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Microsoft still has plans for retail Xbox One consoles to be turned into dev kits [Update]

Update: Looks like Fuller might have been mistaken. According to a statement sent to Polygon by a Microsoft spokesperson, "The comments today were inaccurate. We remain committed to ensuring the best possible solutions for developers and hobbyists to create games for Xbox One. We will share more details at a later date."

Original story: Microsoft's previously announced plans to allow any retail Xbox One console to be turned into a game development kit have now been cancelled, according to statements made today by Martain Fuller of the company's Xbox Advanced Technology Group.

Nearly a year ago, Microsoft made this statement as part of its introduction to the ID@Xbox independent game program:

Longer term, our plan is to enable any Xbox One console to be used as a development kit for self-publishing purposes. This means that any hobbyist with a great game idea can make it come to life on Xbox One.

However, at the Develop conference in the UK today, Fuller stated during an audience Q&A those plans had changed. He is quoted as saying, "We were in the early stages of Xbox One looking at the idea of a retail kit that could be turned into a development kit, and vice versa, In the end, although that was a very admirable goal, it hasn't happened unfortunately."

When asked by an audience member if that program would eventually become available, Fuller stated, "As far as I'm aware there are no plans. I'm not aware of the reason why we didn't manage to do that."

While this plan may have been cancelled, small game developers can still apply for the ID@Xbox program, and if accepted they will be given two Xbox One hardware development kits for free to help develop their game for the console.

What do you think about this apparent about face in Microsoft's plans to open up Xbox One game development to just about anyone?

Source: Digital Spy

45 Comments
  • Say Word .....
  • Word. Said. :P
  • Pirating reasons probably.
  • And hacking, modding etc. I think I can agree with them on this
  • Exactly
  • You could/can do it with 360 though. I mean, not as a "dev kit", but you can both test and self-publish on your own Xbox. But since that was through Xbox Live Indie, perhaps the way Xbox One is set up would make it more of a security risk... Or too complicated :/
  • Maybe better it didn't happen. Its better to control this way by sending out dev kits, (Who is on the list and who's not) the way it goes now. We received those kits pretty fast without problems. And if the switch isn't done properly, it simply could be used for hacking for an example
  • The Geohotz vs Sony case comes to mind.
  • All well and good, except they are only giving dev kits if you have a console history. So those wanting to bring other games to the console are still waiting...
  • A team of people who know how to dev and a good game idea gets u on the list. This is 2nd preferred but it works.
  • Ah crap, that was one of the reasons I bought the Xbox one, wanted to develop apps (not games) to snap next to video and games. Also I was thinking that the app ecosystem would be massive because of the easy entry. Guess that's out the window... Crap.
  • I believe the app marketplace wouldn't be indie unlike the games section
  • Based on the build 2014 conference and when they were talking about universal apps and the Xbox One, I'm guessing all you'll need to make apps for the One is a Windows 8 PC.
  • Its kinda BS even the 360 could be used as a devkit, granted it was only for xna apps but still it was something. I'm really annoyed that the xbox team seem to turning the one into a PS 3.75
  • Didn't they remove the dev environment when nxe/metro ui launched?
  • I'm thinking this Idea went out the window when they ditched the whole "always on & connected" thing.  I have to wonder which was worse all the mismessaging from last E3 or the whole "Red Ring" thing.
  • I fail to see how that's related to this at all.
  • Preventing piracy, hacking, and unauthorized modding. Probably that's how it's related to it al all.
  • MS should stay on initial statements that excited people...and retail to dev kit was one of them...its a shame
  • So. Stupid. They even hyped this up during //BUILD
  • At Build they said you can develop Windows 8.1 applications to work on the Xbox One. Nothing about testing on the actual console. There was very little discussion about Xbox Indie development. I think it might just have been heavily implied.
  • I will say getting a DEV kit is not an easy task so dont expect many indie titles to be making there way to the console as there were with the 360.This decision will weed out the wanna be's from the indie companys that actually have a decent product to push to the console. If you want to build for the console build it in Native C++ DX11, Html5/Javascript or Unity3D (Unity support is coming) as a Windows Store app and publish it before even dreaming that you will see it on XB1. They will not even look at you twice if you have not already put apps in any of their stores. Also C# is a no go on the XB1 front for reasons I cannot disclose and probably wont be for awhile if ever.
  • Im not a game developer, but as a consumer that thoroughly read up on MS related news, this is sad to hear. Mainly because, turning 180, is all MS seems to do nowadays. MS needs better leadership in this department.
  • This is another puppy screwed my MSFT! For every good decision, they make 10 bad ones.
  • Turns out the source was wrong. Everything is still on track. http://kotaku.com/no-microsoft-didnt-reverse-course-on-xbox-one-dev-kits... Even a message from Major Nelson http://puu.sh/a3YZW/53fbc3e1b2.png
  • Just read that too. Glad to hear they are flip flopping
  • This is the reason why i keep play nintendo all along time in my sweet home..!!!
  • Because Nintendo allows you to use the Xbox One as a dev kit?
  • ^ THIS. Watch as 500 people come in here moaning how this is the worst thing EVAH yet don't actually even know what a development kit is or even care actually. Even the slightest smell of MS news that could be interpreted as negative, or heck, even some of the positive news draws the moaners out of the woodwork. Some are rival fanboys, others habitual complainers. THE SKY IS FALLING!!!1!!
  • Lol, exactly
  • boo
  • Apparently this is false. They do still have plans. http://kotaku.com/no-microsoft-didnt-reverse-course-on-xbox-one-dev-kits...
  • Sony fanboys are claiming this is a huge blow, but do any of Microsoft's competitors have this ability?
  • Well then go back and tell those annoying Sony fanboys that they jumped the gun because Microsoft didn't change their policy on this.
  • I was accepted a LOOONG time ago and haven't received anything...
  • Ooops
  • Yup, it's official: MSFT do another 180! http://www.engadget.com/2014/07/09/microsoft-xbox-one-retail-debug-kits/?ncid=rss_truncated
  • They did neither a 180 nor another 180. Someone simply spoke about something he didn't know anything about. There were no policies changes.
  • Oh, can you be sure of that? With proof?
  • Yes, go back up and re-read the article with the updated information.
  • Yes can't wait
  • It seems like WP Central is playing to the trolls today. If there is a story that can be blow into bad news, man they are all over it.
  • Well looks like someone probably got stitched up lol or fumbled up his notes?
  • Someones getting canned
  • Getting me a Xbox One in October with Destiny.