Highly anticipated: Sony has vigorously defended its reluctance to enable Fortnite cross-play with the other major consoles. This represents a major shift in that policy for Fortnite and potentially future cross-platform multiplayer games moving forward.
After all of the half-hearted promises and doubling down, Sony is finally enabling Fortnite players on PS4 to battle against players on Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. Previously, crossplay was limited to only PC and mobile. The full announcement by Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO John Kodera is below:
"Following a comprehensive evaluation process, SIE has identified a path toward supporting cross-platform features for select third party content. We recognize that PS4 players have been eagerly awaiting an update, and we appreciate the community’s continued patience as we have navigated through this issue to find a solution.
The first step will be an open beta beginning today for Fortnite that will allow for cross platform gameplay, progression and commerce across PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Mac operating systems. We see the beta as an opportunity to conduct thorough testing that ensures cross-platform play is best on PlayStation, while being mindful about the user experience from both a technical and social perspective.
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.
This represents a major policy change for SIE, and we are now in the planning process across the organization 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."
As Kodera points out, this is a major policy shift for Sony likely fueled by the endless backlash over the lack of crossplay between the consoles. While this is a welcome change for Fortnite players, Sony still hasn't addressed the issue of essentially keeping the Epic Games accounts hostage if a player has linked the account to their PSN account. This prevents progress made on PS4 from being accessed on other platforms and forces players to make a totally new Epic Games account if they want to play on other platforms
— Xbox (@Xbox) September 26, 2018
Still, some progress is better than no progress. The official Xbox Twitter account even replied to the Sony's announcement with a high five emoji. Hopefully, this change in policy continues forward in future multiplayer games.