PlayStation gets Fortnite Xbox cross-play as Sony finally caves to user demand

Hell has frozen over. Probably. The day no one thought would occur has occurred. Today, Sony announced that it will support cross-play and cross-progression in Fortnite between Xbox One, PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS, and PlayStation 4. Cross-play has become a popular feature over the past year, and it's great to see a company like Sony — which commands a significant lead in console sales — cave to the mounting pressure.

A few weeks ago, even Bethesda said that it would forgo bringing games like The Elder Scrolls: Legends to PlayStation 4 if it couldn't utilize cross-play and cross-progression systems. However, the biggest hurdle came with Fortnite because many gamers were locked out of cross-progression on other platforms if they had even linked their Fortnite accounts to a PlayStation 4 in the past. Sony said the following on the PlayStation Blog this morning.

Following a comprehensive evaluation process, Sony Interactive Entertainment has identified a path toward supporting cross-platform features for select third-party content... The first step will be an open beta beginning today for Fortnite that will allow for cross-platform gameplay, progression, and commerce across PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Mac... 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 look to open up the platform. This represents a major policy change... and we are now in the planning process across the organization to support this.

Hopefully the Fortnite open beta goes smoothly so that cross-play and cross-progression happens between more games on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. We'll keep you posted as soon as we receive more information.

Cross-play and cross-progression is the future of the gaming industry and today's announcement may pave the way for games like Minecraft to be updated to the "Bedrock" version on Sony's platform. This is the right move even though it took a while to happen.

See Fortnite at Microsoft Store (opens in new tab)

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Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

