Cross-platform play is coming to all Fortnite platforms, with transferable progression and purchases.
Unless you are hopping from Xbox One to PlayStation 4.
Cross-platform play has been demanded by players for quite some time. With gamers being spread among various console and PC platforms, it is often difficult for friends to set aside their console war differences and simply play a game together. While developers have been on board with this idea, often having cross-play built in preemptively as seen with Fortnite’s accidental enabling of the feature back in September, Sony has been notoriously resistant to the feature. But alas, it seems Fortnite has made a breakthrough.
Alongside the recent announcement that Fortnite is coming to mobile, Fortnite also announced that cross-platform play will be coming to PlayStation and Xbox. News covering the announcement has been a bit scattered since the PlayStation announcement fell under the mobile announcement, and the Xbox announcement came two days later. But alas, it is what it is, the dust has settled, so here is the full story:
Cross-platform play, progression, and purchases will be enabled among “PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, iOS and eventually Android”, as well as “between Xbox One, PC, Mac, iOS and (in the next few months) Android.” Notice that these are two separate lists, with PlayStation and Xbox One staying in separate corners. There’s a reason for that.
While Epic Games hasn’t given the full details yet, it seems players will have to choose team Sony or team Microsoft after all. A player with a Microsoft account will not be able to transfer their progress to, or play with a Sony account, and vice versa. While this is disappointing news for friends who sit on opposite sides of the Sony/Microsoft fence, it is still a significant step forward in the push for cross-play.
It is not clear yet where PC gamers will sit in this cross-fire. Will PC players who link their account to one team be able to play with PC players from another team? Will existing PC progress be transferable to a console, or does progress have to originate from a console account? These are problems that have occurred in previous cross-platform games, and there is certainly a chance these issues can arise here as well. As of right now, the details of Fortnite’s cross-platform play are uncertain, aside from the promise that it will be an opt-in feature.
As I mentioned, this isn’t the first time a game has enabled cross-platform play, but with the recent push from gamers to see more of the feature, coupled by the booming popularity of Fortnite, all eyes are on this development to see if other big name developers will push for cross-platform play in their own games. Games like Monster Hunter: World, Destiny 2, and even upcoming games like BioWare’s Anthem could benefit immensely from such a feature. So while this initial trip with Fortnite may be a bumpy ride, fraught with caveats and compromises, it could potentially pave the way for a more open gaming experience in the future.
What do you think? Is Fortnite’s cross-platform play truly a breakthrough? Or do you believe it is simply one more battle in the ongoing pissing match between consoles? Let us know in the comments, or find us on Facebook and Twitter.
If you want to learn more about the history of cross-platform play in Fortnite, check out this article.