In a ground-breaking shift, Fortnite will allow cross-platform play to occur between not only PC and Xbox One players, but now also with PS4 players. For years there have been negotiations to allow the gaming community to experience titles online together, whether this was through Call of Duty, Battlefield or even EA Sports titles. All have been fruitless on a large scale until now!
Theories and rumours surrounding cross-platform play have been echoed around social media and online forums for months if not years, but nothing had ever been concrete or absolute. In what can only be described as a mammoth step in the online gaming sector sony released a statement about this new path for the tech giant. Part of the Sony Interactive Entertainment statement reads
“For 24 years, we have strived to deliver the best gaming experience to our fans by providing a uniquely PlayStation perspective. 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 have completed a thorough analysis of the business mechanics required to ensure that the PlayStation experience for our users remains intact today, and in the future, as we look to open up the platform.”
This decision centres around the exponential growth of Fortnite and has been a feature many have been longing for since its increased popularity over the past year. They state that due to the levels of growth these games have experienced, allowing cross-platform play for players, would only directly improved their overall gaming experience.
When Will Cross-Platform Play Start?
The simple answer as to when players can test out cross-platform play for themselves is now! A trail Beta phase has will be live from today (26th September 2018). The main goal of this Beta is to test out the servers capabilities and overall performance and optimisation levels. The idea that gamers across all devices can enjoy a game regardless of platform, is a revolutionary step forward in the gaming industry. One, of which, will hopefully set a precedent for future franchises and may evolve into being able to play Call of Duty or other widely popular titles with your friends on Xbox or PC irrespective to the device used. This incredible shift extends to all Fortnite players, whether on the console, PC, laptop or smart device, the future of gaming is now!
— Xbox (@Xbox) September 26, 2018
The concern does not stop at the technical constraints, but there will also be social parameters that need to be closely observed. This new type of online interaction, hopefully, will bring all players together, but any account of communities being ostracised will have to be addressed with the utmost regard.
The update to open up this Beta may be only a client-side one, so this will likely just be a new feature/setting we will see added into the game. But, of course, improvements to both the interface and functionality of this Cross-Platform Play feature will be optimised over time.
This perhaps has been in the works for some time as undoubtedly the infrastructure needed to support such a shift would be large. It also comes at a time, somewhat fitting for Fortnite as they have recently just celebrated their 1-year anniversary for the Battle Royale Mode. This news also falls just a day before the start of Season 6 within Fortnite. This game seems to be smashing and setting new boundaries in terms of what is achievable for the global gaming market. We are excited to see where it takes us next.