Valve has officially launched Steam Early access today, which will allow gamers to play titles which are still in the works. The feature, announced last year alongside Steam Greenlight (an initiative which allows smaller game developers to publish their own titles on Steam based on user votes and feedback), will allow gamers to essentially become playtesters while development is still on-going. This is highly beneficial in providing feedback (to improve games and iron out bugs) to developers before their games become ‘official’.
Currently, Steam Early Access gives you… well, early access, to 12 games but there are more to come as time passes. The new section can be accessed directly on the Steam website or via Steam itself after the latest client update (an update that also includes several tweaks and addition of dropdown menus in the user interface).