  • Now we just need Xbox to unlock Fortnite (and all other online, F2P games) from behind the Xbox Live Gold paywall…And we'll be in business.
  • People that use XBL by standard will not notice f2p games being free or not. makes no sense to demand removal of paywalls from these games since f2p don't overtake games that require XBL, makes XBL a bigger must have overall. only if u are a complete offline player.. complaining makes sense.
  • Please don't defend Xbox's anti-consumer policy of locking online F2P games behind a paywall. Besides, its not about what people will or will not notice. Its about Xbox promoting themselves as wanting to break down barriers for gamers. For that self-promotion to be credible they need to break down the "locking online, F2P game" barrier in their own backyard.
  • u are another one of those that just don't get it. im not defending anything. its just unlogical for people that use XBL by standard to complain about this. I 100% agree it to be dropped for the offline players, that is where the anti consumer part comes in. all I see is people complaining that are most likely not offline players.. where is the sense in that.
  • Where's the sense in that? Sony & Nintendo can break down the barrier on F2P games…So there is no reason why Xbox shouldn't do the same. Especially since Xbox promotes itself as wanting to break down barriers. That would be a lie if they keep online F2P games behind a paywall. If we can call PlayStation out for its wrong doing, we should likewise call Xbox out for what they do wrong
  • so buy gold if you want online. your still useing xbox servers to initialy access the online game. as you showing your account is online and playing a game ;) thats what you pay for
  • Microsoft/Xbox has servers to pay for, and developers to pay to build an expanding xbox live service. Why should they not be able to charge customers for the use of those services? In your eyes, what makes F2P games any different from any other type of game that uses xbox live services?
  • They do indeed, and if epic games used any of Microsoft's backend you'd have a valid point. But they don't. Fortnite runs through it's own servers and costs Microsoft nothing. The only reason it's behind a paywall is because Microsoft don't want free competition, which is fine, it's their platform. But don't make up costs that don't exist to defend them.
  • You're right. I don't understand Fortnite's deal with Microsoft, or what services they do/do not use, but certainly you cannot say that it is absolutely free. Every time a user logs onto their xbox it needs to connect to various online services, updating your stats, keeping track of online friends, using VOIP chat (again, maybe fortnite uses their own voip services, I don't know), etc. Allowing millions of players to use these resources without any compensation does not sound very profitable. Asking Microsoft to incentivize developers to not use their services doesn't sound like a good plan for them either, does it? With all that said, Sony somehow makes it work, so it's always possible. My argument is merely that calling Microsoft's actions in this instance anti-consumer is ludicrous.
  • That's a spurious argument, without live gold access, those services wouldn't connect and wouldn't cost anything. That was my point. And I'd say it's fair to call it anti consumer... On the PC, PlayStation, Nintendo switch, Android and even iOS Fortnite is available without a subscription to the platform vendor. Only on Xbox do you have to pay Microsoft for literally nothing, how is that anything but anti consumer?
  • I see your point. You are saying that Fortnight should not be hooked into the XBL ecosystem so that it uses few or none of any of Microsoft's services. You don't want users be able to join their friends from the xbox menu, or to share images or vidoes of their gameplay, or to join Fortnite-related clubs, or be able to get online-related achievements, or to share their fortnite-related activity. Or You want Microsoft to eat the costs associated with these actions like Sony and Nintendo have (iOS and Android are irrelevant as they don't offer these gaming services). These are 'literally' services that users use in conjunction with their gaming. There are real costs associated with these.
  • I'm not saying Fortnite shouldn't be "hooked into" Xbox live, I'm saying it ISN'T. And yes Android does offer gaming services, i don't know about iOS because i don't use it, but it's likely it does too. You've already said you know nothing about how Fortnite works. Given that ignorance, which is evident, perhaps you should stop arguing about it. And besides, most of the things you listed shouldn't require a Microsoft server anyway, just an internet connection.
  • No, from what I gather fuzzylumpkin believes that xbox live does not produce enough value for him to justify having to pay for gold subscription to play Fortnite on xbox. He seems to believe that, in the instance of Fortnite, XBL 'literally' produces no value. I am of the opposite opinion: the services that XBL offers are worth it to play this and other games.
  • Actually what fuzzylumpkin is saying is that Gold shouldn't be required to play Fortnite online as it is a f2p game. For the extra benefits that Xbox Live Gold offers, you would need gold but it shouldn't actually be a requirement to play the game. It'd be like asking smartphone users to pay a subscription to be able to play freemium mobile games.
  • a lot of the things you list there are actually a part of Xbox Live Silver (or whatever the basic service is now), the free service Microsoft provides, so even if someone didn't pay for Gold, they would still have those perks (only thing I'm not sure about is clubs, whether they are gold specific or not.
  • basically sony can now say they have free online and full cross play for a game like Fortnight.
    Microsoft is in the corner making you pay to get online for fortnight...this will give an even bigger advantage to sony playstation now...although I guess Microsoft is more about Live subscriptions than console sales so they probably won't budge the way Sony did
  • Pretty much, now the advantage for casual players is Sony Playstation, this is definitely not going to sell Xbox consoles.
  • awesome, now Microsoft can return the favor and stop requiring Live Gold subscription to play Fortnight on xbox
  • and wht does sony charge for online games?
  • Fortnite is a free to play game, and Sony charges nothing to play it online.
  • "Following a comprehensive evaluation process" aka threats by third-party developers.
  • What I was thinking exactly.
  • Now we just need Microsoft to cave in and allow two things:
    1) Ability to play subscriptions based games that use their own servers online without having to pay for Xbox Live Gold
    2) Accept that the only servers will be the third party company cross play servers for a particular game and not demand their own servers Then we'll be in business for getting FFXIV on Xbox One.
  • Funny how Sony spins it into their liking by saying that they listened to the players, and doing it for the players :D they did it cause of all the negative press, and people putting pressure on them nonstop, not cause Sony wanted it. but hey.. baby steps is better than nothing. speaking to a friend at Sony, he said as a reminder that this is just a BETA and everything basically rides on the BETA's performance, while talks and figuring stuff out, how it can benefit them will still be an ongoing thing in general. with that personally thinks full support is still a long way off.
  • The floodgates have opened. There's no way Sony can exclude other developer from this now. The future of cross-play is a little brighter, especially if you take into account the keyboard+mouse on Xbox news from yesterday.
  • Finally had to fold. About time you bastards.
  • Eat that, Sony, and chew on it.
  • Greedy Pony finally succumbs to user demands. XD
  • good news for sure & not only for Fortnite...MP games like BFV,SWBFII,WoT etc can also have cross-play ...& crossplatform progress i hope