Steam's early access program allows players to purchase and try games that are still in active development. This allows the developers to bring in revenue that helps fund the final development of the game, while using its player-base for feedback and bug reports. Sony has now stated that it's looking at a similar system for the PlayStation 4.
"That’s one of the massive conversations we have internally — that, at what point does [a game meet standards of release]?" Sony's Adam Boyes said in an interview with Gamasutra. "We still at some point ensure that we're being mindful of the consumer. We don't want somebody to stumble across that title and expect a full product, and have a negative experience."
This sort of system would allow Sony to attract a wider array of gamers, including those who would be willing, and interested, in paying for an early copy of the game and helping give feedback for development. "That's the thing — we live in a different world. There are different types of people. There people who always back games, enjoy Kickstarters, try things that they know aren't finished but are willing to help make better," Boyes continued.
The challenge is moving a program that works well on PC, and often includes a number of disclaimers, onto consoles, where players often expect a higher level of polish and a smoother experience. "Honestly, we're working through that right now. We're figuring out what's OK," Boyes said.
"We obviously have our tech requirement checklist that people have to adhere to. So we're internally discussing, what does that list look like this? What are the caveats? Stuff like this. So it's still a project that a lot of minds are considering. No details yet, but it's something on the top of my mind every day."