Sony, the grumpy loner of cross-platform play, may be slowly realizing the error of its ways, as it is apparently working on a cross-play solution everyone can be satisfied with.
At a recent Gamelab conference in Spain, Sony once again had to face accusations about its refusal to listen to fans’ cross-play demands. Its answer may not have offered the specifics fans are looking for, but it at least involved the company finally acknowledging the real issue, and suggesting that something will be done.
“We’re hearing it. We’re looking at a lot of the possibilities,” said Shawn Layden, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America. “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.”
Sony has long been the odd-man out in terms of cross-platform play, but the recent announcement of cross-play between Nintendo Switch and Xbox One players in Fortnite Battle Royale forced Sony into an even tighter spot. Not only can PS4 players not play Fortnite with other console users, a Fortnite account that was ever used to play on PS4 would be blocked on Xbox One and Switch. Presumably, Sony doesn’t want PS4 players buying skins or other content on competing platforms, implying the decision to avoid cross-play is all about the money, whether or not Sony wants to admit it. This would also align with recent comments from an ex-Sony Online Entertainment president who proposed that it is purely a financial decision, contrary to Sony’s past comments about protecting the kids or some nonsense.
For now, there is no time table for the publisher’s cross-play plans, nor is there necessarily a guarantee that something will even happen. If you want to see any change, as always, vote with your wallet by playing Fortnite on other platforms until Sony decides to buck up. An analyst recently explained why it is not in Sony’s best interest to let these games be cross-platform, so gamers have to make it in Sony’s best interest.