It’s finally happened- Sony has seen the light.
Though cross-platform play is a huge, major topic whose scope goes far beyond just a single game, at the very centre of the debate lies Fortnite, the world’s most popular game. While Sony’s refusal to comply with cross-play enabling has been frustrating audiences for a long time now, recent updates – such as Microsoft’s and Nintendo’s willingness to work together, as well as the fact that Sony is even restricting Epic accounts to the PS4 – soured things a bit too much, kicking things up into a bit of a frenzy.
Well, it looks like Sony’s backtracking on its policies, because Sony Interactive Entertainment boss John Kodera has just put up an update on the official PlayStation Blog, announcing that Fortnite will be entering a cross-platform and cross-progression beta on the PS4 starting today. Cross-play, as well as cross-progression (which means Epic accounts will no longer be locked to the PS4) will be allowed with the Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Android, and iOS.
“For 24 years, we have strived to deliver the best gaming experience to our fans by providing a uniquely PlayStation perspective,” writes Kodera. “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.”
If you’re wondering what the context of that statement is, earlier Sony defended its cross-play policies by saying that since it feels PlayStation is the best place to play games, they would not allow that to be compromised by allowing PlayStation owners to play games with owners of other rival consoles in the market.
“This represents a major policy change for SIE, and we are now in the planning process across the organization to support this change,” Kodera continued in his update. “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.”
Fans and gamers haven’t been the only ones calling Sony out on their cross-play stance, with the most high-profile example being Microsoft, who went as far as to say that Sony wasn’t listening to its audiences. That said, it’s great to see that it’s finally happened, even if it did take so long. What I’m wondering is what this means for cross-play in general, not just Fortnite. Not too long ago, Bethesda confirmed that Fallout 76 won’t support complete cross-platform play because of Sony’s restrictive stance- will that still be the case?