After months of resisting cross-play, Sony has finally given Fortnite players on PS4 the ability to play with those on other consoles. The platform’s cross-play open beta is now live, just in time for Season 6, enabling “gameplay, progression, and commerce” in Epic’s massively popular battle royale game across PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices.
This move marks a dramatic reversal in Sony’s stance on cross-play. The company has come under fire over the past few months for not allowing Fortnite players to play with and share their progress across platforms, despite that functionality being available in other versions of the game. Sony’s response to the issue was that PS4 was simply the best place to play, suggesting that there was no need to allow cross-play with other platforms, but fans and other video game industry leaders were unsatisfied by the company’s answer.
Sony announced its change of heart in a post on the PlayStation Blog. “Following a comprehensive evaluation process, SIE has identified a path toward supporting cross-platform features for select third party content,” Sony Interactive Entertainment president John Kodera wrote. “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.”
It’s currently unclear just how long this “extended open beta” will last, but its timing is quite fortuitous. Season 6 of Fortnite is scheduled to begin on Thursday, September 27, so players will be able to play with and continue their progress on other platforms. This is especially handy, as each season, Epic introduces a new Battle Pass for purchase, which can be leveled up to unlock special cosmetic items and other rewards.
As for what we can expect from Season 6, Epic hasn’t shared many concrete details about the new season, but the company has dropped a series of images teasing what are presumably new skins in the lead up to it. All of the images also seem to feature the infamous purple cube in the background, which recently sank in Loot Lake and turned it purple and bouncy. What this portends for Season 6 remains to be seen, but players won’t have to wait much longer to find out.