Fortnite Battle Royale cross-play held back by Sony, says Microsoft
Fortnite Battle Royale and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds are two of the hottest, and most lucrative, battle royale type games today. But only one of them is going to be available on almost all gaming platforms imaginable, including mobile (but excluding the Switch, at least for now). And only one of them And only one of them will have almost full cross-platform play support. Almost. Fortnite Battle Royale is in the position to become the perfect cross-play massively multiplayer battleground, but only if Microsoft and Sony can build bridges. And Microsoft says that the ball has always been in Sony’s court.
The cross-play feature of FBR is a bit confusing. When Epic Games announced that the game was coming to both iOS and Android, it also revealed cross-play capability between some platforms, namely PC and PS4, but not Xbox. Afterward, Xbox’s Phil Spencer announced that FBR on Xbox One will have cross-play compatibility with PC and mobile, but not PS4. And given Microsoft’s recent statements, it is pointing the finger at Sony.
In a nutshell, Microsoft is saying that it is more than willing to have cross-play between Xbox and PlayStation systems. In fact, some game developers confirmed that such a feature is actually already available. Someone just needs to give the signal to flip to switch. And that someone has to be Sony this time around.
Sony isn’t denying that it still isn’t that keen on enabling cross-play with other gaming platforms and it is using children as the reason. PlayStation head of global sales Jim Ryan was quoted last year as saying that they cannot ensure what children users will be exposed to outside of their control. In other words, they can’t guarantee a quality and safe PlayStation experience when other platforms come into the equation.
Funnily enough, that was more or less the exact same reason Microsoft had years ago when it itself wasn’t so keen on playing nice with other platforms, citing they can’t guarantee the high level of quality on systems they have no control over. The sentiment has obviously changed inside Redmond, for one reason or another, and Sony seems to be using Microsoft’s own excuse against it. Hopefully, things will change for the better soon.