Evidence of Windows 8 apps on Xbox One presumably in front of us the whole time
It’s no secret that your Xbox One will be more than just a game console when it launches later this year. There’s of course the media aspects that are being expanded on from the Xbox 360, namely video and music capabilities. But it could be so much more than with rumors and hints of Windows 8 apps and games working on the machine. The latest fuel to the fire comes from Justin Angel who noticed something that’s been in front of all of us for a long time.
We didn’t really cover it here at Windows Phone Central, but earlier this year a development kit for the next-generation Xbox appeared on an eBay auction. The seller also happened to be leaking a lot of information about next-generation consoles before he was greeted by a police raid and had his computer confiscated. The rise and fall of the individual is told really well by Stephen Totilo over at Kotaku. You should go read it and check out some of the screenshots supplied by SuperDaE, the hacker behind the information and eBay sale of the development kit.
One screenshot from the story caught the attention of Justin Angel, who previously worked at both Microsoft and Nokia. The screenshot shows a supposed file directory for Homefront 2. The game was originally being developed by THQ, but the company has since filed for bankruptcy and is now being developed by Crytek.
Justin noticed something quite interesting about the file directory, a specific file to be exact. Inside the file directory was “AppxManifest.xml” which indicates a Windows 8 WinRT app. That’s in conjunction with the “DurangoLauncher.exe”, which he suspects is used to launch the Xbox One game. Durango is believed to be the internal codename for the Xbox One.
While it’s not hard to fake screenshots like the one above, nearly all the information supplied by SuperDaE has checked out since. Plus we know the Xbox One is basically running three operating systems at once. You have a system OS to run apps like Skype and Internet Explorer, the “Xbox OS” which will power the games, and a layer that uses tech from Microsoft’s Hyper-V to switch between the two instantaneously. Many people have suspected that the system OS will be where developers, like yourself, will be able to develop and target for games and apps. Microsoft even hinted at such a possibility at the end of Build by telling developers to start building for the Xbox One by developing for Windows 8.
Don’t forget, indie developers can self-publish on the Xbox One.
What are your predictions for the relation between Windows and the Xbox One from a developers perspective?
Source: Kotaku, Twitter, Twitter
Thanks for the heads up Justin!
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,MSFT boasted about app compatibility across WP-PC-XBOX. Yet to be true. My hopes are getting faded every time google release a new update.
MS had around 100K WP apps already at the time and they decided to start Windows 8/RT app library from scratch.
Bad for users, bad for devs, bad all around.
My question is .. if its using the Windows RT runtime .. can xbox one games go .. the other direction aka ... to Surface/RT
Until PC GPUs catch up to the new features of the XBox One GPU, even a top end system will struggle.
As for indie publishers with lighter type games, development shouldn't be much difference for all of them as the frameworks continue to equalize.
This is not the boost to Windows Store everyone is hoping for. Most likely Microsoft will provide a curated app store like they have done for select 360 apps.
The "relative size" of a 10" tablet screen 18 inches away from your face is nearly the same as a 46" TV screen that is 10 feet away. Therefore, I think most Modern UI apps are already optimized pretty well for the 10 foot experience. A desktop/laptop is also pretty close in relative size and is also typically used in landscape. However, a phone is generally used in portrait mode and the relative size of the screen is much smaller. I think MS got it right when they drew the line between phone apps and everthing else. For the most part, a phone app has to be optimized for specifically for that form factor while apps for other devices can be a shared experience.
Also, Kinect is a mandatory part of XBONE so developers can count on it being there and program for it if it makes sense. They don't have to use it though. I'm sure there will be lots of apps/games that just don't really lend themselves to Kinect's functionality.
Maybe this speaks to MS wanted much easier porting from PC games to Xbox and vice-versa?
It's more likely that the app architecture for Xbox One is similar to the Windows 8/RT, because that's also the case for Windows Phone 8.
It's unlikely to utilize the SAME apps. Just imagine using any of these apps with a controller. Keyboard and mouse is bad enough for them, with them often utilizing a tabbing orgy instead of hotkeys to activate functions, but a controller would be hilariously impractical.
You can bet your ass that the apps can be easily ported and are basically the same in terms of development. But they will still be versions created specifically for the console. You might even have one app that exists in multiple versions, meaning that buying the Xbox version will give you the version for Windows, as well.
There's also the question of performance if it's really the SAME apps. Sure, currently there's enough processing power to overkill the hardware requirements on Windows 8 apps.
This will change three years down the line. And a modern console could exist for up to ten years. You can't unify the systems like that, because it would transform the console into a bottleneck. It's bad enough for games already, where everything is created for Xbox 360 and then shoddily ported to the other systems, often even losing features because of that (like English language support in the European version of Deus Ex).
I would love to see apps say 'ARM, WP8, x86, xbox one'.
I would also really hope that app developers have to go in and modify their UI for compatibility with an xbox controller before their app is available for xbox. That way we don't end up with a ton of crappy app ports to xbox one. Standards are important! But really, the tile-based UI that windows has been pushing would be EXCELLENT for a game controller, so not a ton of modifications would be necessary.
This also begs another question, if windows 8 is maximized for controller use, how easy would it be to make a winRT box to compete with cheaper TV services by google and apple? Really simple!!
/Might just be close to right
If they can say to app developers, that an app created for windows store will have a potential customer from every windows 8 laptop/desktop/tablet AND every single xbox one, then this would be a huge incentive for app developers.
There would be a huge increase in the number of apps being developed and released for windows store.
I would love for the forthcoming VLC player for windows store to also run on xbox one, hope MS wouldnt block apps that compete against there own apps live xbox video / music.
As others have pointed out, if the pricicng structure is well though out, eg buy an app for a single device for less, or pay a little extra and buy it for use across multiple devices, and use skydrive for syncing settings etc, this would be a huge win for consumers.
The next step I feel would be for windows 8 phones, I mean x86 based bay trail chips in smartphones, they could potentially run full windows 8, but with desktop walled off or the modern UI adjusted slightly for phone portrait mode.
I know it would be very annoying for Windows phone 8 owners if MS started over again with x86 windows phones, but it would mean a full, true coherent ecosystem with the same app running on smartphone - tablet - laptop - desktop - xbox
That would be a pretty good boost for the Store (more competition for Steam is always good).