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Fortnite is testing true cross-platform play as Sony finally ease up

And season six starts tomorrow

Fortnite has already taken over the world, but after an announcement on Sony's PlayStation Blog today, I might be willing to give it some tentative credit in ending the console war, too. Or starting a new one. After months of Sony taking up Microsoft's old miserly crown and saying that cross-platform play between PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC players just wasn't on the cards, Epic Games have apparently gotten through. While PC to PS4 or PC to Xbox cross-play hasn't been an issue, this is the first time any game has bridged all systems, although cross-play is currently in beta.

According to a series of tweets from Epic, not only is cross-play in beta, but cross-system progression and account merging are coming. They're currently working on the tools to allow this, but it won't be until November until everything's in place, or so they reckon. So far I've only played the game on PC, but I wouldn't mind a chance to continue playing on Switch with my handful of unlocked skins and dances (mostly from Twitch Prime, admittedly), instead of trapping me in the boring combat fatigues of a newbie or super-casual player.

Lack of cross-platform play was previously a Microsoft issue, notably torpedoing the publisher over still-excellent MMO Final Fantasy 14. While PC and PS4 (and a dwindling number of PS3 folks) are free to share servers, the game never came to Xbox systems at all after Microsoft said that cross-play with Sony was an impossibility. Hopefully Fortnite's massive clout will prevent similar embarrassments in the future - I'm personally hoping for Rocket League to invite everyone to the party next, another notable game where PC-to-PS4 play is already an option.

It should go without saying that cross-platform multiplayer isn't ideal in some situations, especially more competitive shooters, but so long as players have a chance to opt out of being matched with mouse-wielding headshot-fiends, I see no problem with allowing it. I've seen players do some amazing things with just a gamepad, and for co-op games, cross-platform play is a win/win for everyone, as it keeps the game healthier for longer. Plus, having to please so many platform holders at once should help cut down on the level of abusive awfulness you see in some games.

Don't forget that Fortnite's sixth competitive season kicks off tomorrow, 8am GMT, along with a big patch and probably some mystery updates to its map. Epic have been teasing the update on Twitter with snaps of some of the new outfits coming in the new season - as with the past couple, there doesn't seem to be any kind of clear theme, but I'm all the happier as it means cowgirls, 80s werewolves and robotic llamas will be able to play together. It's just a pity that everyone's still shooting each other with boring rifles and shotguns. Bring on the bouncy energy beams already!

Still trying to get to grips with Fortnite? Check out our Fortnite guide hub for more tips and tricks for the game. You can also find the latest challenges in our Fortnite week 6 challenges guide.

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