Sony's PlayStation 4 is currently the only platform that doesn't allow crossplay support for Fortnite (not to mention other games), and the console manufacturer's boss has now explained why that is. Years ago, the idea of crossplay support on a large scale for a game as big as Fortnite seemed like a pipe-dream. Gamers had to own games on the same platforms as their friends if they wanted to play with them. It was just the way the gaming industry operated for many years.
Early on, it wasn't just that players couldn't play Fortnite on PlayStation with their friends playing on Xbox or Nintendo Switch, but also that, if they logged into their account on the PS4, they couldn't go back and play on a different platform. From that point forward, their account was attached to that console. It ignited a controversy in June that some believe resulted in the company's stock price falling slightly. And now, Sony has explained why they are holding such an anti-consumer stance - and the reason is absurd.
Speaking at the IFA 2018 expo in Berlin, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida explained that the reason they don't support crossplay with other consoles - for Fortnite or any other game (though it's worth pointing out that PS4 games in the past have supported crossplay with PC) - because those consoles are inferior to the PlayStation.
"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. But actually, we already opened some games as cross-platform with PC and some others, so we decide based on what is the best user experience. That is our way of thinking for cross-platform."
While it may be considered the best place to play first party games made for the PlayStation, it's a bit illogical to label the PS4 the best place to play Fortnite, of all games, because it's the one platform that's inclusive. All other platforms support crossplay while the PS4 doesn't. Furthermore, both the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch have inherent advantages over the PS4, with the One X being the most powerful console ever made while the Switch allows gamers to play Fortnite on-the-go - something that allows the platform to rival iOS and Android users.
For now, it seems like Sony will continue to trudge forward with their isolationist philosophy regarding crossplay support, especially for games like Fortnite, but it's something that is very much on the minds of Microsoft and Nintendo as the current console generation slowly starts to wind down. Already, Microsoft is not only looking to support crossplay on a grand scale with the rumored Xbox Scarlett consoles but also online streaming for games. Both companies want people to play multi-platform games with their friends on whichever consoles they want.
Source: Kenichiro Yoshida (via The Independent)