Sony’s chief executive says the company is not planning to allow Fortnite players on PlayStation to compete cross-platform because it feels their console offers the best experience for gamers.
The technology giant caused controversy earlier this year when the battle royale game launched on the Nintendo Switch, but existing PlayStation players discovered they could not move or change platforms on the same account – despite Xbox and PC players being able to do so.
In spite of vocal protests from gamers in response, Sony has not yet changed its policy.
Speaking at the IFA technology show in Berlin, Sony chief executive Kenichiro Yoshida said he felt playing on the PlayStation 4 was the best experience for gamers and therefore should not be compromised.
‘On cross-platform, our way of thinking is always that PlayStation is the best place to play.
‘Fortnite, I believe, partnered with PlayStation 4 is the best experience for users, that’s our belief,’ he said.
‘But actually, we already opened some games as cross-platform with PC and some others, so we decide based on what is the best user experience.
‘That is our way of thinking for cross-platform.’
Fortnite has amassed more than 125 million players since the launch of its battle royale mode last year, with many choosing to play on mobile devices such as their phone or tablet.
Mr Yoshida said Sony was aware of the increasing importance of mobile gaming, adding the company needed a ‘growth strategy including mobile’.
He added he welcomed the competition from other platforms as well as traditional gaming rivals.
‘I think competition is always good. Healthy, fair competition is always good for the industry and growth,’ he said.
‘I think competition with Nintendo and Xbox is a healthy situation.’
The Sony boss, who took over as chief executive and president from Kaz Hirai in April, also said he hoped the company could build on the initial success of its PlayStation VR headset – which has now sold more than three million units.
‘Virtual reality is a completely unique experience and still evolving,’ he said, adding innovation in the area could see take combine and overlay more with the real world, much like augmented or mixed reality.
‘VR is still in the very early stage and one potential evolution of VR is mixed reality.
‘One of the issues with VR is that you can’t see outside, it’s a little bit dangerous – you have to sit down to use it.
‘Also, (there is) VR motion sickness. So there is a lot of room of room to improve in VR experiences and you will see the change and the improvement.’
At the IFA trade show in Germany, Sony unveiled a range of new entertainment and audio products, as well a new flagship smartphone – the Xperia XZ 3 – which uses the firm’s Bravia TV technology in its six-inch screen.
Artificially intelligent robot dog Aibo was also on show in Europe for the first time. The robotic pet has already been released in Japan and will shortly arrive in the US, but does not yet have a confirmed launch time for Europe.
Mr Yoshida said the technology giant would be examining the response to the robot during IFA as part of its decision on if and when to bring Aibo to European consumers.