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Nintendo 'definitely looking at' early access for games on its consoles

Nintendo is very conscious of the recent trend to release unfinished games as early access for a lower price and is "exploring options and capabilities," said Damon Baker, who heads up Nintendo of America's third-party relations and indie development.

"We don't have anything to announce, but I can say that we're certainly exploring options and capabilities," Baker said when asked about bringing early access gaming to Nintendo hardware. "So anything is possible. I guess the important part of it is we're very conscious of it and definitely looking at it."

During E3, Nintendo ran a promotion that was almost a blend of early access and a demo. The company released vertical slices for nine independent games to the public. Once the games are completed and launch, those that downloaded the demos are given a month to purchase the title with a 15 percent discount.

Getting the Nindies at Home program up and running for E3 was a significant undertaking, Baker said.

"We had to change policies over this, guidelines," he said. "I mean we basically created almost an early access-type of situation because some of this content isn’t even coming out until towards the end of the year. So to be able to give such early visibility to some of the developers and these builds, there was a lot of work that went into it."

If early access were to come to platforms like the Wii U and 3DS, Baker said the biggest benefit would be how it could operate as almost a sort of beta test for developers.

"Working out some of the kinks, the server loads or what matching those expectations so that it's a prime experience when it does, when the full version actually launches," he said. "So there could be some benefits there, but I think it's a very sensitive topic, because you wouldn't ever want to ask for money for something that doesn't become fully-realized."

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