After weeks of speculation, Fortnite is now available on the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo made the announcement yesterday during its E3 keynote, and it means that Fortnite’s existing install base of 125 million gamers could grow even further.
Nintendo also announced that gamers would be able to cross-play with gamers on other platforms including the PC, macOS, Xbox One and iOS. One major platform that was left out is the PlayStation 4, which is the latest attempt by Sony to piss off gamers. When it comes down to it, most gamers don’t care about internal politics or efforts by companies to protect their interests – they just want to play the games they want on the platforms they want without artificial interference.
There really is no reason for this blockade on a technical level, as the PlayStation 4 is fully capable of interoperability with other consoles (and computing platforms). In fact, we saw this previously when Epic Games “accidentally” allowed Xbox One and PlayStation 4 gamers to play against each other last year. The “glitch”, however, was quickly fixed (probably after an angry call from Sony executives).
However, this is protectionism gone crazy. Fortnite is a game that is played entirely online and of course supports syncing of accounts. And Fortnite is one of the rare games that enables players to join in on the action against people on the vast majority of computing platforms currently in existence. It’s a great accomplishment that should be celebrated – and Epic Games is raking in a huge amount of cash as a result – but to Sony, it’s just another opportunity to push a power play.
Sony knows that it has the best-selling console this generation (by far) and it is looking to protect its positioning. Given how popular that Fortnite has become in such a short amount of time, it stands to reason that many people have associated their PlayStation account with Fortnite. However, Sony’s latest action with Fortnite means that if you have already linked your Epic Games account with the PlayStation 4 version of the game, you can’t transfer your progress over to the Nintendo Switch.
That is just simply an unthinkable action for people that would “kill” to have a top-notch mobile Fortnite gaming experience. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that Fortnite is available on iOS (and soon, Android), but tapping your thumbs on a tiny screen is NOT the ideal way to play the game. It also stands to reason that there are quite a few hardcore PlayStation 4 Fortnite gamers that also have a Nintendo Switch for mobile gaming (or to simply expand their horizons with Nintendo gaming properties). The Nintendo Switch represents a far superior mobile gaming platform than an iPhone, but if you’ve already popped your cherry on the PlayStation 4 version of Fortnite, you can kiss your progression goodbye. That means all of your paid goodies are not accessible as well.
Given that Fortnite is the currently the most popular game on the planet, this latest travesty is shining an even more harsh late on Sony’s antics. Needless to say, many gamers are quite upset as you can see by these tweets:
Seriously, @Sony @EpicGames ? I've been so stoked to play fortnite on my switch....but now I can't (unless I start a new account with none of my paid for items and battle pass...)@Sony ...Why? Why stop cross platform play? How does that help you as a business? It can only hurt.— Chris Lyon (@CL_YO) June 12, 2018
Very disappointed in Sony holding PS4 #Fortnite players' Epic Games accounts hostage from playing on the Nintendo Switch. I understand not wanting to cross play with Xbox, but the Switch is a fundamentally different console.— Justin 🇹🇹 (@YourMindAches) June 12, 2018
You can't connect your Epic Fortnite account on Nintendo Switch if you connected it to your Playstation 4.— James Darnell (@jamesdizarnell) June 12, 2018
You can't even unlink them. You HAVE to make a new Epic account to play on Switch if you connected to PS4.
Come on, Sony.
What say you, HotHardware readers? Is Sony being unreasonable here, or are we making a mountain out of a molehill?