The introduction of Steam's Early Access system formalised the "open beta/alpha", a step that has had mixed results, from downright scams and "accidental" releases, to "breaking open the mystery" of games development. While predominantly a process PC gamers have come to live with, could something like Early Access work on consoles? We've heard Microsoft and Sony weigh in before, but it sounds like the latter is getting a lot more serious about it.
In an interview with Gamasutra's Kris Graft, Sony's developer and publisher relations VP Adam Boyes broached the subject (after a little prompting) with a surprisingly positive attitude. Although approaching the topic with some trepidation, Boyes mentions it is something the company talks about a great deal:
That's one of the massive conversations we have internally — that, at what point does [a game meet standards of release]? We still at some point ensure that we're being mindful of the consumer. We don't want somebody to stumble across that title and expect a full product, and have a negative experience.
As for any hard plans, Boyes again was coy, but from the sounds of things the idea is gathering momentum — it's just a matter of how best to go about it:
Honestly, we're working through that right now. We're figuring out what's ok. We obviously have our tech requirement checklist that people have to adhere to. So we're internally discussing, what does that list look like this? What are the caveats? Stuff like this. So it's still a project that a lot of minds are considering. No details yet, but it's something on the top of my mind every day.