For months now, Fortnite players on PlayStation 4 have been unrestful regarding the lack of cross-play with Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. Sony has offered a couple of non-responses, but Sony chief executive Kenichiro Yoshida was more candid speaking to The Independent today.
When asked about the controversy, Yoshida offered the following:
“On cross-platform, our way of thinking is always that PlayStation is the best place to play. Fortnite, I believe, partnered with PlayStation 4 is the best experience for users, that’s our belief.”
There are a couple of ways to interpret this statement, none which would make Fortnite players happy. Sony, the current leader in console sales, is unwilling to give the go-ahead for a feature that has already been proven to work—thus, this statement from Yoshida may support the public narrative that Sony is anti-competitive.
Yoshida continues on:
“But actually, we already opened some games as cross-platform with PC and some others, so we decide based on what is the best user experience. That is our way of thinking for cross-platform.”
Yoshida doesn’t expand on why he’d rather have PlayStation 4 users interact with PC and mobile players and not Switch or Xbox players, making his earlier explanation a bit nonsensical.
And back on the subject of Sony’s competition, Yoshida states:
“I think competition is always good. Healthy, fair competition is always good for the industry and growth. I think competition with Nintendo and Xbox is a healthy situation.”
Ironically, it is cross-play that may lead to more growth in the industry—Microsoft and Nintendo are attempting to make that case, with their surprising Minecraft advertisement that heavily touted cross-play.
This cross-play controversy that began after Fortnite’s release on the Switch has passed its peak—with PlayStation continuing to lead in sales, and making little effort to address the issue for months, it is fair for players to not expect any change of heart. But while the cries of consumers may have fallen on deaf ears, pressure from high-profile developers like Bethesda may turn the tide in the near future.