Microsoft announces its own version of Early Access, with a twist

During Microsoft's E3 2015 press conference, Chris Charla, head of the ID@XBOX program, announced a new initiative that will let players try new games earlier and help shape their development. Xbox Game Preview is designed to let players get early access to upcoming games and, through their feedback, shape how final versions will turn out.

By Charla's own admission, this service bears much in common with Steam's Early Access program on PC, however Xbox Game Preview has one important distinction: free demos. By offering a free demo for every Xbox Game Preview entry, Charla hopes this will empower users to make an "informed decision" about whether they want to dive into a game early, or wait for the final release.

The first round of Xbox Game Preview games, which will be rolled out over the next year, will include: Sheltered, Day Z, The Long Dark, and Elite: Dangerous. Those last two will be the first ones available on the service, starting today, so go check 'em out.

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