DICE has launched a limited alpha test for Battlefield 4 today. Select PC gamers should find an email invitation waiting for them in their inbox.
The invite, as posted on NeoGAF and MP1st, says that testers were selected because of their "experience with the Battlefield series." There's no definitive requirement, though, so don't expect an invitation just because you've been playing Battlefield for years. It sounds like only a very small number of invites were sent out.
The email warns that this trial won't reflect the final quality of the game. It's an alpha, after all, not a demo. Most of the level textures, other than soldiers and vehicles, will be white and overall performance might be choppy. In other words, it won't be quite as sexy as that E3 demo. The goal of the alpha is to test server performance. Lag and downtime could be common occurrences.
The recommended system requirements for the alpha trial are as follows:
If you didn't receive an invite to the alpha, you won't be receiving one. A producer at DICE confirmed on the official forums that only one batch will be sent out:
Missing out on the alpha won't be such a big deal, anyway. According to the invite, it's only going to run for two weeks. Furthermore, it's only available for 6 hours per day (9am to 3pm PST) during those weeks. Depending on your schedule, you might not be able to play most of the trial anyway.
Many gamers' first hands-on experience with BF4 will come during the beta. The beta test is scheduled for this fall on all platforms. Medal of Honor: Warfighter owners, BF4 pre-order customers, and Battlefield 3 Premium members will all have guaranteed access.