Today’s gamers are more conscientious of purchases, being wary of games that over promise and under deliver. At the same time, however, they are also more willing to put their money where their mouths are, willing to help fund games still in development in exchange for some exclusive early access to the game and experience its evolution. Balancing those two needs is a delicate dance and Microsoft might have just mastered the steps. With Xbox Game Preview, gamers won’t have just access to alpha or beta versions of games, they can also have a free peek at it first.
Microsoft acknowledges that Xbox Game Preview takes a few pages out of Steam‘s Early Access book. Both work practically the same. Unlike a pre-order, where buyers need to wait for the final retail version of the game to be able to play what they paid for in advance, Game Preview lets them take the game as it is during that time, whether it is still in alpha or beta state. Unlike a crowdfunded game, however, you are already paying for a game that already exists, and not for something that might never be made.
What sets Microsoft’s version apart is that it somewhat takes away some of the risk involved in this kind of purchase. Even if the game does already exist, you’re not exactly sure how the final product will turn out. Heck, you’re not even sure if you’ll like the game preview in the first place. That is why Game Preview will let would-be buyers first play a free demo before they put in some dollars, in case they like it.
At the moment, details of the Game Preview, as well as the free demo option, are quite slim. Xbox Game Preview is available now and Xbox One owners can start trying it out with Elite: Dangerous and The Long Dark.
VIA: Ars Technica