Sony has been a thorn in the side of cross-play realities for a little while, and the mega-popular Fortnite has this week reignited the issue in a big way. Believe it or not, people want to play with their friends online, regardless of the target platform those friends choose to stick to. I wrote about Forza Horizon 3‘s cross-play last summer, and to this day, I am thankful the capability exists – even if I haven’t been playing the game with Xbox gamers lately.
Coincidentally, it was exactly one year ago that I decided to pen a rant post talking about Sony’s complete ignorance against cross-play gaming. At that time, Destiny 2 was a rather big focus of mine, as the game had yet to come out; I held out hope that cross-play could be a thing. Unfortunately, I don’t think cross-play would have saved what was otherwise a very boring title (to me), but the fact of the matter is: cross-play shouldn’t feel like such a luxury. If a game is multiplayer capable, and is offered on multiple platforms, cross-play is awesome.
Leave it to Fortnite to truly make the masses realize this. If you’re on a Nintendo Switch, you can play against players on the Xbox One, or even the PC. PvP is bizarre for PC vs. console, sure, but at least the option is available. For PvE stuffs, cross-play would mean you’d have more help available. Fragmented communities die quicker; united ones are much more resilient.
I am going to sound like a broken record if I keep ranting, so just know that Fortnite‘s lack of cross-play on the PlayStation 4 has fans really annoyed, and it’s for even more important reasons than usual. When you tie your Epic account to your PlayStation one, you will not be able to play Fortnite on another platform, because in Sony’s world, only the PlayStation matters.
At a time when a legitimate Halo title is coming to the PC, it seems like hell has frozen over, so maybe, cross-play shouldn’t be made out to be such a rare feature. Some companies need to get over their self-indulgent nature, and start catering to their customers – the industry as a whole. Forza Horizon 4 will be cross-play, and I am thankful for that. Even Microsoft itself is starting to inquire about cross-play possibilities, perhaps as a way to throw shade at Sony.
The biggest benefit of the PlayStation platform right now are the exclusive titles, but exclusives are not going to be made cross-play – because they’re exclusive. So it’s not as though Sony stands to really lose anything if it decides to better support cross-play. It can still have its exclusives that keep people glued to PlayStation, but with one little change in mindset, it could dramatically make cross-platform gaming a whole lot better.