Ubisoft originally said at E3 2015 that the beta would be available in fall 2015 as a timed Xbox One exclusive, but in early December, the company pushed back the beta into 2016 and ran an alpha instead. The timed exclusivity will still be in place for the beta — it won't hit PlayStation 4 and Windows PC until 24 hours after it goes live on Xbox One. Ubisoft will end the beta Jan. 31.
The Division's beta will start off with some "story-driven missions," according to Ubisoft, and will then go into the team-based Dark Zone, which allows for cooperative and competitive play. The beta will not require a PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold account.
Interested parties can guarantee access to the beta by pre-ordering The Division. Microsoft announced today that it is launching a console bundle featuring a 1 TB Xbox One and a download code for The Division; the package will be available March 8, The Division's release date, for $399.
For more on The Division, read our impressions from E3 2015.