[Update: Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, has used the recent announcement of cross-play between every platform but consoles on Fortnite to reiterate his stance on the matter. Replying to a tweet from a Fortnite fan who expressed a desire to see cross-play between Xbox One and PS4, Spencer's reply made his feelings quite plain:
Me 2.March 10, 2018
Regardless of the fact that Epic and Xbox have now expressed a desire for cross-console play, and we know it's possible, players will need to wait for PlayStation to get on board before any changes can be made.]
A couple of days ago we heard that Fortnite was expanding its reach to mobiles with iOS and Android support, and planning to allow opt-in cross-play between mobile devices and consoles. Now we've got a bit more clarification on what that means – and there's good and bad news for gamers.
First of all, Xbox One owners can get in on the action, up to a point. While Microsoft's console wasn't mentioned in the original announcement, an official Fortnite blog post (opens in new tab) confirms that Xbox One owners will be able to game against their friends on iOS (from next week) and Android (in the coming months).
Less positive is the news that cross-play support between Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4 still isn't happening. That was confirmed in a tweet by Nick Chester, PR manager at Fortnite's publisher Epic Games. Xbox One and PS4 users will all be able to battle against players on PC and mobile – but not against each other.
Update rolling out
The new functionality is rolling out in the 3.2 update that started appearing on Thursday, together with the usual collection of extra goodies and bug fixes. There's a new Team of 20 event to make use of and some additional loot on Twitch if currently subscribe to the Amazon Prime service.
As for why we're still not seeing console-to-console cross-play support, your guess is as good as ours – Microsoft has previously gone on the record to say it wants to bring cross-play support to its major titles, while Sony has remained mostly silent on the matter. Of course, Sony sells a lot more consoles than MIcrosoft does, so it doesn't need the extra pools of players quite so much.
Back in September, Xbox One and PS4 players could battle against each other on Fortnite – but that was due to a configuration error that was swiftly fixed. It obviously is technically possible for this to happen, but the parties involved can't come to an agreement for whatever reason.