fact that Sony is finally granting access to cross-platform play is a big deal. The battle royale behemoth has become dominant over the past 12 months; only Minecraft can rival it in terms of games with such wide-ranging, demographic-crossing appeal.
While it made financial sense for the company to keep their PlayStation consumers walled up and limited for as long as possible, Sony seemed to consistently assert their hardware dominance and took their players for granted, assuming that limiting its users to single-platform play would eventually become accepted. Evidently, that has not been the case. Stating that the very recently launched beta “represents a major policy change for SIE“, John Kodera, President and Global CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, hasn’t said much since.
Ultimately, the move promises that the future of gaming will be a much more inclusive experience, and the power appears to be heading back towards the hands of the devs, software publishers and players, inching away from the platform holders. If consoles are heading towards becoming merely paperweights, as some suggest, Sony is making sure their paperweight is as good as any other paperweight out there – helping everyone in the process.
The cross-play beta arrives in time for the start of Fortnite Season 6, featuring a purple colour scheme, but more importantly, also means that there’s very little time left to complete Season 5 challenges.
Go on, get going!