Why I'll Be Using Xbox One Instead Of PS4 For All My Online Gaming Going Forward
I’ve put time, effort and money into my Fortnite: Battle Royale account, linked to my PS4. I’ve got the John Wick skin with the Glider to match. I’ve got Raven, Lightshow, Super Striker and a few more premium skins. I’ve got a fully-levelled Carbide and I’ll have The Visitor as soon as some people land in Snobby Shores so I can kill them. I have a little home in the game, a locker where all my past achievements and indulgences sit in a nice little stack. When season 5 starts, however, I’m packing it in. I’ll start a new account on my Xbox One and go from there. I’ll do the same for all other games going forward.
Last week, Sony put its foot in it and has, after some apparent consideration, decided to leave it there. Epic Games released Fortnite: Battle Royale on Switch to expected fanfare, giving people who want to play the game on the go a much more accurate option than the excellent if lacking mobile port. The dream was clear: I could play Fortnite on PS4 at home, and then use my Switch when I was on the road or just out of the house. But that’s not how Sony saw its dream, and it’s locked my account out of ever playing on Switch. The company hasn’t exactly been supportive of crossplay in the past, but this is the first time it’s caused it any serious trouble.
With this looking hostility to crossplay lurking in the background, it leaves me wondering if I’ll get left behind in other games if I start my account on PS4 if and when a Switch port appears. The Switch won’t get every major game, but it will get some, and it doesn’t appear that Sony has any intention of letting its platform play nice any time soon–it’s also just easier to keep these things all in one place. The Xbox One works just fine, thank you very much, and I may as well just play here: watch the free market at work.
Am I certain to run into crossplay or cross-progression problems if I’m playing a game on PS4? No, I’m not. Crossplay is a relatively new phenomenon in the industry and not all that widespread. But Fortnite is instructive about how things can go wrong even if you didn’t necessarily expect them to: when I first started playing I just booted it up on PS4 like I usually do, and it was fun when I found I could move my progression to mobile or PC. But I had grown accustomed to his, and so when I wanted to play on Switch I was pretty annoyed to find out I’d have to start my Battle Pass all the way over. It’s not the worst problem, but it’s one place where the Xbox One now has a clear, inarguable advantage. As a multiplatform player with the choice to migrate it feels like the only natural move.
Going forward, it just seems silly to invest time into levelling an account on Sony if crossplay might be in the cards sometime in the future, and I have to imagine some other multiplatform players are feeling the same way.
Right now, this isn’t such a bee in Sony’s bonnet. I already have a PS4 Pro, and so the company loses out on a small amount of PSN percentages if I buy my V-Bucks on Xbox Live. But that’s now. If this continues to be a problem, this could be the reason that people choose to buy the next Xbox over the next PlayStation in what appears to be an increasingly crossplay friendly future. And that’s not just a bee in Sony’s bonnet, it’s a hornet in its hat.