Sony is finally ready to support full cross-platform features for select third party titles on the PlayStation 4, starting with Epic Games’ hugely popular battle royale title “Fortnite,” it announced on the PlayStation Blog on Wednesday.
An open beta for “Fortnite”cross-platform gameplay begins today and allows crossplay across the PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC, and Mac platforms. Previously, Sony only allowed “Fortnite” crossplay with mobile and PC. That means once a player links their PS4 and Epic accounts, they can access all of their purchases, progress, etc. across every platform “Fortnite” is available on, although some people are reportedly still having problems linking accounts on Switch. There’s no word on how widespread the issue is. Epic is currently rolling out a change to help implement Sony’s new policy, but it may take some time before players see it on their systems.
Meanwhile, Epic said it’s working on a solution for people who created more than one account to play “Fortnite” on multiple consoles. Players can unlink a console from one “Fortnite” account and re-link it to another in a couple of days. It’s also creating an account-merging feature that will combine “Battle Royale” purchases, it said on Twitter. That’s expected to launch in November.
Sony received a lot of criticism recently over how it was handling crossplay with its console competitors, especially after the launch of “Fortnite” on Switch. PS4 owners who tried to log into their Epic Games accounts on the Nintendo console received an error message that read, “This ‘Fortnite’ account is associated with a platform which does not allow it to operate on Switch. Neither the ‘Fortnite’ website nor Epic Customer Service are able to change this. To play ‘Fortnite’ on Switch, please create a new account.”
Naturally, people weren’t happy they had to give up all of their previous progression and cosmetics to start anew on Nintendo’s platform. Facing backlash, Sony later told the BBC it was “always open to hearing what the PlayStation community is interested in to enhance their gaming experience.”
“You can imagine that the circumstances around that affect a lot more than just one game,” Shawn Layden, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, also said at the Gamelab conference in June. “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.”
Today on the PlayStation Blog, Sony said it sees 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.
“This represents a major policy change for SIE, and we are now in the planning process across the organization to support this change,” it said. “We will update the community once we have more details to share, including more specifics regarding the beta timeframe, and what this means for other titles going forward.”