Along with the announcement of Fortnite: Battle Royale coming to iOS and Android, we learned that the title will be featuring cross-play and cross-progression between all platforms, with Xbox One noticeably missing from the list. It turns out that the Microsoft console will be supporting cross-play with all platforms apart from PlayStation 4, as Sony has not consented to the feature with its rival platform. Yet again.
This deepens the long-standing feud between the two companies, in which Xbox boss Phil Spencer is continuing to be open towards the possibility, while Sony shuts the prospect down. This has been seen in past cases, in which developers Psyonix and CD Projekt Red both confirmed in 2016 that they could enable cross-play for Rocket League and Gwent respectively, but were waiting for the go-ahead from Sony that never came.
Technically, cross-play is perfectly achievable, with developer Epic Games showcasing the functionality after accidentally enabling it in September 2017. Despite chalking it up to an error and swiftly shutting the feature down, it displayed that this is simply a logistical problem rather than a limitation.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) March 10, 2018
Phil Spencer has reassured everyone that Microsoft has kept its doors open to the possibility, replying to Twitter user @ddokkabae’s excitement at wanting cross-play between Xbox One and PlayStation 4 by simply stating “Me 2.” Epic Games echoed the sentiment of wanting this inclusiveness by saying “We 3” further down in the thread.
Sony has yet to officially address any development on the situation beyond denying Xbox One players the chance to play alongside those on PS4, making it look like an unnecessary point of contention rather than a business move that truly benefits the company. Previously, Sony cited security concerns as its primary reason, however every developer including Nintendo has expressed interest in the idea of cross-play and the inclusiveness of players, making it feel like a misdirection.
There’s a good chance that Sony doesn’t want to share its player base to bolster its rival’s given that it has outsold the Xbox One on multiple occasions since its 2013 release date. But until Sony comes out with a reason, it will simply look like a spat more than anything else.
KitGuru Says: I can understand having to prioritise a business over looking like the good guy a lot of the time, but the radio silence on the matter makes the company look worse. Still, forcing all other platforms to get along might just prompt Sony to shake hands with Microsoft later down the line. Will you be using Fortnite: Battle Royale’s cross-play to play with your friends?