Fortnite players will finally be able to play with friends on other consoles, after a major U-turn by Sony.

The company said that it will finally be rolling out the cross-play feature, initially as a test, following intense anger from users.

Players had long been crying out for such features, which are enabled on just about every other platform. But Sony said it would not allow them, and even appeared to suggest that it was doing so because PlayStation offered the best experience.

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Now it has reversed that decision and will finally roll out cross-play to PlayStation players.

"Following a comprehensive evaluation process, SIE has identified a path toward supporting cross-platform features for select third party content," it wrote in a blog. "We recognise that PS4 players have been eagerly awaiting an update, and we appreciate the community’s continued patience as we have navigated through this issue to find a solution.

"The first step will be an open beta beginning today for Fortnite that will allow for cross platform gameplay, progression and commerce across PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Mac operating systems. We see the beta as an opportunity to conduct thorough testing that ensures cross-platform play is best on PlayStation, while being mindful about the user experience from both a technical and social perspective."

It said it had looked into how to keep PlayStation the best possible experience. But it realised that "cross-platform experiences add significant value to players" and that it would need to integrate them and open the platform, it said.

Later, the cross-play feature could come to other games, Sony suggested.

"This represents a major policy change for SIE, and we are now in the planning process across the organisation to support this change. We will update the community once we have more details to share, including more specifics regarding the beta timeframe, and what this means for other titles going forward."

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