You can start downloading The Division beta 48 hours early

The Division's beta will go up for pre-loading 48 hours ahead of time, according to the game's French Facebook page (opens in new tab). Early reports (opens in new tab) pegged the file size for the PC client at just over 26 GB, so that should be very welcome news to anyone with potential bandwidth concerns (assuming the console versions are similarly massive).

The beta will begin (opens in new tab) on January 28 exclusively for Xbox One players, then PC and PS4 players will be invited to join on January 29, and it will close on January 31. In other words, The Division beta is only a weekend long if you're not playing on Xbox One, so it's an extra-good thing that you won't have to waste a chunk of that time downloading it.

Based on the file size, I'm guessing the beta will give players a pretty comprehensive look at the game ahead of its release date on March 8. Or maybe half those gigabytes are just for the detailed dog pooping animation (opens in new tab). Either way, you'll need to pre-order the game for guaranteed access (or you can sign up for the beta waiting list here (opens in new tab)).

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I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.