Gamers would no doubt love to broaden the crop of available players to compete against by bringing the PS4 into the mix, but Sony has been reticent to such endeavors in the past. Microsoft has even reached out to Microsoft not only on Fortnite, but other cross-platform titles to no avail.
“Microsoft has long been a leading voice in encouraging the adoption of cross-platform play and the potential of connecting players across PC, mobile and all consoles,” said a Microsoft representative in an email to Kotaku regarding the lone holdout for Fortnite cross-play. “We’ve worked closely with Nintendo to allow cross-network play between Xbox One and Switch and our offer to do the same with PlayStation players still holds. For any other questions regarding ‘Fortnite’ cross-network play between Xbox and PlayStation, please reach out to Epic or Sony directly.”
While Sony hasn't decided to speak up on the matter, Epic Games said in a blog post over the weekend that "We’ve been working together with them over the last several months to make this possible, and will bring this functionality to Fortnite players on Xbox right along with other platforms.
"With each new platform we support and every update we ship, we strive to bring Fortnite to more people, and make it easier to play together with friends. And, as always, cross-play is opt in."
There's still hope that Sony might join the bandwagon at a later date, but we're not holding our breath until that time arrives. However, this isn't the first time that Sony has given the cold shoulder to efforts to enable cross-platform gaming with popular titles. The company has revoked invitations for cross-play with Minecraft and Rocket League.
Even with Fortnite, the capability for Xbox One and PS4 gamers to play side-by-side is possible, as witnessed by a "configuration issue" that allowed gamers from each respective camp to play against one another for a brief period of time last year before it was shutdown.
For its part, Sony claims that it must "think of the children" with regards to online play on its gaming console (at least with respect to Minecraft). "We've got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base. Minecraft—the demographic playing that, you know as well as I do, it's all ages but it's also very young," PlayStation marketing head Jim Ryan last summer. "We have a contract with the people who go online with us, that we look after them and they are within the PlayStation curated universe. Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it's something we have to think about very carefully."
We’re not so sure what Sony knows that we don’t that would make Minecraft gamers on the PS4 so different from those on Xbox One or with Fortnite on the respective platforms. Whatever the case, PS4 gamers are missing out on all the cross-play fun because of Sony’s stubbornness.