Xbox One Division pre-orders get an alpha early but everyone else is getting the beta late

I'm starting to think that The Division's constantly-shifting release dates are part of some massive ARG no one's noticed. Someone will add up all the days it's been delayed and find out that it's a Dewey Decimal number, go to the library and find a book about guns, or something. In the latest addition to this ongoing calendar saga, I bring you good news and bad news:

Good News

If you've pre-ordered the game on Xbox One, you'll be given access to an unexpected alpha version of the game this Wednesday, 9th December that can be played until the 12th. Weighing in at 23.2GB, those eligible will receive codes for the alpha client starting today. The alpha will be the first time the public will get to play in some of the PvE areas of the game, as opposed to just the PvP Dark Zone. Those who signed up for a chance to play the Xbox One beta without pre-ordering may still receive codes for the alpha - keep an eye on those inboxes.

Bad news

That alpha is covering up a bigger problem - for those of you who pre-ordered on PS4 and PC, the beta that was meant to take place this month has been delayed until a non-specific "early 2016" date. No reason has been given for the delay - the full game is still scheduled for 8th March but, y'know, that beta seems awfully close to release at this point. You can see Ubisoft's full statement here (opens in new tab).

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Joe Skrebels
Joe first fell in love with games when a copy of The Lion King on SNES became his stepfather in 1994. When the cartridge left his mother in 2001, he turned to his priest - a limited edition crystal Xbox - for guidance. And now he's here.