Fornite cross-play between consoles and PC, Mac and mobile devices will arrive soon, but PlayStation 4 owners will not be able to play against Xbox One players. Epic Games revealed this weekend that Xbox One players will be able to play Fortnite with PC, Mac and mobile devices, but not with PS4 players; similarly, owners of PS4 will be able to play against all platforms except Xbox. In a new statement to Kotaku, Microsoft is directing the blame directly towards Sony.
"We have worked closely with Nintendo to enable inter-network gaming between Xbox One and Switch, and our offer to do the same with PlayStation players is still in place," says a Microsoft spokesman. "For any other question about the Fortnite network game between Xbox and PlayStation, contact Epic or Sony directly." The Verge has communicated with Sony and Epic Games, but none of the companies has to respond.
Microsoft's new statement follows a Twitter thread during the weekend, where it is clear that Microsoft and Epic Games want to enable the cross-game between PS4 and Xbox One in Fortnite:
So, why does not Sony get involved? Sony has previously blocked the cross-play between PS4 and Xbox One for both Rocket League and Minecraft, although Microsoft and Nintendo support it on Xbox One, PC and Switch. Sony's excuse to block the multiplatform PlayStation and Xbox game last year blamed "exposing what in many cases are children to external influences that we have no ability to manage or care for".
However, it is difficult to say, without Sony commenting directly, why the company is not allowing cross-play for Fortnite. In 2011, Microsoft occupied a dominant position in the sales of consoles of the United States, and the company refused to allow the crossed game and blamed of not being able to control the experience. "Because we can not guarantee this level of quality or control the player's experience on other consoles or gaming networks, we do not currently open our network to games that allow this cross-ability," a Microsoft spokesperson told Kotaku at the time. .
Sony's previous excuse about having to protect children does not hold now that it allows cross-play between the PS4 and millions of PC players and mobile devices. The real reason, of course, is that Sony does not have a good reason to enable cross-play between the PS4 and the Xbox One. In fact, doing so could harm your business. The PS4 is selling more than the Xbox One, and allowing cross playback means that groups of friends will not necessarily have to choose between the consoles if they can both play with each other.
On the other hand, Sony's PlayStation 4 ads always say "for players," and blocking the cross game does not exactly adhere to that message. Even so, opening the PS4 to play against PC, Mac and mobile devices is a good first step, and it is to be hoped that one day the barriers to the cross game console will collapse once and for all.