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Microsoft claims Sony is stopping Xbox One and PS4 cross-play

Microsoft claims Sony is stopping Xbox One and PS4 cross-play

March 13, 2018 | By Chris Kerr

Fortnite is the latest title to offer cross-play between multiple platforms, although much like its cross-play compatriots Minecraft and Rocket League, it won't be linking players on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. 

In fact, it seems every platform except PS4 and Xbox One will be connected, with Fortnite developer Epic revealing PS4, PC, Android, and iOS players will be able to duke it out together, before confirming that Xbox One users will be able to join those on PC, Android, and iOS. 

For whatever reason, there seems to be a spanner in the works when it comes to uniting players on those two particular home consoles, and Microsoft has again suggested that spanner is called 'Sony.'

Three days ago Xbox chief Phil Spencer hinted at Sony being responsible when one Twitter user told him "we really want cross-play system between Xbox One and PS4." Spencer replied with a rather telling "Me 2," before developer Epic added "We 3." 

In a follow-up statement sent to Kotaku, Microsoft firmly placed the ball in Sony's court, reiterating its desire to work with the company to make cross-play happen. 

"Microsoft has long been a leading voice in encouraging the adoption of cross-platform play and the potential of connecting players across PC, mobile and all consoles," reads the brief email statement. 

"We've worked closely with Nintendo to allow cross-network play between Xbox One and Switch and our offer to do the same with PlayStation players still holds. For any other questions regarding ‘Fortnite’ cross-network play between Xbox and PlayStation, please reach out to Epic or Sony directly."

Sony claims it's reluctant to take up that offer due to a "responsibility" to its own install base, with PlayStation's head of global marketing and sales, Jim Ryan, suggesting the company has to look after its own first and foremost

"We have a contract with the people who go online with us, that we look after them and they are within the PlayStation curated universe," he commented back in 2017. "Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it's something we have to think about very carefully."

In September last year, Fortnite players on both platforms were briefly able to play together when a "configuration issue" made cross-play between Xbox One and PS4 possible. The problem was swiftly fixed, however, and unless Sony changes its stance, that might be the only time we see both systems united. 

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