We're not ones to look a gift horse in the mouth, but when it comes to cross-play support in Fortnite, Sony needs to get its story straight on why exactly it has it taken so long to finally embrace the gamer-friendly feature. Were there technical barriers that stood in the way, or weren't there? The latest comments by Sony Worldwide Chairman Shawn Layden suggest it's the latter, even though that's not what Sony said before.
Layden participated in a recent PlayStation blogcast, episode 308 titled "Wooooo!" At around the 12-minute 50-second mark, Layden talked about supporting cross-play in Fortnite on the PlayStation 4, a feature that gamers have been clamoring for, especially since Sony stood as the lone holdout until just the other day.
"We want to be able to deliver that in the best way possible. Now, enabling cross-play isn't just about flipping a switch and 'there you go'. It's a very multli-dimensional kind of attribute or feature," Layden said. So we had to look at it from a technical point of view, we have to work with our partners from a business point of view, we have to make sure that if we enable this, do we have the right customer service support, do we have the right messaging out there, do we have all these different things that you have to get in line. It’s rather ordinal; they have to go in a certain order to get them all set up."
Layden's explanation sounds reasonable enough, except for two things. One, every other platform has been able to leap over the technical hurdles that apparently have been standing in Sony's way. And two, his comments contradict what Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said at IFA 2018 earlier this year.
In an interview with Indendent, Yoshida essentially touted what he believes is the PlayStaton 4's superiority to other consoles.
"On cross-platform, our way of thinking is always that PlayStation is the best place to play," Yoshida said. "Fortnite, I believe, partnered with PlayStation 4 is the best experience for users, that's our belief."
Yoshida never mentioned any technical barriers, only that the PS4 is the best place to play Fortnite. He also took things a step further by flat out denying any technical barriers. "But actually, we already opened some games as cross-platform with PC and some others, so we decide based on what is the best user experience. That is our way of thinking for cross-platform," Yoshida added.
To Sony's credit, it did finally cave, perhaps tiring of the noise from the public outcry—Layden claims the issue has been taking up "probably 65 percent" of his Twitter feed. No longer the lone holdout, Sony is now beta testing cross-play between the PS4 and all major platforms, including the Xbox One, Windows PC, Mac, Android, and iOS.