Sony is blocking Fortnite cross-play between PS4 and Nintendo Switch players

Today, Nintendo announced during its E3 press conference that Epic Games’ smash hit Fortnite would be coming to the Switch console. Not only that, but the game is arriving today at 1PM ET on the Switch digital store. Given that Fortnite is a free-to-play game that is played entirely online and supports accounts syncing, that raises some interesting questions about whether Switch players will be able to cross-play with those on other platforms.

When asked, Epic Games PR representative Nick Chester confirmed on Twitter that the Switch version of Fortnite will support cross-play with Xbox One, PC, Mac, and mobile. Basically, you’ll be able to play with everyone but PlayStation 4 players. That aligns with past cross-play implementations between Xbox One, PS4, PC, and mobile, with Sony blocking other console platforms from playing with its own. You can cross-play between PS4, mobile, and PC.

Unfortunately, this also suggests that PS4 players of Fortnite won’t be able to log in to their Epic accounts on the Switch, meaning you won’t be able to have any weekly progress carry over or gain access to any of your skins or emotes. This is because your Epic account is tied up with your PSN username in most cases. For instance, you can’t log in to an Epic account tied to PSN on the Xbox One version of Fortnite, and it sounds like the same will be true for the Switch. Epic declined to comment, but we’ve reached out to Sony for more clarification on the subject.

Even just trying to sync an Xbox Live account to a PSN-connected Epic one will show you this message:

If you’re wondering why this is happening and what advantage it may provide Sony, it involves understanding how console exclusivity works. Basically, Sony sees its current lead in the console race as a competitive advantage to exploit, and any amount of leeway it sees as an existential threat to the PlayStation platform’s dominance.

Allowing players of multiplatform games who are using an Xbox One — or, in this case, a Nintendo Switch — to play with PS4 players undermines the reason the Sony ecosystem is so strong. Sony sells more consoles because it knows it has the largest player base, and those consumers in the market for a new home console are more likely to pick Sony’s if they know it’s the platform of choice for their friends and if it remains the only way to team up with their friends on games like Fortnite. This is why Sony blocked Fortnite cross-play with the Xbox One earlier this year and why the company blocked Rocket League and Minecraft PS4-Xbox One cross-play last year.

Last year, Sony gave a poor excuse for this strategy, dressing up its tactics as pro-consumer and even pro-children. Jim Ryan, head of global sales and marketing for PlayStation, told Eurogamer, “Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it’s something we have to think about very carefully.” Since Sony was called out for that statement, Microsoft has become increasingly agreeable on the subject of cross-platform console play, releasing strategic public statements about how open it is to reaching some sort of compromise.

“We’ve worked closely with Nintendo to allow cross-network play between Xbox One and Switch and our offer to do the same with PlayStation players still holds,” a Microsoft spokesperson said back in March, when the initial Fortnite cross-play debacle began. (That said, if Microsoft were winning the console race, it’d have been doing the same as Sony.)

Of course, you could always just switch over to PC, where you have more freedom to log in and play on any other platform. But for those players who started playing Fortnite on PSN and have tied that account and all of their in-app purchases to Epic’s system — like yours truly — you’re out of luck.

The best of E3 2018

Microsoft Xbox E3 2018 press conference 11
Sony E3 2018 press conference 5
Nintendo E3 2018 press conference 5
Electronic Arts E3 2018 press conference 5
Ubisoft E3 2018 press conference 6
Bethesda E3 2018 press conference 10
Hands-on 9
Interviews 11
News 10
Reports & Analysis 8

Comments

Sony sucks and they are very anti-competitive. It pains me that they are so popular.

It pains me that they are so popular.

It’s because of the "Xbox has no games", "Nintendo is for babies", and "PC is too expensive" mentally that PS4 users have.

No it’s not. It’s because the Xbox One was a shit show at launch. More expensive, less powerful and the lack of Sony’s first party. Plus the complete abomination that was their E3 showing.

Sure the Xbox One S and the X are great now but they lack the large player base of the PS4. And the other competition was the Wii U.

Completely agree!

What are your views on the Switch?

I think it’s pretty great. Takes everything that was great about Nintendo handhelds and presents it in a modern package. Previous hardware (Wii U and 3DS) always felt cheap and was held back by outdated hardware and awful touch screens. Not perfect but it’s well supported which is what previous consoles have lacked.

Xbox had the better exclusives for the first 2 years.. and was less powerful.

They now have less exclusives and are more powerful, the two sides switched but it doesn’t matter.

During its first year, the Xbox One wasn’t even available in large parts of Europe.

"Xbox has no games"

Lest we forget that it was always "PS3 has no games" during the 360/PS3 era, and then "PS4 has no games" even now. Those kinds of mentalities don’t come from the average console owner, they come from shitposters on the internets.

Big PS4-fan here, but I agree that this is a bad move on Sony’s part. It might change next generation, who knows.

I had a launch Xbox One and after a year broke down and bought my PS4. Was tired of every multi-plat game proven to play and look better on PS4. And honestly, the disparity of Xbox exclusives vs PS exclusives is so glaring that it doesn’t make sense to have Xbox as your primary console. Having never owned a PS3, I got the privilege of playing many of the crown jewels of that era in their remastered form, along with a steady stream of top tier new games unavailable on any other platform.
At this time I have all current consoles, although I basically gave the Xbone to my son and haven’t played that in well over 2 years. The Switch has some good things going for it, but I will primarily look to that for the exclusives. The PS4 is the workhorse for 3rd party and 1st party gaming for me.

