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Why PS4, Xbox One, And Switch Cross-Play May Not Happen

Fortnite, Minecraft, and Rocket League allow cross-play, but Sony have prevented it on PS4. We investigate why, and talk to industry experts about if and when this will change.

Cross-platform play--that is, the ability to play a game online with those on other platforms--has been one of the most buzzed-about topics in gaming in recent years, and that remains true today. While Microsoft and Nintendo have come to terms on cross-play between Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, letting players in games like Fortnite, Minecraft, and Rocket League connect with each other, Sony has not yet agreed to allow the same with PlayStation 4 and competing consoles. Is it just a matter of time before Sony plays ball and lets PS4 connect with its competitors? Or will it hold its ground and weather the PR storm? In a new GameSpot feature, producer and host Jess McDonell examines the situation from all the important angles.

As explored in the video above, Sony being painted as the kid in the sandbox who doesn't share their toys may indeed be accurate, but there is more to the story. Sony's decision to keep PS4 out of the cross-play mix may make sense for business reasons, but the company is taking a PR hit, the impact of which has only been growing in recent months.

Additionally, the profile of the story is elevated now because Epic's hugely popular battle royale game Fortnite is in the mix. Fortnite supports cross-play between Xbox One, Switch, PC, and mobile, but PlayStation 4 is left unable to play with Xbox or Switch. Worse still, PlayStation 4 Fortnite players are being locked out of their Fortnite accounts when trying to play on Switch due to Sony's policies.

Our new video feature covers these topics and more in detail. Also included in the video are comments and statements from Microsoft and Nintendo about their position on the cross-play matter.

Sony, however, did not respond to GameSpot's questions about the company's stance on cross-play, but the company has made its intentions known in the past through media interviews and previously released statements. Its initial response to the Fortnite situation was lackluster, leading to a later follow-up where it did provide some hope. However, an ex-Sony developer has suggested it all comes down to money.

We also spoke with Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, who shared his thoughts on if he believes Sony will ever enable cross-play between PS4 and other competing systems. EA, meanwhile, is talking about wanting to offer Fortnite's style of cross-play in its own games eventually.

What do you think will happen? Is cross-play important to you? Let us know in the comments below!