The Fortnite universe just got a whole lot bigger for Playstation 4 users, and a little bigger for anyone else. Sony announced on Wednesday that it will finally allow cross-platform play for PS4 Fortnite players, a huge reversal of the company’s stance on letting anyone inside the walled garden of what’s become one of the biggest video games on the planet.
Sony has been against cross-platform gaming for a long time, essentially limiting users who buy PlayStation games from playing online with others gamers on Xbox One, PC or the Nintendo Switch. The Playstation Experience, the theory goes, could help Sony keep quality control in place and also, well, make sure you have to buy a PlayStation to play with your other playstation friends.
Battle royale games have brought up a lot of different legal issues, but the ability to play Fortnite on a variety of different consoles opens up a wide world of possibilities for the game itself. In the case of cross-platform play for this title in particular, it seems to be more about Sony’s policies more than whether it was actually possible technologically. Earlier in the year, Fortnite maker Epic apparently mistakenly allowed cross-platform play across its games. That was soon shut down, as it violated Sony’s gaming standards.
But that stance appears to be officially changed. Sony President and CEO John Kodera announced in a blog post Wednesday that Fortnite players will finally be allowed to interact with other gamers using different platforms to play the wildly popular battle royale game.
The first step will be an open beta beginning today for Fortnite that will allow for cross platform gameplay, progression and commerce across PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Mac operating systems. We see the beta as an opportunity to conduct thorough testing that ensures cross-platform play is best on PlayStation, while being mindful about the user experience from both a technical and social perspective.
For 24 years, we have strived to deliver the best gaming experience to our fans by providing a uniquely PlayStation perspective. Today, the communities around some games have evolved to the point where cross-platform experiences add significant value to players.
The move means Fortnite is the first PS4 game to offer cross-console play, but the statement hinted at the fact that more titles will be allowed to interact with titles on other platforms in the future.
“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,” Kodera said in a statement.