Early Access may often be a criticized part of the Steam Storefront, but its impact is undeniable- it has entirely changed the developer/player dynamic, completely changing expectations and the level of engagement players have with a game. With Early Access, it is entirely possible for a developer to ship an unfinished product and charge for it… but the developer here is trading in a currency of trust; the implicit agreement is that the player will give the developer feedback, who will then incorporate said feedback to bring the game to its ‘finished’ state.
Early Access has so far been a domain of PC, though Sony and Microsoft have both expressed interest in the concept in the past. Today, Nintendo confirmed that it, too, is interested in looking at implementing Early Access for its systems.
“We don’t have anything to announce, but I can say that we’re certainly exploring options and capabilities,” said Damon Baker, who heads up Nintendo of America’s third-party relations and indie development. in an interview with Polygon. “So anything is possible. I guess the important part of it is we’re very conscious of it and definitely looking at it.”