We’re entering a new era of video games where it’s not just Steam indies and MMOs that have open betas. It’s now been confirmed that EA/Respawn’s Titanfall will have an open beta on the Xbox One and PC. And it’s likely happening soon.
The shooter is one of the most hotly anticipated games of the year, and will likely be the biggest release on next-gen consoles to date when it comes out this spring exclusively for Xbox One and Windows PC. Microsoft secured the rights to the first game, and Sony has to wait for a probable sequel for Titanfall to make its way to PS4.
The existence of the Titanfall open beta was confirmed by Respawn’s Vince Zampella yesterday, who promised more details in the coming days. NeoGAF is pointing to French site Xboyxygen, who has a retail source saying that the open beta will run from Valentine’s Day, February 14th, to the 19th. Seems like a reasonable guess, given that the game is due to be released March 11th across the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.
An open beta will give Respawn a clearer picture of how the game might function at launch. Given the track record of nearly every online multiplayer game floundering at launch recently with connectivity problems, it’s probably a smart idea to try a test like this ahead of time. That said, there’s no guarantee there won’t be launch issues regardless, and it’s almost expected at this point, given the track record of most online debuts as of late.
There’s no way to sign up for the beta yet, but with this reported date in about two weeks, I’d expect more information to follow.
Titanfall will be an incredibly important moment for the Xbox One, as if the game is successful enough, it could drive sales of the system so they may be able to close some of the gap with the PS4. To date, the One is about a million units shy of the PS4′s sales, mainly due to a $100 price gap and the fact that it’s been released in fewer territories.
Even though both systems have released a slew of exclusive games from Killzone to Dead Rising, Titanfall looks to be the first truly “must-have” game since the next-gen fight started, and it’s in the Xbox’s corner, at least for now.
PS4′s exclusive answer to Titanfall will be Infamous: Second Son, also released in March, but it’s a completely separate genre as a sandbox superhero adventure. That game looks promising as well, but I have a hunch which will outsell the other in their similar release windows.
Look for more Titanfall beta info soon. I’ll post any updates here if they come in.