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Nintendo: an Early Access program on its consoles?

If you’re familiar with Steam, you probably know about Early Access already: it allows users to buy games before they’re completed (generally for cheaper than the final version). They can then play it as the developers complete development, and in some cases, can even influence its development (by giving feedback, for example).

But on Nintendo consoles, such a system is not available. In fact, with how strict Nintendo’s lotcheck is, it’s basically impossible for developers/publishers to release a game in a non-final state (which doesn’t prevent bugs from slipping in, unfortunately!). However, it looks like this might change in the future.

In an interview with Polygon, Damon Baker (Senior Manager of Marketing at Nintendo of America’s Licensing department) explained that Nintendo was currently “exploring options and capabilities” for Early Access, but with nothing to announce right now. He did confirm that the company was “very conscious of it” and “definitely looking at it”.

For Damon Baker, the biggest benefit of an Early Access program would be all the data developers and publishers could get, a bit like a beta:

“Working out some of the kinks, the server loads or what matching those expectations so that it’s a prime experience when it does, when the full version actually launches. So there could be some benefits there, but I think it’s a very sensitive topic, because you wouldn’t ever want to ask for money for something that doesn’t become fully-realized.”

With the Nindies@Home program, during E3, Nintendo had something as close to Early Access as possible, as many of the games featured won’t be available until the end of year (at the earliest). According to Damon Baker, Nintendo had to change policies and guidelines in order to make this program possible.


Would you be interested in an Early Access program for the Wii U, the Nintendo 3DS, or even Project NX?

Source: Polygon


Founder and main writer for Perfectly Nintendo. Tried really hard to find something funny and witty to put here, but had to admit defeat.

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