PS4 and Xbox One cross-platform multiplayer added, summarily removed from Fortnite

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The cross-platform multiplayer question has loomed for a long time now. Rocket League was one of the first games to allow for cross play between PlayStation 4 and PC players, and the later, to allow for PC players to play with Xbox Ones. When the Nintendo Switch version of that games is out, it’ll allow PC, Xbox and Switch players to play together. It’s the same in Minecraft, which will soon allow those three platforms to unite. Sony seems to want no part in this.

The developers of the4se games have long asserted that the infrastructure was in place to allow cross consoles multiplayer to happen – all that it needed was Sony’s blessing and the virtual flipping of a Switch. That Switch was flipped in Epic’s early access, free-to-play shooter Fortnite. Over the weekend, many players on PS4 noticed they were playing with Xbox gamers. A revelation! Had Sony come to its senses and allowed everyone to play together?

Nope. It turns out it was a config error on epic’s part, and that cross-console multiplayer was a bug. One that has since been remedied.

“We had a configuration issue and it has now been corrected,” Epic told The Verge in a statement.

That leaves the oft-requested feature once again in Sony’s hands. Speaking of the feature earlier this year, Psyonix Vice President Jeremy Dunham said the reasons for its exclusion are political.

“Technically, I could make a phone call to Psyonix right now and it [PS4 cross-play] would be up and running before you left the room. The problem is just the political barrier that prevents it from happening.”

Sony has justified its apparent disinterest in cross-console play, hand waving it away, suggesting they were doing it for the children.

“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. 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.”

The removal of functional cross-console play from Fortnite honestly just makes Sony look bad here. Hopefully, consumers who’ve now seen that it works can make enough of a noise to have those political barriers removed.

Read  Today's Fortnite patch introduces in-game tournaments

for interest’s sake, here’s what Xbox’s Phil Spencer has had to say about it.

Last Updated: September 19, 2017

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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