In terms of software Sony probably has the strongest year of anyone, continuously providing unique and highly-rated experiences like Shadow of the Colossus, MLB The Show 18, God of War, and Moss, not to mention all of the third party support like Ni No Kuni II and Yakuza 6. In this way Sony is the strongest of the big three, as they’re still providing an engaging lineup of exclusives for fans to dig into, and have even stepped up their game with free PS Plus titles, providing games like Beyond Two Souls, Mad Max, Bloodborne, and Ratchet & Clank. Good games go a long way, and Sony has even reintroduced the idea of PlayStation Hits, letting players pick up some of the best PS4 games for the low price of $19.99.
Despite their strong software showing, however, there’s one major news story that has sadly dominated the headlines this year so far for Sony, crossplay . Fortnite recently made its way to the Nintendo Switch, and like every other version of the game except the PS4’s, it supports crossplay. Unfortunately, this also means that if your Epic account is linked to your PS4 version of Fortnite, you won’t be able to use that account on Nintendo Switch, or Xbox One. This means that any players that started playing Fortnite on PS4, and have all their in-game purchases there, are just out of luck if they want to use them on other systems. As you might expect, the issue blew up in Sony’s face, and their Twitter among other things was filled with backlash on the issue during E3 week, when the focus really should have been on their new games. The company’s shares even dropped in the days following the news.
This story with Fortnire highlights an ever-widening issue that Sony has on crossplay, and their stance on not allowing it makes them the odd one out. Of course, Sony has a significant lead this console generation and allowing crossplay could undermine the massive PlayStation ecosystem they’ve built a bit, in their eyes. Still, after blocking crossplay for Rocket League, Minecraft, and now Fortnite, it’s understandable why some players would be upset. Crossplay makes the gaming community stronger as a whole, and it can never hurt to have a wider player base to draw from. Sony clearly has a competitive advantage this generation, and their unwillingness to support interactions across consoles isn’t helping gamers any.
In addition, another E3 came and went without any kind of name change feature being announced, something highly requested by PS4 owners. This is despite rumors popping up earlier this year about the feature, although hopefully, we’ll still see it by the end of 2018. While Sony certainly hasn’t had a horrible year, the Fortnite debacle adds even more frustration onto what players already felt about the topic.