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Sony tests Early Access framework on PlayStation 4 with Dungeon Defenders II

A PlayStation 4 version of Trendy Entertainment’s co-op tower defense game Dungeon Defenders II will launch at the end of September, arriving as the platform’s first-ever “Pre-Alpha” release.

Adapting an approach similar to Steam’s Early Access service and Microsoft’s Xbox Game Preview program, Sony will offer paid access to featured games prior to their completion, giving players a chance to serve an active role in development.

Related: The Long Dark and Elite: Dangerous are coming to Xbox One through the new Xbox Game Preview program

“Our controls aren’t there yet,” producer Brad Logston warns in the above gameplay video. “Some of the menu work isn’t there yet. We’re still iterating on these things. That’s part of us being in this program: [working with Sony] to make it the best Dungeon Defenders experience on a console we can.”

The PC version of Dungeon Defenders II is currently available via Steam’s Early Access program. While core gameplay features have been implemented, Trendy Entertainment notes that the current version suffers from bugs, missing features, and balance issues.

“Some [PS4] features, like local co-op and controller support, will be ahead of the PC version, but other features and content will be rolling in after they are released on PC,” developer Philip Asher explains in a post at Sony’s blog.

Sony’s VP of developer and publisher relations Adam Boyes previously told Gamasutra that the company has had “massive conversations internally” regarding the feasibility of paid alphas. To date, Sony has not announced plans for additional pre-alpha releases on the PlayStation 4 beyond Dungeon Defenders II.

Microsoft recently launched its own Early Access-styled program for the Xbox One with in-progress versions of Hinterland Studio’s wilderness survival game The Long Dark and Frontier Developments’ open-world space exploration sim Elite: Dangerous. Games like Shelter and DayZ are also due to premiere via the Xbox Game Preview initiative in the coming months.

Dungeon Defenders II will be available digitally via the PlayStation Network on September 29. PS4 owners can access the pre-alpha version of Dungeon Defenders II by purchasing an in-game currency bundle at launch.