Sony has finally given the go-ahead to let PlayStation 4 Fortnite users play against their counterparts on all other platforms. In an announcement on the PlayStation Blog today, Sony Interactive Entertainment president and global CEO John Kodera announced the beginning of a Fortnite cross-platform "open beta" launching on the PS4.
"Following a comprehensive evaluation process, SIE has identified a path toward supporting cross-platform features for select third party content," Kodera said. "We recognize that PS4 players have been eagerly awaiting an update, and we appreciate the community's continued patience as we have navigated through this issue to find a solution."
He continued, "We see the beta as an opportunity to conduct thorough testing that ensures cross-platform play is best on PlayStation, while being mindful about the user experience from both a technical and social perspective."
PS4 players and third-party partners have been calling for cross-platform play for some time on titles like Ark: Survival Evolved and Rocket League that support it between other platforms. Even Microsoft and Nintendo used it to throw a bit of shade on the competition, collaborating on a Minecraft ad focused on Switch and Xbox One cross-platform capabilities.
The pressure on Sony to allow cross-platform play ramped up at E3 in June, when Epic Games launched Fortnite on the Switch. The game didn't allow users to play it with any Fortnite account that had previously been tied to the PS4 version, instead displaying an error message clearly placing blame for the situation on Sony.
Before today, Sony repeatedly shot down calls for cross-platform play, saying that keeping everything within its own ecosystem offered the best experience for users.
Kodera's statement today said that this move is just the beginning of a larger effort "to open up the platform."
"This represents a major policy change for SIE, and we are now in the planning process across the organization to support this change," Kodera said. "We will update the community once we have more details to share, including more specifics regarding the beta timeframe, and what this means for other titles going forward."