Sony is open to the idea of letting indie developers charge for early access to unfinished PlayStation 4 games, reports Joystiq. According to Sony America’s VP of publisher and developer relations Adam Boyes, the company would "absolutely support" buy-in alphas, so long as they don’t "have any bugs that are completely destroying the world," adding that the same model could also be applied to PlayStation 3 and Vita development. Competitor Valve recently announced plans to offer a similar service through its Steam distribution platform under the name Early Access.
Sony is trying hard to appeal to the community
Indie developer support will be a key differentiator in the next generation of consoles, as incumbents like Sony and Microsoft hope to lure talented developers away from lucrative mobile platforms. To that end, Sony is trying hard to appeal to the community, pledging that its new console will be easier to develop for than the existing PlayStation 3. Speaking to gamasutra, Boyes explained that Sony would also be streamlining the development process for its new console, scrapping the time-consuming greenlighting process. The company had also announced it will get rid of costly patch fees for updating games that are already in distribution.
So far, a number of prominent independent developers have announced plans to develop for the platform — Braid creator Jonathan Blow showed off his new game, The Witness at Sony’s keynote last month, and a number of ports of existing indie games have already been announced, including Primal Carnage, Sportsfriends, and Divekick.