The heat is being dialed up on Sony over its wildly unpopular stance on Fortnite cross-play. As you know, Fortnite is cross-platform capable, and is available to play on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, macOS and iOS.
PlayStation 4 gamers are able to play against those on the PC, macOS and iOS, but are prevented from joining in against Xbox One and Nintendo Switch gamers. Likewise, the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One is compatible with cross-play against all other supported platforms with the exception of the PlayStation 4.
John Smedley, who previously served as chief of Sony Online Entertainment, gave his opinion on why Sony is being such a hardass about the whole situation. The answer isn’t too surprising:
BTW when I was at Sony, the stated reason internally for this was money. They didn’t like someone buying something on an Xbox and it being used on a PlayStation. Simple as that. Dumb reason, but there it is.
Gamers haven’t just been ticked off about the lack of cross-play, but also Sony’s stranglehold on cross-progression. If you at any point linked your Epic Games account with Fortnite on your PlayStation 4, you cannot transfer your purchases or progression to an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch. Gamers liken this action to ransom or downright digital theft.
Microsoft Xbox Chief Phil Spencer weighed in last week against Sony’s cross-play lockdown:
If you bought your son, your child, an Xbox, and I bought my child a PlayStation – and I’m just a parent, it’s their birthday, whatever – and the kids want to go play Fortnite and they all of a sudden go home and can’t play with each other, it doesn’t feel like it helps the consumers. If it doesn’t help the developers and it doesn’t help the consumer, then it doesn’t feel like it helps to grow gaming to me.
Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime also threw in his two cents last week, stating:
We embrace working with a developer and enabling them to bring their vision to life and whether that’s Fortnite, whether that’s a number of the other games that have cross-platform play on our console, from a developer standpoint that’s what we want. And we work hard with them to bring that to life. What competitors do is their decision to make. We believe being both developer-forward and fan-forward is in the best interest of the game.
What about you, HotHardware readers? Do you feel that Sony is totally in the wrong with this move?