If you've been paying attention to news around Epic Games' online shooter Fortnite recently, you'll be aware of a cross-play snafu that temporarily let Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players play together. Alas, after a pretty positive reaction from the community, it was not meant to be. Epic Games later confirmed that the temporary harmony between two disparate pools of players came down to a configuration problem.
But it wasn't just the larger Fortnite community that was loving the change. Responding to a follower on Twitter, Microsoft's Xbox (and, now, overall gaming) boss Phil Spencer said he would have liked to see them leave it on as well.
Spencer's comments reflect what seems to be the general attitude of the Xbox team towards the prospect of cross-platform play. Minecraft, for example, is enabling cross-play between Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and mobile platforms with it's Better Together update. Similarly, Rocket League will allow Xbox One and PC players to play with Nintendo Switch gamers when it hits Nintendo's portable console later this year.
So far, at least from the outside, Sony has been the sole outlier in rejecting the idea of cross-network play with Xbox One wherever it has been proposed. For its part, Sony chalks its decision up to protecting young players on its network. Despite those concerns, Xbox marketing chief Aaron Greenberg recently confirmed it is still in talks with Sony about allowing cross-play.
If anything, the Fortnite bug showed that players are pretty keen on the idea of merging online player pools with cross-platform play. Further, it showed that it wouldn't take all that much effort to enable either — at least in the case of Fortnite.
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