We've known since last summer that an open multiplayer beta of Battlefield 4 was planned for this fall. Now, we know exactly when the beta will kick off: October 1.
EA's Peter Moore made the announcement on EA's official blog. He also revealed that the BF4 beta will be playable on not just the PC, but also the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. (Next-gen consoles won't be included for one simple reason: the full version of BF4 will be in stores on October 29, several weeks before the PS4 and Xbone are due out.)
More details about the open beta can be gleaned from the official FAQ. Apparently, the beta will let players duke it out in Conquest mode in the game's "Siege of Shanghai" map. As for who will be allowed in, a purchase is definitely required:
There are several ways to get into the exclusive Battlefield 4™ Beta: By pre-ordering the Battlefield 4™ Digital Deluxe Edition on Origin.com, by being a Battlefield 3: Premium member, and by being a registered owner of Medal of Honor Warfighter Limited Edition or Digital Deluxe Edition.
If you're interested, the Digital Deluxe Edition of BF4 is priced at $69.99 on Origin. On top of early beta access, it includes the China Rising DLC and "3 Gold Battlepacks," which get you extra items and weapons and such. Hooray.