Epic's push to bring its hit multiplayer title Fortnite to as many people as possible will be given a lift by the introduction of cross-platform play. However, while PC, Mac and mobile will be compatible with all platforms, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 gamers will not be able to play together.
The announcement of cross-platform play arrived two days after Epic confirmed that it would launch Fortnite Battle Royale for both iOS and Android. At that time, the company said that the mobile version would, "support Cross Play and Cross Progression between PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, iOS and eventually Android."
Xbox One was notably absent from that list, but a new blog post from Epic clarified that Xbox One will support not just cross-play and cross-progression between Xbox One, PC, Mac, iOS and Android, but also cross-purchase.
"Contrary to what may have been implied, Microsoft has long been a leading voice in supporting cross-platform play, connecting players across PC, mobile and all consoles," Epic said. "We've been working together with them over the last several months to make this possible, and will bring this functionality to Fortnite players on Xbox right along with other platforms.
"With each new platform we support and every update we ship, we strive to bring Fortnite to more people, and make it easier to play together with friends. And, as always, cross-play is opt in."
The confusion apparently rests in the fact that these cross-platform features apply across all versions of the game, but they break down when it comes to Xbox and PlayStation working together. This has also happened with Minecraft, Ark: Survival Evolved and Rocket League in the past, and in each case the definitive factor has been Sony's reluctance.
The same appears to be true here. When Xbox boss Phil Spencer was told on Twitter thaat Xbox gamers wanted to see cross-platform play between Xbox One and PlayStation users, he replied, "Me 2." Later in the same email thread, the official Fortnite Twitter account said, "Me 3" - images of both tweets can be seen on Gamespot.
In September last year, a technical error meant that Xbox and PlayStation users were allowed to play Fortnite together for a brief weekend. At the time, Phil Spencer stated that, "I would have liked to see them leave it on."