Yesterday we reported that Fortnite players were experiencing cross-play for the first time between Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles. It was a shining moment of hope that has now been dashed for the foreseeable future. As it turns out, this cross-play was an “error” that has since been corrected.
Fortnite's developers, Epic Games, stated that there was a configuration error that allowed for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players to join each others matches. They swiftly corrected it, which has incited the cross-play conversation once again. Xbox Head Phil Spencer actually commented on Fortnite's cross-play oops directly. His reaction was sad, mentioning that he wished it could have been left active.
This comment from Spencer isn't unexpected. He's mentioned specifically that he would love to see cross-play happen between the Xbox and PlayStation consoles. It's Sony, the PlayStation creators, that are the only stick in the mud. It's unusual too, since Sony Interactive Entertainment's Jim Ryan has stated outright that Sony isn't against cross-play. He goes on to quote commercial concerns, but essentially it all seems to boil down to some kind of internal politics.
Many game developers have tried to make it clear in recent months that cross-play would be super easy to integrate. Many games already have it available within their titles, they just need the go-ahead to make it active. This mix-up with Fortnite just proves how truthful these other developers are being. If it's easy enough for cross-play to happen unbeknownst to the developers, it could clearly happen intentionally.