Early Access is something that has been contentious among PC users for a while now, as Steam’s policy for games that never made it out of the early access banner has been rather lackluster. They’re pretty much a gamble at this point, but Nintendo has done early access better by providing demos of upcoming indie titles.
This year during E3, Nintendo announced their Nindies@Home initiative, which made 9 indie game demos available on the Wii U and 3DS eShops for players to test. It was a small taste of the E3 showfloor that Nintendo brought straight into your living room. In an interview with Polygon Damon Baker, Nintendo’s senior manager of licensing says the company is definitely considering more early access opportunities.
We don’t have anything to announce, but I can say that we’re certainly exploring options and capabilities. So anything is possible. I guess the important part of it is we’re very conscious of it and definitely looking at it.
Perhaps the biggest benefit for Nintendo in providing early access to anything is the ability to stress test servers. Baker himself mentions this in the interview as a positive reason why Nintendo would consider going this route.
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, so there could be some benefits there.
Anyone that has bought an early access game on Steam knows that you’re not guaranteed to receive the finished game you paid for up front and that’s something Nintendo is conscious of as well.
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.
While early access on consoles is something of a novel idea, I would personally prefer that Nintendo continue to release short demos like this during product announcements. It gives players something to look forward to after the presentation is over and it doesn’t cost them anything to get excited about the game.
What did you think? Did you download any of the Nindies@Home games during E3?
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TAGS: early access, Nintendo, wii u