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Sony gives in, allows ‘Fortnite’ PlayStation 4 cross-play with Xbox One and Nintendo Switch



fortnite nintendo switchNintendo

  • “Fortnite” is the first game to allow players across
    competing video game consoles — the PlayStation 4, Xbox One,
    and Nintendo Switch — to all play together.
  • The announcement of support for cross-console play with
    “Fortnite” comes after months of Sony refusing to allow
  • Both video game fans and video game publishers have
    been pushing back on Sony’s stance for months, and Sony is
    finally giving in.

“Fortnite” is the biggest game in the world, and it’s playable on
pretty much anything that runs video games: Your smartphone (both
iOS and Android), your computer (PC and Mac), and every current
game console (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch).

It’s exactly the same game across all those different platforms
and, in many cases, you can play with people on whatever platform
they’re playing on. If you’re playing “Fortnite” on Switch, you
can play with people on phones and Xbox One and computers.

There’s just one major exception: PlayStation 4 players were
siloed off from Microsoft’s Xbox One and Nintendo’s Switch.
Worse, if you bought stuff in “Fortnite” on PlayStation 4, none
of it would show up if you played the game with the same account
on another platform. Bummer!

And that was specifically due to Sony refusing to allow the game
to play nice with the competition. 

Xbox vs PlaystationChristian Petersen/Getty

That all changes today, as Sony is officially giving in and
allowing “Fortnite” players on PlayStation 4 to play with people
on Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft
Windows, and Mac. Moreover, if you buy stuff in “Fortnite” on
PlayStation 4, it will now show up on other platforms (so-called
“cross-commerce” support).

That’s a really big deal — “Fortnite” is the first-ever game to
allow players on all platforms to play together. As Sony puts it:
“This represents a major policy change for Sony Interactive

That’s for sure! Wednesday’s announcement has been a long
time coming. 

It all started with ‘Minecraft’

The Microsoft-owned blockbuster is available on pretty much
everything that plays games, from consoles to phones to

Microsoft, which makes the Xbox One and directly competes with
Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Nintendo’s Switch, publishes “Minecraft”
on Sony and Nintendo (and Apple and Google) platforms in addition
to its own Xbox consoles.

More importantly, even though Microsoft owns “Minecraft,” the
game can be played across competing devices. “Minecraft” players
on Xbox One can join up with players on iPhone, Switch, Android,
and PC/Mac — even if you’re playing in a virtual-reality headset!

But Xbox One can’t play with PlayStation 4 and vice versa.

minecraft nintendo switchNintendo

That same situation applied to “Fortnite,” which launched on
Nintendo Switch earlier this summer. Xbox One players could play
with those on iPhone/iPad, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac, but not
PlayStation 4. Worse still, none of the stuff that “Fortnite”
players purchased on their PlayStation 4 — like the Battle Pass,
or any gear — would show up on other platforms, even though
“Fortnite” uses an Epic Games account across all platforms. 

Sony refused to budge, which sparked outrage from players. It
even spawned a hashtag: #BlameSony.

And PlayStation 4 owners weren’t the only ones upset — major game
makers and publishers repeatedly, openly criticized Sony’s
decision to silo the PlayStation 4 multiplayer experience from
competing platforms.

“We cannot have a game that works one way across everywhere else
except for on this one thing,” Pete Hines, a Bethesda Game
Studios senior vice president, said in a recent interview
regarding the upcoming launch of “The Elder Scrolls: Legends” on
game consoles.

“The Elder Scrolls: Legends” is a competitive card game, similar
to Blizzard’s “Hearthstone,” that’s the same across all
platforms, visually and gameplay-wise, whether you’re playing it
on an iPhone or a PC. The game is turn-based, so it doesn’t
require precise, reaction-based controls.

The Elder Scrolls: Legends
“Elder Scrolls: Legends.”
Bethesda Softworks

In so many words: There’s no technical reason it couldn’t work
across competing platforms like the Xbox One and the PlayStation

Thus far, Sony has only announced cross-play support for
“Fortnite,” but it sounds like things are in early days. Support
for “Fortnite” across competing game consoles starts out in beta
today, with more news promised for the future.

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