Cross-play is one of the hottest topics in the gaming world as of late. It has been going on for a little while, but it's been a major concern since E3. When Nintendo announced that Fortnite would be coming to Switch, many were thrilled. A big bonus was that Nintendo and Microsoft allowed cross-play with one another. This means that a Nintendo Switch user can battle someone on an Xbox One. (This also means that you can log into your Epic Games account on either console.) PS4 players discovered something when trying to log into their Epic account on Switch: it didn't work. Sony does not allow Fortnite cross-play, meaning that PS4 players cannot play with their Switch friends. Perhaps worst is that if PS4 players have a Switch at home, they have to make a separate account to play on that console.
What has Sony said about this? Not much, to the anger of players. However, back in June, the president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, Shawn Layden, was at the Gamelab conference in Spain and spoke to Eurogamer about the subject. The Eurogamer reporter, Robert Purchese, asked Layden about the issue, saying that "It seems to be Sony's not listening." Below was Layden's response.
Shawn Layden: "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."
Based on that, players had a glimmer of hope that the issue would be resolved in favor of cross-play. However, despite Layden's statements, it doesn't seem like Sony has any intention of allowing Fortnite cross-play. As reported by The Independent, Sony chief executive Kenichiro Yoshida spoke about the issue at the IFA technology show in Berlin.
Kenichiro Yoshida: "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,"
So there you have it. Sony's belief is that Fortnite is best played on PlayStation. Upon analyzing Yoshida's statement, one comes away feeling cheated. Sony's continued denial of Fortnite cross-play, with statements like this one, implies egoism. Simply put, it's one thing if Sony believes that PlayStation 4 provides the best experience. That's fine. But to take that belief and deny players the ability to play with their Switch and Microsoft friends, that is what irks. Consider this: you have a Switch and want to play Fortnite on the go, but have your account linked up to the PS4. All your costumes and achievements are tied to Sony. Thus, you're forced to make a new account that won't contribute at all to your primary account. It's a terrible thing, and alienates the relationship to fans.
Sony's handling of the situation is ironic because the company's slogan is "For the players." Many might think it's more accurate to say, "For the profits." It's always possible that Sony will allow Fortnite cross-play at some point, but it's unlikely. If your best friend has a Switch and you have a PS4, you're both out of luck if you want to play Duos on console together. If that's Sony's definition of "For the players," the company isn't for anyone but itself.