One of my previous articles focused on the Nintendo Switch’s third-party problems. Now this wasn’t to say that there is a lack of third-party titles but more a rant about the insane cost of third-party games on the Switch. Prior to E3, there were strong rumours suggesting a Fortnite port for the Switch. I haphazardly believed these thinking they’d probably just port the mobile version. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised when they announced that the port was the same game as the PC, PS4 and Xbox One versions but just on Nintendo servers. I was even happier that it was available on the eShop immediately (more or less) and I have been playing it.
I have played Fortnite on my PC and PS4 before so I had a rough idea of how it should perform. I am genuinely shocked by the Switch’s performance with this game. Graphically, it looks the same as the PS4 with a slightly lower (but hardly noticeable) resolution and a more limited render distance but it is still more than enough. Frame rate wise, the game is pretty decent, it is noticeably lower than the PS4 and PC but it isn’t choppy and I rarely experienced any dropped frames. Essentially, this game is what you would expect of a Switch port. It still looks good and plays well, it’s just not quite as polished as its console counterparts and a PC.
Gameplaywise, this is where I feel like the Switch feels a little clunky due to the joy-cons. Now I’m not saying it is unplayable or bad but the joy-cons don’t seem particularly optimised for this kind of game due to the lack of proper triggers. I certainly would not recommend using the joy-con grip that comes packaged with the Switch (although I never use that anyway as it feels like its only suitable for people with small hands) as it wasn’t comfortable. Use the joy-cons separately and it is perfectly fine. Fortnite would definitely benefit from getting the pro-controller (as does Splatoon 2) but using the joy-cons separately is perfectly fine in my opinion. I preferred to play this game whilst docked, I just feel like it benefits from a bigger screen to see exactly where the players are. Also, there is the option of in-game voice chat and you don’t need to use Nintendo’s convoluted app to do so.
I’m pretty sure most people reading this will have played or seen footage of Fortnite so they know what to expect. This is the same game and it is just as fun on the Switch providing you don’t use the joy-con grip unless you want severe hand cramp. It is just as addictive on here too. I may do a full review of this game but I was just giving an overall gist of what it is like on the Switch. I highly recommend all Switch owners download it, it’s free after all. In fact, I recommend that anyone downloads it regardless of their chosen platform as it is genuinely so fun to play and you don’t have to spend a penny on it if you don’t want to. The servers are actually pretty active, so you are put in a game almost instantly like you are on the other platforms.
Now to the cross-play controversy that has surrounded Fortnite at E3. I genuinely do not understand Sony’s reasoning for not allowing cross-play on this game and on other titles like Rocket League. It makes no sense to me when Microsoft and Nintendo allow it, what does Sony realistically get out of blocking it other than frustrated gamers? You have to create a new Epic account because if you have previously signed in on a PS4; using the PS4 linked account just prompts an error message. This means that you have to start the game afresh (which isn’t too bad for me because I don’t ever spend real money on freemium games). However, anyone that has invested money into this game is basically screwed if they own multiple console; it’s a big issue as games like Fortnite encourage and entice you into spending real money on the game. The same cross-play issue applies to people trying to access the game on an Xbox One if they’ve already signed on to a PS4.
I am hoping that the backlash against Sony forces them to reconsider the fact that they block cross-play; not only on Fortnite but also on other previously popular games like Rocket League. Some people are alluding to the idea that they are doing it because of their failed attempt to collaborate with Nintendo back in the 90s before making the PlayStation brand. Personally, I can’t help but feel Sony thinks that because they’re winning this current console generation, they can get away with anything but this controversy has proven that they can’t and they need to be more humble and less hubristic.
So I have been writing this article over the past couple of days and Sony have now officially stated why they are blocking cross-play. It’s all to do with money. Sony doesn’t want players to purchase anything in-game on an Xbox or Switch and then use it for free on the PS4. I personally, along with anyone else that has written an article about this, don’t buy this ridiculous excuse. Sony need to embrace cross-play as a whole, gaming is moving in that direction now that consoles are becoming more powerful. Yes of course you could argue Microsoft and Nintendo only enable because they’re behind in sales but this whole cross-play controversy is severely damaging Sony’s reputation for gamers. Who knows, maybe when the next generation of consoles arrive in a couple of years time people may jump ship and abandon PlayStation much like what happened with the PS3 at launch. Only time will tell whether Sony’s money grabbing is its downfall.