Fortnite PS4 Controversy Forces Sony to Consider Cross-Play Solutions

Sony is looking into ways to let you play Fortnite and other games with competing console owners.

Shawn Layden, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, briefly addressed the PlayStation 4’s controversial crossplay policies at the Gamelab conference in Spain.

“We’re hearing it. We’re looking at a lot of the possibilities,” said Layden. “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.”

That statement was issued in response to a question from Eurogamer regarding how the PlayStation 4’s crossplay policies, especially as it relates to Fortnite, fits into the general idea that the PlayStation 4 is all about the players and the games. While Layden’s full comments suggest that there are things being worked on which he cannot – or will not – directly comment on at this time, his reply doesn’t inspire much confidence that a fix to the Fortnite problem is imminent. 

To recap, the Fortnite PS4 issue gained steam when Fortnite launched on the Nintendo Switch. It was then that players noticed that they were unable to log-in to the Nintendo Switch version of Fortnite using their accounts if those accounts were created on the PS4. However, those who created their Fortnite accounts on Xbox One, PC, and other platforms are able to log-in to the Nintendo Switch version of the game via their original accounts. 

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While the Fortnite controversy is all the rage at the moment, it’s not the only game affected by the PS4 crossplay console policies. Simply put, Sony doesn’t really allow PS4 gamers to play games with Xbox One or Nintendo Switch players. While some games like Fortnite do allow PS4 gamers to play against those playing the game on PC, iOS, Mac, and Android, they are not able to play against users on competing consoles. 

According to John Smedley, ex-head of H1Z1 developer Daybreak Game Company, the issue is related to money. Smedly says that while he was at Sony, the general mentality was that “[Sony] didn’t like someone buying something on an Xbox and it being used on a Playstation.” He also noted that he felt it was a “dumb reason.”

If Sony is indeed holding out for some kind of financial compensation, they may be in for a long battle that may not win them a lot of great PR.