In July, I wrote a column echoing what gamers have been saying for months: Sony needs to allow its gamers to play with those on the Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.
I’m happy to report that last week, Sony finally caved; “Fortnite” players can now play with others regardless of the consoles they play on, an uncommon feature in multiplayer games but one that will hopefully become the norm.
And what a game with which to launch this initiative, as “Fortnite” is the most popular game in the world. It completely depends on multiplayer, and it is a casual experience friends love playing together, making it the perfect game with which to break into crossplay. As an added bonus, you can carry your “Fortnite” account across consoles, meaning you won’t lose progress if you own an Xbox One and PS4 and decide to jump between both platforms to play the game.
Gamers have been clamoring for crossplay for months. I have an Xbox One, but most of my buddies game on the PlayStation 4. Cross-console multiplayer breaks down barriers and allows friends (and strangers) to compete or play with each other regardless of their console of choice, and it’s just so freeing.
Unfortunately, until recently, Sony opposed this idea. From a business perspective, Sony’s stance made a lot of sense. The PS4 is by far the most popular console, so why would Sony allow the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch to get a piece of its market?
But gaming is about competition and community. What better way to promote that than with crossplay? Apparently Sony has finally seen the light.
“For 24 years, we have strived to deliver the best gaming experience to our fans by providing a uniquely PlayStation perspective,” Sony President John Kodera wrote in a blog post announcing crossplay. “Today, the communities around some games have evolved to the point where cross-platform experiences add significant value to players. In recognition of this, we have completed a thorough analysis of the business mechanics required to ensure that the PlayStation experience for our users remains intact today, and in the future, as we look to open up the platform.”
The end of that statement has huge implications. If Sony truly “opens up,” it’s not farfetched to imagine one day being able to play “Destiny 3” or “Call of Duty: Black Ops IIIII” or whatever it will be against Xbox and PlayStation players alike.
Really, this should be a lesson to all of us: Gamers do have a voice, and what we say matters. Publishers are listening, and they’ll respond to the market.
And who knows? If Sony can stop being stubborn enough to allow crossplay, it’s possible the company will one day allow gamers to finally change their PlayStation usernames. Anything is possible!