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Gears of War 4 Dev Talks Beta, Split-Screen Confirmed

"Honest to god, it's a technical beta."

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Appearing on the latest Game Informer Show [video link], Gears of War 4 boss Rod Fergusson answered lots of questions about the upcoming Xbox One shooter. Two noteworthy responses related to the upcoming beta and split-screen play.

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On the subject of Gears of War 4's upcoming beta, Fergusson stressed that, similar to the Halo 5: Guardians beta, it is very much a "technical" beta, not anywhere near ready for launch.

"What you're going to play is basically an alpha build of our multiplayer," he said. "That means there's going to be issues, but it's an actual beta. It's not a fake demo; it's not a highly polished thing in the sense that it's set up as a marketing demo. It's actually, 'Hey, we have brand new technology on our servers and we have brand new features on our client and we want that to be tested at scale and we want your help.'"

Some betas can be more like marketing vessels, Fergusson said, adding that this won't be the case with Gears of War 4's beta. "Honest to god, it's a technical beta," he said.

Fergusson went on to say that developer The Coalition hopes to gather feedback from fans about Gears of War 4's multiplayer so it can make changes to the final product.

Also during the hour-long podcast, Fergusson confirmed that Gears of War 4 will offer split-screen co-op. "Any way you can play Gears of War you can play split-screen," he explained.

For split-screen, however, frame rate drops down to 30fps due in part to the complexity of what's going on. As previously confirmed, Gears of War 4's campaign runs at 1080p/30fps, while multiplayer is shooting for 60fps, though a resolution hasn't been confirmed.

While some games are dropping split-screen, including Microsoft's own Halo 5: Guardians, Gears of War 4 was always going to have it. "We can never get rid of that," Fergusson explained.

The Game Informer Show podcast is stuffed full of other interesting details about the development and vision for Gears of War 4. Go watch it here.

In other news, Gears of War 4's story, which follows Marcus Fenix's son and two other new characters, takes place over the span of 24 hours. Additionally, it's also been confirmed that Gears of War 4's co-op is limited to two players locally and online, not four as was the case with Gears of War 3.

A PC version of Gears of War 4 is also a possibility.

The Gears of War 4 multiplayer beta begins on Xbox One starting April 18. To get in on that date, you need to play Gears of War Ultimate Edition on Xbox One or PC by April 11. Previously, you needed to have played by March 1, but Microsoft announced an extension back in March.

The first wave of tokens for the beta will begin to be dispersed on April 18, though Microsoft didn't say who will get codes first or how long it may take for all codes to go out. After the "early access" period ends on April 24, all Xbox Live Gold members can play through May 1.

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