Fortnite, the biggest name in the Battle Royale genre, launched on Switch on Wednesday. Whilst by all accounts it’s a great port that brings all the fun of Fortnite to the Switch, I wouldn’t know, because when I downloaded it and tried to log in, this happened.
Yes, without warning, it turns out that any Epic Account that has been used on a PS4 is incompatible with the new Nintendo Switch port. This means that any progress you have made in Fortnite on the PS4 is essentially locked to that system, and cannot be played on the Switch version. This is not the first time that Sony has been hostile to the concept of cross-platform play. For example, the PS4 version of Rocket League and Minecraft have very limited forms of cross platform interactivity compared to other platforms.
From all indications, this problem is on Sony’s end; none of the other platforms, including Xbox One, mobile or PC, prevent your account from working on the new Switch port. In response to demands for clarification about the issue, Sony have released this response:
”We’re always open to hearing what the PlayStation community is interested in to enhance their gaming experience. Fortnite is already a huge hit with PS4 fans, offering a true free-to-play experience so gamers can jump in and play online. With 79 million PS4s sold around the world and more than 80 million monthly active users on PlayStation Network, we’ve built a huge community of gamers who can play together on Fortnite and all online titles. We also offer Fortnite cross-play support with PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, expanding the opportunity for Fortnite fans on PS4 to play with even more gamers on other platforms.”
Whilst some response is better than nothing, it doesn’t really answer the question of why PS4 players can’t use their accounts on the Nintendo Switch. PS4 Fortnite players are able to use their accounts on other systems that Fortnite is available on, but weirdly not the Switch. Seemingly, the only solution for PS4 players wanting to try out the new port is to set up a new account with a new email address and start from scratch.
It remains to be seen as to whether the decision will be reversed and full cross-platform play will be supported on the PS4. However, Sony’s prior activity wouldn’t suggest that it’s very likely. This whole situation is very bizarre, and puts PS4 players at a disadvantage and limits what other consoles they can play Fortnite on.
Whilst Sony is allowed to do these things in order to protect their brand, cross-platform play is only becoming more popular. Sony’s holding the PS4 back with arbitrary restrictions on playing with gamers on other platforms will likely only hurt them in the long run.