The game industry is booming right now. Even with a troubled economy companies like Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo are all earning profit from their video games. It is a profit that will never end every time a video game comes out their make money for 5-10 years if it is a good title. This means that most of the companies are looking to expand and hire new positions for jobs. If you're serious about making games or working in this industry then you need to start somewhere. There are all sorts of jobs you could get to make a new game but the starting job is becoming a tester.
Next gen testing has many advantages not only do you get paid for doing something you love but good testers are now getting noticed in the credits. You even end up receiving free games and systems from the companies that you will be working for. Any gamer would agree that this would be a dream job come true. Occasionally the companies will even promote you to actually being part of the entire creative process.
Remember these companies are consistently profiting so that they need more and more people to help them out to stay coming out with quality products. There's a lot of reason game companies would need testers to ensure that their products hit the store shelves working smoothly. If they do not pay for the testers before the release then they could end up with a bad title that would turn all future sales for the company away, even for different games that they produce. This happens two ways, first the initial players bad experience causes them to return the game resulting in money lost. Also the player will tell his or her friends and both the player and their friends future purchases will be affected by a bad game in the past.