Given how big GTA Online has been on PC, it stands to reason there should be some interest in what its cowboy equivalent is going to look like, even if there remains no confirmed PC version. So here's what's happening...
Early access to the Red Dead Online beta test will begin tomorrow, November 27, beginning with Red Dead Redemption 2 Ultimate Owners, who will be granted admission one day ahead of everyone else. The next day, anyone who played RDR2 on launch day will be allowed in, followed on November 29 by people who played it between launch day and October 29. Finally, on November 30, the doors to the full beta will be thrown open to all RDR2 owners.
"The launch of the Red Dead Online Beta is the first step in what will be a continually expanding and dynamic world, and the beta period will allow us to deal with the inevitable turbulence of launching any online experience of this size and scale," Rockstar said in the announcement.
"During this process, we will be looking to our dedicated community to help us report and fix problems, share ideas, and assist in shaping the future of the full Online experience. As with all of our releases, we will strive to make the launch of Red Dead Online the best it can possibly be, and we ask that the community share that spirit with us over the next weeks and months."
Red Dead Online—which I'm sure we will all be calling RDO soon enough—is "built from the ground up for the latest hardware" and "blends the classic multiplayer of the original Red Dead Redemption with the best of everything we have learned since then about creating deep multiplayer experiences," Rockstar said. "The result is something completely new and fun, and an experience that will continue to expand and evolve over time."
Exactly how remains a mystery at this point, as the announcement contains no details about actual gameplay, but Rockstar said that details on "modes, gameplay, and more" will be revealed tomorrow. Sadly, we'll have to wait for that and reports from console gamers to get an idea of what it's all about. Hopefully we'll walk these plains some day, but based on the GTA Online precedent we can expect quite a wait: It didn't arrive on PC until a year and a half after launching on consoles.