Sony is finally enabling full cross-platform multiplayer for Fortnite on PS4, about three months after locking out accounts on the then-new Switch version brought the issue to a head. The company announced its decision on the PlayStation Blog today, and though it cautions that its approach to cross-platform is still in "beta," the great opening of the gates officially begins now.
Though Fortnite has let players play with their friends across multiple platforms for a while, it still doesn't do so automatically; you'll need to specifically seek out and enable cross-platform Fortnite matches. The blog post also confirms that the both cross-play between console families and cross-progression will be supported, meaning you should no longer be forced to create a second account to play on Switch or Xbox One if you already linked your Epic account to PS4 or vice versa. That's the idea, anyway - I tried it and Fortnite still gave me an error when I logged into the Switch version with a PS4-associated account. I've asked Epic if it knows if/when that error will be addressed and I'll update this story when I hear back.
Update: The error has been fixed! I was able to load up my PS4-associated account on Switch just fine. Not only that, Epic says there will be a solution for players who want to reconcile multiple accounts now that every platform's getting along - though it will take a bit to arrive.
1) An account-merging feature to combine Battle Royale purchases, coming in November.2) Enabling unlinking a console from one Fortnite account, and relinking to another Fortnite account. Coming in a few days.September 26, 2018
"For 24 years, we have strived to deliver the best gaming experience to our fans by providing a uniquely PlayStation perspective," Sony Interactive Entertainment boss John Kodera wrote in the blog post. "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."
Kodera added that this is "a major policy change for SIE" and the company is working out how to make changes across its entire organization to support this approach going forward. Neither Xbox nor Nintendo made it sound like it was such an ordeal to support cross-platform multiplayer without messing up their own online affairs, but I'm just happy that Sony has finally embraced this modern convenience. The official Xbox Twitter account seems pleased too.
So far, Fortnite is the only game Sony has confirmed will receive full cross-platform multiplayer support. However, Kodera talking about this being a "policy change" definitely makes it sound like it will come to other games that support cross-platform multiplayer, like Minecraft and Rocket League. And with all three of the big console makers now open to the concept, maybe we'll start seeing more games support cross-platform multiplayer from the get-go. It would be pretty cool to play Red Dead Online with all your PS4 and Xbox One friends, don't you think?
Take a look through our list of upcoming PS4 games and see what else you think would benefit from cross-platform multiplayer support.