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Microsoft apes Early Access with new 'Xbox Game Preview' program

Microsoft has announced a new "Xbox Game Preview" program that's roughly akin to Steam's Early Access service, but with the added promise of a free demo for every title on offer.

Moments ago at Microsoft's E3 2015 press conference, [email protected] chief Chris Charla closed out the company's now-traditional indie game showcase segment by announcing a new "Xbox Game Preview" program that's roughly akin to Steam's Early Access service.

Xbox Game Preview is expected to debut today with Hinterland's The Long Dark and Frontier's Elite: Dangerous, and Charla said Xbox One owners will be able to "buy and play a selection of games while they're still in active development," but unlike Steam Early Access, every title will have a free demo.

"This type of early access gaming is popular on PC, and we're excited to offer it to our gamers," said Charla. "Every game in the program has a free trial, so you can play it and make an educated decision on whether you want to jump in early or see how development progresses."

It also seems that developers who choose to participate will be able to solicit feedback from players previewing their work -- DayZ developer Dean Hall also briefly took the stage at Microsoft's event to announce his new game in development, Ion, and promise that "the players, through Xbox One Game Preview and PC, will govern its destiny." The game is currently being created at Hall's studio RocketWerkz with Improbable technology. 

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