One of the most popular multi-player games right now is Fortnite. This battle royale style game can be played on any console, PCs, Macs, iOS, and Android devices. It means that one person can be playing on their iOS something, and someone can be playing on an Xbox and they are still able to play together. It should work great.
EXCEPT, Sony hasn’t been allowing the cross-console play. Sure, if you want to play with someone on a PS4 you can play it on iOS or Android; on PC or Mac, but not on the Switch or the Xbox. This isn’t new (or really surprising). Sony has a history of staying far away from even the idea of allowing play between the consoles. The bigger problem seems to be that once you log in to your account on the PS4, you are not longer able to log into an account on either the Switch or the Xbox. People are understandably unhappy about this.
It looks like things are reaching a critical point for Sony. While their statement earlier in June showed little in the way responding to the Fortnite criticism, at the Gamelab conference in Spain today, the President and CEO of Sony, Shawn Layden, was asked again about the issue of cross console play. Robert Purchase of EuroGamer said,
….PlayStation 4 [is] coming back to be more back to basics, to be more about the players. But there seems to be an issue at the moment, that Sony isn’t listening to its players – or doesn’t seem to be – and that’s cross-play, Fortnite particularly. And I wondered if there were any plans to open it up? It seems to be Sony’s not listening.
Layden’s response is the first official comment since Fortnite’s release on the Switch. It isn’t the strongest statement, but it is an acknowledgement that something is going to need to change.
We’re hearing it. We’re looking at a lot of the possibilities. You can imagine that the circumstances around that affect a lot more than just one game. I’m confident we’ll get to a solution which will be understood and accepted by our gaming community, while at the same time supporting our business.
Like I said, it sounds like Sony understand that something needs to change if they want to keep the backlash for this at a reasonable level. It even seems like they are trying to figure out how the decisions on this will affect other games, like Destiny 2. The response also, sounds a lot like the answer is money is the problem, specifically the fear of losing it. If they make an exception for Fortnite, what else are they going to have to make exceptions for? What are exclusives going to mean if so much is open to being played across consoles? If a player can buy skins on a different platform then they wont be buying them from Sony.
What do you think needs to happen? Do you think Sony is ever going to open to the idea of cross-console gaming? Are they at least allow for someone to use the same account on the PS4 and other consoles? Let us know what you think in the comments.