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Sony is considering an Early Access-type program

"It's something on the top of my mind every day."

Sony is looking into adding an Early Access type of deal on its platforms.

Dust 514 had a paid beta on PS3 back in 2012, suggesting there is an infrastructure for this sort of thing on consoles.

When asked about such a program at E3, SCEA's vice president of developer relations Adam Boyes told Gamasutra, "That's one of the massive conversations we have internally."

"At what point does [a game meet standards of release]?" he pondered. "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."

While Boyes seemed weary of releasing unfinished products, the man responsible for bringing so many indie titles to Sony was still intrigued at this alternative way of helping out fledgling developers. "I want to help bootstrap people," he said. "To help them out. Like supporting the underdog for a sports team."

He also noted that there are different types of gamers and many of them don't mind playing unfinished games (especially at a lower price, as Early Access titles tend to be). "There are different types of people. There [are] people who always back games, enjoy Kickstarters, try things that they know aren't finished but are willing to help make better," Boyes explained. "I remember playing Rust and laughing hysterically. And there were some things that weren't finished, but I had a ton of fun."

The Forest became the top-selling game on Steam despite only being in alpha form.

The question then is when should games be allowed on the marketplace? When they're fun? When they're polished enough that a developer is comfortable with them attaining a Metacritic score? Or when they're simply a good idea in need of playtesting like DayZ - whose developer warned players that its Early Access installment would be "a recipe for disappointment"?

"We're working through that right now," said Boyes. "We're figuring out what's okay. 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."

So what do you, dear readers, think of Early Access-type programs coming to PlayStation? Would you be excited to get in on the ground floor, or be weary of testing an unfinished product? On that note, enjoy the Destiny beta next week!

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