There seems to be two sides to the Early Access camp, those that enjoy paying for the privilege of getting to see games evolve from an early alpha, to a full-release, as well as getting the chance to put their two-cents in, and then there’s the other camp, those that can’t see why people are paying near-on full price for a game that isn’t even finished yet. Whether you love them or hate them, however, they’re here to stay and could be arriving on our consoles soon, as Sony have been considering introducing a similar programme to Steam’s Early access.
Speaking with Gamasutra, Sony Computer Entertainment America’s Adam Boyes revealed the companies thoughts on introducing an Early Access-like feature to the PlayStation Store where players could get their hands on alpha, beta, and still-in-development games for their PlayStation consoles.
“That’s one of the massive conversations we have internally,” Boyes revealed on early access. “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.
“At the same time, I’m like you — I want to help bootstrap people, to bootstrap them, to help them out. Like supporting the underdog for a sports team.”
Steam launched their Early Access programme in March last year and now Early Access titles are quickly becoming some of the top-selling games in the Steam top 10, which to some, is great news, to others is a bit of a burden. But that’s half the fun of Early Access titles, right? Going in blind and discovering hilarious bugs is one of the things that makes Early Access games great! A thought that Boyes himself shares.
“I remember playing Rust and laughing hysterically. And there were some things that weren’t finished, but I had a ton of fun. It was super intense,” he revealed. With a programme like Early Access, Sony needs to take into account some of the requirements developers would need to adhere to. I mean, we’ve had our fair share of hiccups on Steam, with certain games being “early access” titles, but the developer has all-but given up on actually developing the game. This is something Sony want to overcome before launching a similar programme.
“Honestly, we’re working through that right now. We’re figuring out what’s ok,” Boyes revealed when asked when we’d likely see this come into play on PlayStation. “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.”