One of the more interesting and unique innovations within the gaming industry has been Steam’s program that essentially allows you to purchase and play games that aren’t finished. No, they aren’t fooling anyone into doing this. It is made perfectly clear that these games will probably have their fair share of glitches and bugs. In some cases, the final products may never even be released. At its core, it’s simply a program designed to generate interest in upcoming games, and a nifty way to allow anxious players to get their hands on something early.
It has proven to be a successful business model, so naturally a company like Sony wants to get in on it. Below is an excerpt on what Sony Computer Entertainment America VP of publisher and developer relations Adam Boyes had to say in regards to implementing an early access program.
That’s one of the massive conversations we have internally – that, at what point does [a game meet standards of release]? We still at some point ensure that we’re being mindful of the consumer. We don’t want somebody to stumble across that title and expect a full product, and have a negative experience.
>Honestly, we’re working through that right now. We’re figuring out what’s ok. We obviously have our tech requirement checklist that people have to adhere to. So we’re internally discussing, what does that list look like this? What are the caveats? Stuff like this. So it’s still a project that a lot of minds are considering. No details yet, but it’s something on the top of my mind every day.
We have a global strike team, plus an SCEA strike team, who are in charge of trying to figure out how to look at what’s happening with early alpha access, or paid betas, which we’ve allowed before withDust 514
Even with our own product, PlayStation Now is going into open beta at the end of July. We’re always looking at ways to make it easier and more accessible.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing something like this on the PlayStation 4. It’s a completely optional feature and a harmless business practice that will only benefit both gamers and consumers. I really can’t see any downside to introducing something like this on Sony’s new console and I’m definitely curious to hear more about it.