When Microsoft released the Xbox One in late 2013, it was supposed to be more than just a gaming console. It was supposed to be an all-around entertainment device where the gaming was just one of many things the Xbox One could do. But if you come to think about it, the Xbox One is actually a very sophisticated device, and Microsoft wants to provide the best user experience possible through software updates and other changes. And with this in mind, Microsoft has a new Xbox Preview Program – what is this program exactly, and what’s in it for you, the gamer?
The Xbox Preview Program is a chance for users to test out proposed software updates and new features for the Xbox One before everybody can get the updates on their consoles. Technically, anyone can volunteer for the program, but the catch here is, of course, you won’t get paid for signing up to the program and participating. Then again, the main goal of the Preview Program is to have users take a sneak peek at upcoming updates and new features before the general public does so.
Last year, Microsoft updated the Xbox One several times, so this would give you a chance to test out an update ahead of the official release.
It isn’t all fun and games, though – sure, you’ll be getting new features ahead of the rest of the Xbox One gaming community, but you may also be asked to give feedback on a certain update. At the present, Preview Program members are in the process of testing transparent tiles that allow gamers to get a better view of the background. If you’re part of the program, you’ll have to rate the new feature and provide some feedback on whether it’s a worthy addition to the Xbox One or not.
There are also some things you won’t be able to get through the Xbox One Preview Program, and that’s where the catches come in. While you’ll sometimes get a chance to beta test a new game, say, Halo 5 in multiplayer mode, you won’t be getting any free games either. The objective of this program is to allow members to test features and software updates, which essentially disqualifies you from receiving a free game for your troubles.
And you’ll also be dealing with myriad issues relating to certain features, may they be brand new or recently added. As there is a lot of testing in the Preview Program, one should expect to tackle more than a few bugs. And leaving the Preview Program isn’t as easy as it sounds – anyone who wants to quit the program has to wait until the next software update.
If you understand the catches and know what’s in it for you, joining the Xbox Preview Program just might be your cup of tea. But there are a few other catches to keep in mind – for one, the program was once open to anybody who had a video game console, but now, you’ll have to get an invitation to join in. We’d suggest looking for a person who’s already part of the Program, then ask for an invite. Contrary to what you may think, the Preview Program does come with its share of pitfalls, so do keep that in mind before joining.