Update: Looks like Epic Games accidentally enabled the feature and has now disabled. But it’s good to know how easy cross-play is to implement.
Fortnite is an interesting case study in game development, showcasing the rollercoaster ride that a title delayed for more than half a decade can experience once it finally releases. While Fortnite players were initially quite high on the third-person shooter, opinions quickly began to sour once fans discovered Fortnite‘s progression was very reminiscent of free-to-play mobile games. While mobile games frequently find success with energy bars, refills, and cooldown timers, console and PC gamers usually have more time to dedicate to each play session – meaning the wait can be extremely frustrating.
Fortnite might also mark the beginning of a new era in modern gaming, however, even if that accolade doesn’t directly relate to its actual gameplay. Epic Games quietly implemented cross-play support to the title today, and it was a surprising feature addition, as Fortnite now supports cross-platform play between Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One.
The notion of cross-play might not be new, but Sony fans would be forgiven for thinking it is – Sony has famously maintained quite a distance from the notion of partnering with Microsoft, despite the latter company’s standing invitation for cross-platform partnerships. It’s strange that Fortnite would be the game that breaks Sony’s recent abstinence from cross-platform play, and it’s even stranger that the rollout for the feature has been so subdued, but multiple reports have seemed to confirm that it’s a fully-fledged feature that is live now for all players.
For Fortnite players, the sudden cross-platform viability between PS4 and Xbox One fans might be just what the game needs to slog through its post-launch malaise. With a Battle Royale mode coming that will attempt to mimic the success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the ability for friends who own different consoles to play together might be enough to carve out a place for a title in Fortnite that has been largely disappointing since its release, despite several compelling features.
Fortnite is out now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.