Nintendo COO addresses Sony's 'Fortnite' controversy

Judy Cobb
June 15, 2018

We're always open to hearing what the PlayStation community is interested in to enhance their gaming experience. Fortnite for the Nintendo Switch was released earlier this week, and like the Xbox One port before it, gamers are unable to compete against those on PlayStation 4 (although all consoles can play against gamers on the PC, macOS and iOS). The game was downloaded over two million times in its first 24 hours on the hybrid console.

While the PS4 version of Fortnite does support cross-play on PC, Mac, and mobile devices, Sony seems to have no interest in working out a deal with Nintendo or Microsoft to make console cross-play a reality as well.

Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime said during an interview with FOX Business' Liz Claman that his company has not reached out to Sony regarding the problems with "Fortnite".

"This "Fortnite" account is associated with a platform which does not allow it to operate on Switch", the game said. Neither the Fortnite website nor Epic Customer Service are able to change this.

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Many fans are understandably upset. This is especially problematic for players who started playing Fortnite on PS4 and were hoping to continue on a different platform, as they can't carry any of their progress over. Any progression they've made in the game, like completing challenges, won't transfer as well.

Soon after that was discovered, gamers took to Twitter and forums across the Internet to criticize Sony's move. NPD analyst Mat Piscatella notes on Twitter that 40 percent of Switch owners in the U.S. also own a PS4, meaning this isn't likely to be a small-scale problem among the tens of millions of Fortnite players.

This mirrors a similar controversy when Sony refused to allow crossplay when Microsoft attempted to push Minecraft to be united on all platforms.

"We've got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base", PlayStation global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan said at the time. The company could have decided it doesn't want to build the infrastructure/code required to support cross-console play, or it could simply want to keep as many people in the PlayStation Plus ecosystem as possible. You may end up having to if it's important to you to be able to play anywhere, but this isn't a choice players should be having to make, not in this day and age. Shares have slid over 2% since the announcement.

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