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Microsoft Unlocks the Ability To Turn Xbox One Consoles Into 'Development Kits' (polygon.com) 73

Dave Knott writes: Today, Microsoft made good on a nearly three-year-old promise, unlocking the ability for all retail Xbox One consoles to become development kits. This mode will allow anyone to build, test and experiment with Universal Windows Program (UWP) development. Converting a console to Dev Mode requires no special equipment or fees, though to fully access the abilities, a user will need to create a Dev Center account. After setting up Dev Mode, a user simply pairs their Xbox One with Visual Studio, which sees the console as a Windows 10 machine to which it can deploy content directly through a wired connection. While this feature eases self-publishing on Xbox One, a developer will still have to go through Microsoft's concept approval, which usually takes about two weeks, before the game is eligible to be published on Xbox One. The big change here is that while traditionally Microsoft had to give a hopeful developer a dev kit, now a developer can just switch over their own retail console.
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Microsoft Unlocks the Ability To Turn Xbox One Consoles Into 'Development Kits'

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  • that would be nice to dual boot Linux on my PS3 and use it for a multimedia center
    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      It seems like they might have to - if this catches on. If Microsoft does this well, and it is as good as it sounds it might be, then I'd guess that the rest of them would want to follow suit. That might mean a good thing for independent studios or just creative people.

      I am not, by any means, a gamer - not even remotely. However, this kind of makes me want one now. Why? Just so I can try to build a game. I'm really bad at graphics and game play methods would be awkward as hell because I'm about a great a des

      • I've got the perfect video game in my head and would love to try to lay it out there.

        Have you tried making it for a PC or mobile platform first? Those might be more inviting platforms to start out on, even after this announcement of an official softmod for development. You used to need a PC tech demo in order to score a devkit, and PC experience would probably still serve you well if you want to make the most of this softmod.

        Is there any special media required to make disks - for those who want to use/offer physical installation media?

        With all respect, if you have to ask about discs, you likely aren't quite ready to know. An indie startup's first commercial game isn't likely to exceed a few hundred MB at most. For comparison, N64 games maxed out at 32 MB with about two exceptions, and PS1 games that weren't sprawling RPGs largely fit on a 650 MB disc. You probably will not need physical installation media until it's several GB, so let's keep the proverbial cart behind the tractor until your tech demo is working.

        Literally, I've no idea how modern consoles work. I've not been a gamer in years but being able to access one as a developer just might be enough to make me want to own one.

        Do you know DirectX? There's a reason Microsoft calls it the "Xbox". Make a game for Windows 10 UWP and get it on the Windows Store, and there should be little problem building it for Xbox One.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        step 1) download unity.
        step 2) develop your idea.
        step 3) publish

        it's not free in the sense of freedom and not fully open source.. but it would get you your idea and be publishable to 10+ systems without that bad tradeoffs.

        they're fairly certain that this does NOT give the means to circumvent drm on disc based games.

        the xboxone, it's just a windows machine. literally. this is for testing universal apps, literally. you could mostly test your simple game on a windows 10 phone. or the emulator. or the machine y

        • In other words, this is Microsoft giving you a license to run Metro applications you've developed on Xbox One.

    • Consoles are almost always loss leaders. Even Nintendo gave in this Gen and lost money on the Wii U (something I don't think they've ever done). The last thing you want is a bunch of folks buying your razor blade hilt and no blades...
  • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2016 @04:48PM (#51810373) Homepage

    As with Linux on the PS3, I predict this will end shortly after someone uses it to jailbreak the console. So, in 3... 2... 1...

    • I don't think that will necessarily be the case. This is different, because this is part of a strategic initiative to push the same Universal Windows OS core to all MS supported devices. Microsoft has every incentive to keep this program around to generate additional developer interest, especially since they're in the #2 console slot at the moment.

      In Sony's case, the "Other OS" was mostly likely a gimmick to avoid paying additional taxes in the EU (so it could be classified as a computer instead of a cons

      • In Sony's case, the "Other OS" was mostly likely a gimmick to avoid paying additional taxes in the EU (so it could be classified as a computer instead of a console).

        Why why why do people keep getting this wrong, it's 2016 for gosh sakes. You're thinking of YaBASIC on the EU PS2's, that one was the gimmick, because.....

        And once that didn't pan out (laws were re-written to prevent this tax dodge),

        The laws were re-written PRIOR to the release of Linux on the PS2 or OtherOS. Linux running PS2's and PS3's were never a tax dodge.

        • Dang, looks like you're right. I did a bit of searching, and couldn't find any credible references to verify my claim - just random forum posts putting this theory out there. Thanks for setting the record straight.

    • The PS3 was jailbroken AFTER the feature was removed.

  • by creimer ( 824291 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2016 @05:02PM (#51810503) Homepage
    I remember reading the documentation for the original Xbox when I worked at Accolade/Infogrames/Atari (same company, different owners, multiple personality disorder). I always got a kick out of the A: and B: floppy drives being listed as legacy devices. Microsoft had more or less denied that the Xbox was a PC pretending to be a console.
  • to which it can deploy content directly through a wired connection.

    Wired? Pfft. Lame.

  • It's a trap (Score:4, Funny)

    by kbg ( 241421 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2016 @08:15PM (#51811649)

    It's a trap

  • Does that mean we can expect cordova based apps (perhaps even Meteor?) to run on an Xbox One?

  • Microsoft gets 6 free articles on the main page. Is this what slashdot is reduced to, shilling for the MICROS~1 organization?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      If Microsoft does something newsworthy (which this clearly is), it's not shilling. Shilling does not mean "talking about things khz6955 does not like".

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