Sony working on ‘solution’ to PlayStation 4 crossplay fiasco

As Epic Games’ Fortnite has exploded in popularity, the free-to-play battle royale mode’s cross-platform play has become a major draw. Whether you’re on PC, mobile, or console, you can play together, but one system has stood in the way of it being fully connected: The PlayStation 4. Sony, however, appears to be preparing a solution to please frustrated players.

Answering a question from Eurogamer regarding Sony’s continued restriction of crossplay with other consoles, Sony Interactive Entertainment American CEO Shawn Layden didn’t outright point to a specific change being made, but his words do point to something happening.

“We’re looking at a lot of possibilities. You can imagine that the circumstances around that affect a lot more than just one game,” Layden said during the Gamelab conference in Spain. “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.”

As of now, crossplay for PlayStation 4 is limited. Games like Rocket League support play between PlayStation 4 and PC players, while Fortnite supports play between PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, and iOS. Xbox One and Switch players can also play together in Fortnite alongside PC, Mac, and iOS, but they can’t play with PlayStation 4 players — this isn’t a technical issue, as the feature was accidentally enabled by Epic Games last year.

A larger issue, however, was discovered when players attempted to load up Fortnite on Switch for the first time. They discovered that if their Epic Games account had previously been associated with a PlayStation console, they were unable to use it on the Nintendo Switch and would have to create an entirely new one to play on the console.

Microsoft and Nintendo played up this controversy in a recent advertisement for Minecraft, which now supports crossplay between Switch and Xbox One. Both consoles — but not the PlayStation 4 — were featured in the commercial.

According to former Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley, Sony’s internal reason for not enabling crossplay is the loss of revenue from players choosing other consoles. As public perception of Sony changes over the recent crossplay issues, perhaps the threat of reduced sales could be enough for the company to reverse its decision.

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