The answer to the question is – YES!
The QA team needs to be certified to perform console game testing which is due to – high security requirements by the console manufacturers as well as the game developers.
High standards of security is involved in console game testing so that, the game does not fail certification and increase the game developer’s cost. In order to make these games available on consoles, they are passed through additional approval and certification processes set by console vendors. These games will only get certified if they meet the rigid standards of security set by the console vendors. These measures are taken to ensure the games do not enter the grey market, which will in turn be a huge loss to the game developers and the console vendors.
To test a console kit, the QA Team must have access to certain hardware.
Console games cannot be tested on a regular retail console kit that is available to customers in the market.
There are three types of console kits that are available
Comparatively; the Dev kit is more expensive than the other two kits, whereas, the retail kit is least expensive.
The Dev kit is for the developers to run/execute the gaming code with a lot of options. Test kits come with fewer options mainly intended to be used for testing.
These Dev and Test kits contain proprietary information that is very much secured. These kits come along with a code to ensure that pirated games are not run on the console devices. Improper security leads to reverse engineering and piracy of games. These pirated games will be violating game patent laws, and incur huge lose to the console manufacturers.
The game testing team will be receiving the game builds in the form of download copies or disks to perform testing.
Due to above explained reasons, the Console Manufacturers and Game Developers will select certified game testing service vendors to perform console game testing. These partners should loyally follow guidelines set by the console manufacturers. Console Manufacturers will ‘Certify’ these partners proficiency in terms of performing testing with their kit. Game developers will only select the certified partners for console game testing services so that, their game doesn’t fail certification or end up as pirated versions.