Microsoft has announced that certain Xbox Insiders will soon be able to test out even earlier builds than they can now. The company has announced a new “Alpha – Skip Ahead” ring for Xbox Insiders, which essentially splits its current alpha testing ring into two. Those who are invited into this new ring of testers will get to check out the newest work-in-progress Xbox One features, sometimes even months before they’re announced or launched.
As explained over on Xbox Wire, launching the Alpha – Skip Ahead ring will allow Microsoft to test its RS4 and RS5 builds simultaneously. Alpha – Skip Ahead Insiders will primarily be testing advanced builds within RS5. If you want to play a bigger role in the development of Xbox One software, then, it sounds like this is the ring for you.
Microsoft says that it will be launching the Alpha – Skip Ahead ring to Insiders who are in the current alpha ring later on this month. Once the option is live, you’ll be able to choose between continuing to test RS4 builds or moving to this new ring to test RS5 content. Others who aren’t currently alpha testers will still have a chance at getting into the Alpha – Skip Ahead ring, but they’ll have to wait for Microsoft to send them an invite.
As with every other Xbox Insider testing level, you’ll be able to enter and exit the Alpha – Skip Ahead ring as you please, which might prove to be necessary functionality in this case. After all, the potential for bugs and general issues will be increased in this ring, so if stability is a key concern for you, you might want to stick with current alpha or beta tests.
We don’t know what kind of content Microsoft is looking to test with this new ring, but details will probably become clearer as we move closer to its roll out. Microsoft similarly doesn’t give an exact launch date for the Alpha – Skip Ahead ring, but Xbox Insiders should look for it to arrive before the end of June.