Sony caves to pressure, allows cross-play on PlayStation

Sony has surrendered to pressure from gaming fans and the wider industry, and will now allow PlayStation 4 users to play games with people using other consoles.

Fortnite is the first game that will allow PlayStation cross-play, with PS4 players of the popular battle royale game able to face off against those using Xbox, Nintendo, PC, Mac and mobile devices.

PlayStation was the last platform to block cross-play as its competitors all moved to allow it, prompting a backlash earlier this year that industry experts predicted could endanger its place as the market leader.

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) boss John Kodera announced the company's bow to significant demand in a blog post.

"Following a comprehensive evaluation process, SIE has identified a path toward supporting cross-platform features for select third party content," said Mr Kodera.

"This represents a major policy change for SIE, and we are now in the planning process across the organisation to support this change... We recognise that PS4 players have been eagerly awaiting an update, and we appreciate the community's continued patience as we have navigated through this issue to find a solution.

"The first step will be an open beta beginning today for Fortnite that will allow for cross platform gameplay, progression and commerce across PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Mac operating systems.

"We see the beta as an opportunity to conduct thorough testing that ensures cross-platform play is best on PlayStation, while being mindful about the user experience from both a technical and social perspective."

The cross-platform beta for Fortnite has already launched on PlayStation 4.