With Fortnite releasing on the Nintendo Switch this week, a lot of us are noticing something we didn’t realize when we first jumped on the battle bus: Sony locks your Epic Account to their console edition of Fortnite. That’s right; if you ever used your Fortnite account on PlayStation, you won’t be allowed to use the account on Xbox or Nintendo Switch, thereby disabling any semblance of Fortnite crossplay in one account. This is upsetting to a lot of Nintendo Switch users who were ready for non-touch controls, on-the-go Fortnite, but are now having to create a brand new account in order to play.
It comes as no surprise that Sony is against crossplay for its console. As seen when Minecraft released their better together update, with Sony stating they would not be taking part in the update. The reasoning for this was that they didn’t want to open the door to crossplay with other consoles. Sony has been aggressive with their competition with Microsoft when it comes to consoles, but it was only up until recently that this console war has felt neck-to- neck. Nintendo joining the battle with the Switch still means little for Microsoft and Sony, which is part of the issue with Sony’s “closed borders” policy.
Currently, at the time of this article, Sony allows crossplay on Fortnite for mobile and PC, not other consoles. Using the same account on all three platforms means you can rack up rewards to the same place, and still use the same unlocks on all three. As for the other consoles that are not allowed crossplay, once your Fortnite account is linked to your PlayStation account, you’ll no longer be able to use that account on that other console. When it comes to the Xbox, this makes sense, as it is also a home console serving about the same purpose. For the Nintendo Switch, now that it has joined the battle bus, it is also on the other console list. This is leaving a lot of angry fans, myself included, as the Nintendo Switch’s portability puts it in a different class than a home gaming console. Being able to play Fortnite on a console away from home is possible now thanks to the Switch, unless you also played on a PlayStation 4.
Here is why I have an issue with this; Sony is overstepping its bounds way too much with this. I’ve tested it, and you don’t need PlayStation Plus to play Fortnite, but if a trade off for this is that I can never use my account on a different console afterwards; I might as well sign a contract with the devil. I get if Epic games, the creator of Fortnite, had to okay this as a way to allow for its software to be available for PlayStation users, but it simply isn’t fair. This means players have to create a different account just for their Nintendo Switch or Xbox, not something you want when you are completing missions for gear, or paying 10 dollars for a Battle Pass. A bypass for this lock being included in the 10 dollar Battle Pass would at least make sense, but to flat out lock an account for life to only one console version is outrageous.
What does this mean for Sony? I’m not sure if an issue with Fortnite play is enough to knock PlayStation out of being the leader of the console wars. I do, however, think this means we’ll all be watching Sony carefully. For a lot of fans, it seems Sony will be on thin ice for awhile, being the only one to keep its players out of the growing craze of crossplay. Being able to play a video game with friends on three different systems at once was something I dreamed about in 2013, and here we are five years later, dreams coming true. Am I going to let Sony stand in my way? Yes. Have you played any of their exclusives? There is a reason they are leading the war. But with the increasing ease of everyone being able to share experiences together on different systems, Sony might become the grumpy old man in the corner.