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Fortnite streaming star Ninja says Sony blocks PS4 cross-play because of ‘greed’

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‘It’s 2018. Everyone should be able to play with everyone’

Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins at After Unpacked Samsung 837 Celebration
Leading Twitch streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins playing the Android version of Fortnite on a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 during Samsung’s launch event for the device in New York City on Aug. 10.
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Samsung

Twitch superstar Tyler “Ninja” Blevins has played Fortnite with everyone from rappers to football stars. But while Ninja’s platform of choice is the accommodating Windows PC, he told Polygon that it’s time for Sony to let PlayStation 4 mains play with Nintendo Switch and Xbox One users too.

“It’s so bad,” Blevins said of Sony’s refusal to enable cross-play between its console and Microsoft’s and Nintendo’s. “I mean, like, obviously I love Sony, I love PlayStation. I’ve been playing them my entire life. [...] But, when push comes to shove, it’s a business decision. There’s a reason they’re not allowing players on the PlayStation to play with Xbox. And I mean — it’s just greed.”

Sony is notorious for keeping its console locked down, with PS4 owners unable to play against or carry accounts over to the other consoles. (The Mac, Windows PC and mobile versions of Fortnite are compatible with PS4, however.) This sparked a major outcry when Fortnite came to Nintendo Switch, and PS4 mains looking to carry their existing stats over found that Sony was holding them back.

“In my opinion, I think [Sony] can make a huge statement in gaming by allowing cross-platform across the board,” said Blevins, speaking to Polygon on Thursday night during Samsung’s launch event for the Galaxy Note 9 in New York City. “They really can. They can change the game entirely.”

He may not be far off. Consider the response to Nintendo and Microsoft’s partnership, which has extended beyond Fortnite cross-play to Nintendo embracing Microsoft’s mega-property, Minecraft, on Nintendo 3DS and Switch. There’s even a Minecraft-themed New Nintendo 2DS XL launching in Japan this year — such is the strength of their friendship. When the companies publicly shook hands, they won the goodwill of players on both sides of the party line.

That, of course, included Blevins.

“[Nintendo is] definitely coming around finally, and this is a huge stepping stone in the Nintendo scene, the fact that they allowed cross-platform. I just don’t like that there’s anything being withheld. It’s 2018. Everyone should be able to play with everyone.”

By keeping PS4 players on an island, Sony introduced its own caveat to anyone considering playing Fortnite on its system. The free-to-play Fortnite Battle Royale is the biggest game in the world right now — so Blevins’ distaste for Sony not wanting to play nice isn’t just a personal opinion, but a potential problem for the company going forward.

His direct message to Sony about limiting its PS4 Fortnite fans to a single console?

“Don’t be the barrier to the future.”