Fortnite, a sandbox survival video game, made history as the first game to allow cross-platform play between the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.
One of the defining moments of the video game industry for the year, however, was actually an accident, as developer Epic Games quickly disabled cross-platform play between the two consoles after it realized its mistake.
Fortnite Briefly Allows PS4, Xbox One Cross Platform Play
At the Fortnite subreddit, a Redditor narrated his discovery of cross-platform play for the game. While playing Fortnite on the PlayStation 4, he noticed that the opponent who killed him had the gamertag "zCypher Nine." The gamer tag looked ordinary, but it was actually impossible for PlayStation 4 players because PlayStation Network IDs are not allowed to have spaces.
The Redditor failed to find his opponent on the PlayStation Network when he substituted an underscore for the space, so he followed his hunch and logged in to his Xbox One. Sure enough, zCypher Nine was a registered Xbox Live ID, proving the existence of cross-platform play between the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.
An Epic Games representative said that the incident was nothing more than a configuration issue, and that it has now been fixed. This means that the Fortnite feature was unintentionally enabled, closing the door on the wonders of cross-platform play between the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One almost as soon as it was opened.
PS4, Xbox One Cross Platform Play Possible, But Not Allowed
Fortnite allows PlayStation 4 and PC gamers to play together, but before the accident, there was no instance of such a thing for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gamers.
The unintentional cross-platform play between PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gamers on Fortnite reveals that enabling the feature is actually easy for developers to do, with one example being Psyonix stating that all it needed to enable Rocket League cross-platform play was approval from Sony.
However, that is where the problem lies. While cross-platform play has been open between the Xbox One, Windows PC, and even Nintendo Switch platforms, Sony has largely kept the PlayStation 4 platform out of the equation.
In June, PlayStation executive Jim Ryan said that while Sony is open to discussions regarding cross-platform play, it remains hesitant to enable the feature due to uncertainties with security issues, particularly concerning children.
Microsoft said in August that it is still trying to make PlayStation 4 and Xbox One cross play happen through discussions with Sony. However, given that the PlayStation 4 is at the top of the industry, there is no solid reason for Sony to agree to cross-platform play, as its users can simply be forced to buy its console if they want to play with their friends.