Fortnite cross-play between the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One is not just a possibility. It is also "inevitable," according to Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney.
Sweeney, speaking at the 2018 Game Developers Conference, said that with the launch of Fortnite Mobile, there are now 36 potential cross-play pairings between platforms for Fortnite. Only one of the possible pairings is not allowed, but the Epic Games CEO believes that PlayStation 4 and Xbox One cross-platform play will finally happen soon.
'Fortnite' Cross-Platform Play For PS4, Xbox One
In September last year, Fortnite made history when it unintentionally enabled Fortnite cross-play between the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. The accident was fixed almost immediately, but it proved that the feature was possible.
Microsoft, after failing to convince Sony to allow cross-platform play with Rocket League and Minecraft, called out its rival once again to enable the feature for Fortnite. Sony, however, has held its ground, blocking Fortnite players on the PlayStation 4 to join matches with friends on the Xbox One.
Sweeney, at GDC 2018, remained enthusiastic about the cross-play opportunities for Fortnite. The Epic Games CEO said that enabling cross-platform play for Fortnite, as well as for other multiplayer games, will be "one of the best things to ever happen to the console industry." Sweeney then referred to Metcalfe's Law, which states that bigger networks provide users with better experiences.
Sweeney then said that cross-play between the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One is "inevitable," as games have transformed into social experiences, similar to how users use platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
"For Sony and Microsoft to support their customers well they have to be open to all their customer's friends — their real world friends — otherwise they're breaking up real-world social groups," Sweeney said. "It's got to come together now. That one remaining barrier will inevitably come down."
Should Sony Finally Give In?
It is actually understandable that Sony has stood firm on its decision to block cross-platform play between the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. The company has no incentive to enable the feature because there are more PlayStation 4 units out there compared to Xbox One units. If gamers want to play with their friends, they have a better chance of being able to do so by buying a PlayStation 4 instead of an Xbox One.
However, if any game could make that barrier fall, it might be Fortnite, which has exploded in popularity with its free-to-play Battle Royale mode.
The PlayStation 4 offers much better exclusives compared to the Xbox One, so it will likely still sell better than its rival console even if cross-platform play becomes a reality. Do it, Sony — create a world of unified gamers.