Sony’s chief executive has explained that the reason PS4 Fortnite players can’t play against people on other consoles is that the company believes its console is the best way to play Epic’s popular third-person game.
Speaking in an interview with The Independent, Kenichiro Yoshida said that although competition with Microsoft and Nintendo is healthy, the company was still unwilling to compromise the experience offered to its players saying, “On cross-platform, our way of thinking is always that PlayStation is the best place to play. Fortnite, I believe, partnered with PlayStation 4 is the best experience for users, that’s our belief.”
He followed by saying that cross-platform play with PC is something that Sony allows for certain games. There are a decent number of indie games that support this functionality but most are a fraction of the size of Fortnite, and all offer cross-play with PC rather than competing consoles.
As well as blocking cross-play between active players, Sony also blocks users from using the same Epic Games account between different versions of the game, meaning that you have to create a seperate account to play on the recent Nintendo Switch version of the game.
Fortnite isn’t the only high-profile game that Sony has chosen not to allow cross-play on. Other recent examples include Rocket League (which allows both PS4 and Xbox players to play against PC, but not each other) and Minecraft.
Related: PS4 vs Xbox One
The first place advantage
Sony’s refusal to offer cross-play isn’t that surprising when you consider it’s lead in console sales. Currently, VGChartz reports that Sony has shifted over 80 million PS4s over its lifetime. Meanwhile, Microsoft has sold just shy of 40 million Xbox One‘s while Nintendo has sold 20 million Nintendo Switches (albeit in a much shorter period of time).
Having more people playing on your online service is a big selling point for users looking to buy a new console, and Sony knows that if people know they’ll be able to play with all their PS4 players if they buy an Xbox then there’s one less reason to choose a PlayStation.
Microsoft has a lot to gain from cross-play happening, and Sony has a lot to lose.
Last generation, when for much of it the Xbox 360 and PS3 were fighting pretty evenly for the console crown, Microsoft was completely silent on the possibility of offering cross-play.
What do you think of Sony’s attitude towards cross-play? Let us know @TrustedReviews.