Sony is considering taking a page out of Steam’s book and adding an Early Access type of service to PlayStation 4.
Speaking with Gamasutra, SCEA VP of developer relations Adam Boyes said it was a “massive conversation” internally.
“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. We’re internally discussing [what the list will] look like and what are the caveats. 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. 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.”
Boyes added there are many consumers who don’t mind paying for an unfinished product providing the price is right and their input is taken into account.
“There are different types of people,” he postulated, “who always back games, enjoy Kickstarters, try things that they know aren’t finished but are willing to help make better. I remember playing Rust and laughing hysterically. And there were some things that weren’t finished, but I had a ton of fun.”
This isn’t the first time an Early Access program has been discussed publicly by Sony.
During E3, Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida told Kotaku there was “interest from developers” regarding such an option.
Furthermore, Microsoft also weighed in on the possibility with Xbox head Phil Spencer telling the site: “I’ve started to think about: ‘Is there a way to more programmatically think about what betas mean on a console?’ I don’t have a plan that’s locked on that, but just having a bunch of betas happening, I’m not sure if that’s the best way to run a console, either.”
Valve launched its Early Access program last year with 12 titles and now there are 226 currently available through the Steam service.