Last month Fortnite’s developer Epic Games accidently enabled the feature for cross-platform play. This meant that Xbox One and Playstation 4 users could and were playing in the same lobbies. This was completely unheard of, especially as it was console owners because the Sony famously do not want cross platform play with Xbox. There has never been an example of console games being able to play in the same lobbies as on another. Even more surprising was that a spokesperson at Epic Game’s stated that “We had a configuration issue and it has now been corrected” Up until now it was assumed that cross platform play was very difficult to do. But can it be if it could accidently enabled? It seems suspicious that enabling a cross-play feature is classed as an issue.
Apparently not. It turns out that this is doable and is very easy. The reason we don’t see it happen more often is because publishers don’t wish it so.
The way that cross platform works is actually very simple. You have a manufacturer’s server – say Microsoft, which store your consoles data, such as your profile and the games that you have. The rest falls down on the game developers DNS servers. They host the lobbies and are connected to all consoles and platforms naturally. As all platforms just connect to these servers, there are cases where the developers will actually have to stop console players from being in the same lobbies. For example a Rocket League representative at Psyonix said “The honest answer is Playstation has not yet granted us permission”
“with a push of a button”. Vice President of Publishing Jeremy Dunham at Psyonix told Polygon “In reality it’s a web page with a checkbox on it. All we have to do is check that box and it would be up and running in less than an hour all over the world. That’s all we need to do.”