The release of Fortnite on Nintendo Switch was inevitable but still a very welcome bit of E3 news - especially with the whole "it's out now" angle. However since that time the headline has turned into Sony backlash in a very strange case that all but erases the PlayStation 4's "for the players" tagline. And has even caused the company's share price to fall.
It's no secret that Sony are against cross-platform play between consoles, going so far as to hide its reasoning for not supporting the idea behind technological shortcomings and the idea that it needs to protect its player-base from the scourge of the internet. As the market leader, Sony's PlayStation 4 doesn't really need to embrace cross-platform play. Not in the same way, say, Microsoft has with Minecraft.
Although the developer behind the most popular game in the world right now, Epic Games, notes that cross-play is simply a matter of flicking a switch - Sony haven't budged in the slightest. With Fortnite cross-play available between PC, iOS, Android, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
With the release of Fortnite on the Switch we now learn that Sony is in effect actively blocking the mere concept of players being able to share anything between consoles. This means that a Fortnite account, once logged-in on a PlayStation 4 is then forever tied to that platform. No Xbox One, no Switch. In comparison a Fortnite account can log in and play on iOS, Android, PC, Nintendo Switch, or Xbox One. But, once logged into a PS4 - Nintendo Switch and Xbox One are no longer platforms you can play on. So no in-game purchases carry over, forcing players to create new secondary accounts.
The is a PlayStation 4 specific issue.
Sony shares fell 2 percent once the news gained widespread attention, with many instances of players claiming to have "played once" on PS4, spent money on items, and are now locked-out of playing on Nintendo Switch. In a statement to BBC News
, a Sony spokeswoman said the following.
"We're always open to hearing what the PlayStation community is interested in to enhance their gaming experience, with more than 80 million monthly active users on PlayStation Network, we've built a huge community of gamers who can play together on Fortnite and all online titles."
"We also offer Fortnite cross-play support with PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, expanding the opportunity for Fortnite fans on PS4 to play with even more gamers on other platforms. We have nothing further to add beyond this at this point."
Naturally, this only inflamed the situation as by omission creates the impression that Sony views Nintendo and Microsoft platforms as competitors first and foremost. And that cross-play or communication between hardware is not only not going to happen anytime soon, but players will be punished for deciding to play a game on a console that isn't a PlayStation 4.