Anyway.. point being I don’t agree with most of your point.. but Xbox has no games (outside of what’s available everywhere else) is a bit of an issue.

Xbox is better for multi platform games and online..All comes down to preference

I guess it depends on what your determination of ‘better’ is. I originally bought a PS4 specifically to play Destiny right before that launched. PS4 got substantial exclusive content and obviously has a much larger player base. Everyone I know that played Destiny played on PS4, which would have made playing it on Xbox a miserable experience for me.

If you are just talking about hardware performance, than sure the Xbox One X is a beast and will certainly outperform the PS4 Pro.

I will totally agree with you that Xbox Live is a far superior service to Playstation Network.

To be fair, the X1 really does have very few interesting exclusives, and, aside from Fallout 4 and Skyrim SE with mod support, most multi-platform games run better on the base PS4 than the base X1. I say this as a person who pre-ordered and owns both, and was overwhelmingly in favor of 360 last generation (122 physical games on 360 vs 28 on PS3), largely due to the uncomfortable controller and rough UI of the PS3. There simply hasn’t been a single X1 exclusive I’ve been interested in – bring back Fable and that will change. If my X1 died today, however, I probably wouldn’t replace it. If both consoles died, I’d get a PS4 Pro because of all the games I own, but if I were new to this generation, I’d probably get an X1X.

Same issue with the Switch, although there is less competition there, since one is a quasi-portable with significantly less processing power and thus catalogue overlap; but the moment the new Fire Emblem or the new SMT game come out (whichever is earlier), I’ll be buying one. But I’ll be buying it with the full knowledge that those two, along with Octopath Traveler, may very well be the only games of interested to me on the console. FE aside, Nintendo’s franchises just don’t really do it for me.

As for PC, my TV-connected box does main duty as a media-center/server, so playing multi-platform games on console is just less of a hassle – so I mainly just play games exclusive or in need of KB/M on it, like party-based RPGs or anything for the Rift.

So, from where I’m standing at least, Sony’s current dominance has less to do with anything they did, and more with everything MS didn’t do – if games play almost identically in two platforms, and one has exclusives and the other does not, people will naturally tend towards the former. Neither the Switch nor PC gaming present direct competition to either platform due to being to different: Nintendo is off doing its own thing like always, and there is almost no overlap in their game catalogues; PC gaming will always scare off the non-technical crowd (and conversely, have a strong pull on the technical crowd), and anyone wanting an Apple-like gaming experience, and there are enough exclusives on either side that for anyone interested in both, it becomes less of an either/or, can and more of a why-not-both situation.

Xbox has no (few) games I’m interested in. I’d rather a PC for those games.
Nintendo has only recently released the switch, which is awesome, but it’s not a PS4. They are different gaming experiences. I will be buying Switch, but it won’t have God of War or Last of Us 2, obviously.
PC is too expensive? No. PC is too much hassle.

PC is too much hassle.

This is the reason I stopped playing on PC. I work IT for a living.. I don’t enjoying doing it when I get home anymore.

Your "reasons" are from 2007. I can’t believe people upvoted you.

As a PS4 and Switch owner it really pissed me off that I can pick my switch up to play this when I’m not home but will have none of my stuff or my own friends to play with. Here’s a compromise if they really don’t wanna lose their concole lead. If you OWN a PS4 let us sign into the switch with our PSN IDs to authenticate that we own a PS4 console and PS+ so at least you aren’t burning the customers that DID buy your console

I actually really like the idea of logging in with the PSN ID to verify I own a PS4 to enable the cross-play. Sure it’s not completely open for full cross-play, but it at least allows those of us with PS4 and the Switch to play RL or Fortnite.

This is the worst idea ANYONE has ever given to Sony, because then it actually confirms they are doing it for anti-competitive reasons.

Sure it’s not great, but either way, Sony isn’t going to open cross-platform gaming on the PS4 ever. So as a compromise, it would be swell to allow games I own on PS4 to work on Switch or Xbox or PC. And I’m not advocating that they compromise. I think they should just open up cross-platform play. With the exception of exclusive titles, I cannot imagine game play is different of same titles.

It’s a bad idea because Sony would be admitting to anti-competitive practices.

Idk how it’s the worst. Technically Microsoft does this on mobile (and is supposed to be doing this on the switch) for Minecraft.

Logging in with your Microsoft account to allow for cross platform play. it makes sense, and you potentially get the option of cross platform achievements/trophies.

Logging in with an account to play a Microsoft owned game is fine, logging in with a PS account that MUST have an active PS4 association is VERY different.

You’re kind of grasping at straws at this point since there wouldn’t really be a reason to sign into your PSN unless you already owned a ps4, negating this entire argument in the first place.

Unless there’s a large majority of people out there binding their epic accounts to PSN and not owning the console (aka the only thing PSN accounts are for vs the multi use nature of a Microsoft account), it’s a pretty weak argument.

sure the ps+ thing that the person that you initially responded to , responded to would be too far IMO. However the person you did respond to did not mention ps+ which runs back around to the point that the only reason someone would have a psn account in the first place is because they own a PlayStation. any other reason to sign in with a psn account would be rather pointless.

This is the worst idea ANYONE has ever given to Sony, because then it actually confirms they are doing it for anti-competitive reasons.

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