Sony finally ditches policy that prevented gamers on different devices from playing together
Sony has announced that it will be opening up cross-platform play on its PlayStation 4 console, beginning with Fortnite today.
Until now, players on a PlayStation 4 console could only play multiplayer games with other PS4 owners, whereas Xbox One, PC, mobile and Nintendo Switch players were free to intermingle online. This has long been a source of frustration for players with friends or family who play on other consoles, and those who like to play the same game on more than one device.
The wall between the PS4 and other consoles has been a particular problem for open games such as Fortnite, Rocket League and Minecraft, which are playable on different devices. It has meant that players’ progress and purchases could not be transferred between a PS4 and other platforms, keeping players locked into Sony’s closed system. Sony’s rivals Microsoft and Nintendo have embraced cross-platform play.
“Today, the communities around some games have evolved to the point where cross-platform experiences add significant value to players,” said John Kodera, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, in a blogpost announcing the change. “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.
“We are now in the planning process across the organisation 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.”
Fortnite’s sixth season, which brings changes to the game world and new items for players to earn and buy, starts on Thursday. For the first time, players from across the world on any device will be able to play together. Sony’s policy change will have positive implications for other cross-platform games, too, potentially including EA Sports’ Fifa, also launching this week.