Early access and try-before-you-buy with Xbox Game Preview

The Xbox One is getting its own version of Steam Early Access, starting... NOW!

On top of backwards compatibility, Microsoft had another crowd-pleasing new Xbox One feature to announce during its E3 keynote - Xbox Game Preview.

This works very much like the incredibly popular Early Access program of Steam, in that it allows you to buy, download and play games by independent developers while they're still being made. The idea is that your feedback can shape the final game. It sure can't be bad for developers to start making some money on their game before it's even finished, either.

Try before you buy - starting today

What's extra interesting here is that every game featured in Xbox Game Preview will have a free trial so that you can decide whether to take the plunge and buy the game in early access, or wait for the final version.

And perhaps best of all, Xbox Game Preview starts this very day with the Xbox One port of brilliant space-flight sim Elite Dangerous and apocalypse survival adventure The Long Dark. By the time you read this both might already be available through the Xbox One dashboard.

The only other two games so far confirmed for the program are Shelter and DayZ, but no dates have so far been revealed for those.