Xbox's beta testing program gets a new name and will no longer be invite-only

The Xbox Preview Program has been around since February 2014, letting a select group of users beta test upcoming Xbox One features and provide feedback to Microsoft. That program is being replaced (or renamed, if you prefer to think of it that way) with the Xbox Insider Program - and this time, anyone can participate.

For those of you who were never part of the Preview Program, here's what you'll have access to once you download the app and agree to the terms and conditions: previews for games, apps, new experiences, and system updates; a personalized hub with announcements, quests, surveys, and polls; a new profile card to show off your contributions to the program.

So for example, when backwards compatibility came to Xbox One, Preview Program members were the first to try it out, were regularly polled to get their thoughts, and were recognized on their Program profile for participating. Or if a game has an upcoming patch that needs testing, you get access before anyone else. The downside is that you're a guinea pig, testing features before they're complete. Not everything is going to run smoothly. Taking on the bumps in the road is the price you pay for being first in line.

If you were previously a member of the Xbox Preview Program, you'll automatically be enrolled in the Xbox Insider Program when your system updates. Those who want to try out the Insider Program for the first time, go to "My Games & Apps," select "Updates," then "Xbox Preview Dashboard." If the app name and icon reads "Xbox Insider Hub," you already have the update and just need to fire it up.

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Sam Prell

Sam is a former News Editor here at GamesRadar. His expert words have appeared on many of the web's well-known gaming sites, including Joystiq, Penny Arcade, Destructoid, and G4 Media, among others. Sam has a serious soft spot for MOBAs, MMOs, and emo music. Forever a farm boy, forever a '90s kid.