Need For Speed will undergo a closed beta test for the Xbox One and PS4 in the near future. Origin users will eventually have an opportunity to participate as well, as EA and Ghost Games will host a beta ahead of the game's November release.
Destructoid detailed how the game sign-ups are currently open right now over on the official Need For Speed website. The sign-ups will be open up until September 25th, after which a lottery will be drawn and various members of the gaming community will be selected to beta test the game and presumably help provide EA and Ghost Games with feedback and data on the server stress to ensure that the always-on DRM holds up for launch day, something that didn't go over so well with games like Diablo III and SimCity.
While the official website requires that you sign-up for an EA Network account and that you can only choose between participating in the Need For Speed closed beta for the Xbox One or PS4, one of the users in the comment section mentioned that Origin is hosting a separate beta test for PC users. You're not forever alone.
Brian mentions that for the PC version of the game if you have an Origin account simply log in and at the top where it has your account and privacy information you can select the Game Tester Program where Need For Speed is listed. It's a little bit like the Steam beta program that you can sometimes opt into with select games by going into the properties and selecting the beta test from the drop-down menu.
There's no guarantee that anyone who signs up will actually make it into the closed beta, and historically most closed betas have very limited access for those who are eligible to participate.
This is probably as much a promotional gig as it is an actual stress test. Games with always-on DRM are not to be trifled with when it comes to potential launch day issues – not having enough servers allocated for the load or having any sort of hiccup on the backend will likely result in a very poor experience for a lot of players.
Need For Speed has definitely received a fair amount of backlash for its always-on DRM but EA seems determined to keep moving forward with it.
The game itself is remarkably gorgeous and since it's running on DICE's Frostbite 3, you can see how the lighting and post-processing effects are just about top notch. In some segments the game almost looks just like real life, which is a testament to DICE's engineering prowess and Ghost Games' ability to utilize artists who can tap into and make the most out of the engine.
Need For Speed will feature a deep customization utility similar to the old Need For Speed: Underground games. There will also be a live-action component in the game that seamlessly intertwines with the actual gameplay, which is quite impressive.
You can look for Need For Speed to launch on November 3rd for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. You can sign up for the closed beta by visiting the official website.