All Windows 10 developers can now submit UWP apps for publishing to the Xbox Store

Microsoft has announced that developers who are creating apps for the Xbox One can now submit their work to the Xbox Store for publishing to the console's millions of owners.

Presently, only major companies and developers with exclusive access had the ability to submit an app to the Xbox One, but with this update, even the smallest independent developers can bring their applications to the console.

In a blog post, Microsoft stated:

Dev Center has accepted submissions built using the Windows 10 Anniversary Update SDK build 14393 since earlier in August. Starting today, you can offer your apps built using this latest SDK to customers on Xbox One. To target your app to Xbox, select "Windows 10 Xbox" in the device family availability section of the Packages page of your submission, as described in the simplified device family targeting announcement below.

Does this mean we'll see an avalanche of poorly optimized UWP mobile games on Xbox One? Thankfully not. UWP games will still require Xbox's rigorous concept approval tests (opens in new tab) before being submitted to the console store. As usual, Microsoft recommends independent UWP game developers to contact ID@Xbox to bring their games to the console.

Game submissions targeting Xbox One require concept approval in order to successfully submit and publish onto the Xbox. This ensures games on Xbox deliver the experiences our players expect. If you would like to offer your UWP game to customers on Xbox One, please visit ID@Xbox to join the ID@Xbox Program, or reach out to the ID@Xbox account management team if you are already in the program.

Developers can also support package flighting for their Xbox One apps as well:

Please remind your Xbox test customers that they have to manually check for updates in the Store to get the latest flights, by signing into their Xbox One using their Microsoft account.

In addition to the above changes, UWP apps, and the Windows Dev Center have picked up various new capabilities. Some of the highlights outlined below:

  • You can now send out required updates for UWP apps.
  • Devs can list even more system requirements for UWP games and apps. If people install them on unsupported hardware, they will get a warning.
  • Devs can no longer change the category of an app to or from "Games."
  • Much, much more. Check out the full list of updates here.

We will likely see many new Xbox One apps appear in the Xbox Store for the first time in the next several days and weeks. Check out our round-up of popular Windows 10 UWP apps we'd like to see hit Xbox One using the link below!

These are the 10 best Universal Windows 10 apps that need to come to Xbox One

John Callaham
  • finally, can't wait :)
  • Soooo, the Xbox runs Windows 10, but it's not a unified Windows 10 store, rather a separate Xbox store?... Or, is the terminology miscommunicated.
  • Yes, both, either. The stores for all of Microsoft as I understand are all the same on the back end. However on the front end are gated, based on hardware qualifications set by developer or Microsoft. The entry point, such as, the internet or device store front ends.
  • Exactly!. I know, and understand this. To me the communication should be " the windows 10 store for Xbox"... IDK, I guess Xbox is such a successful product that It doesn't need to be marketed as a W10 product.
  • Still, to me Windows 10 apps on XB, sounds more exciting (from a consumer standpoint) than "Xbox store apps".... Just my opinion.
  • The stores have been 'unified' but there's a few caveats. You can submit apps to Xbox but games require additional testing or quality control. Developers must also choose what platforms the app is for - i.e. they must choose PC, Mobile, Surface Hub, HoloLens, Xbox, etc. As an example the 'Readit' app is listed for "PC, Mobile, Holographic, Hub"
  • I actually wish to have a bit of quality control even for apps, if not as rigorous as the games. I'm rather concerned of having poorly designed UX apps flooding Xbox Store. We don't want apps just for the sake of it. The apps has to be really well optimized for 10-foot experience, means it is really designed for TV and controller, where menu complexity isn't as much as appreciated as we do with mouse and keyboard, even touch-based UI is already more complex for D-Pad navigation.
  • Interesting.. I never thought of it like that.
  • If only this situation could go full circle with phone, Xbox, and PC... That would really help mobile out with games..
    I can look back to a time where we thought Xbox games on Windows Phone would kill the competition.. I wonder if any of that hope is salvageable.
  • I'm still hoping that MS will see that. Though it may not kill the competition since that would be too ambitious, but still the great potential is there and it may give a strong unique value to the platform for non-enterprise aspect, something that is meaningful and understandable to everyday consumers. They could at least have a first peek of it by having W10M able to stream games from Xbox One consoles and PC. It may be not that too popular feature and considered niche, but it would be a strong consumer niche. MS needs to value gamers more, a type of consumer that's why Windows on PC is still a very big thing on homes. They have to take advantage of gaming ecosystem of Xbox and PC and extend that experience to mobile. Though we can't have exact game from Xbox or PC to mobile, but we need a flagship game that hopefully demonstrate that kind of ecosystem, something that will push the whole ecosystem just like what Halo did for Xbox. This is rather difficult though and MS will need someone (game studios) to help that concept to materialize and hopefully execute it well. At least for starters, we need to have a similar PC-like gaming (but not what considered "hardcore" yet) on Continuum. Imagine playing Xbox or PC game streamed to W10M Continuum, plus an AAA worthy game titles that is playable for PC, Xbox and mobile equally.
  • How about quality control for all platforms instead of just Xbox? Right now Microsoft is desperately accepting anything that is thrown at the Store, as long as it doesn't set the automated test server on fire. Don't phone and desktop users deserve a bit more quality control?
  • More gates to discourage developers and make Windows Mobile development more expensive is the last thing they need right now. They can afford to be stricter on Xbox though since its a major player in the console scene. There's far more motivation for devs to bring their apps there.
  • Hopefully there will be more incentive for developers to get it right now there is more competition.
  • Not by Microsoft... They asks devs more reyalties than any other. That s one of the reason of the WP flop.
  • I'd say a flood is unlikely, I also have used the AppleTV and FireTV, the number of truely useful apps is more limited for both of those, I suspect the Xbox will be same more or less if they go with the same strict rules of Apple/Amazon.  What dominates the set top box stores are video streaming apps from legit sources or from personal sources, everything else is a very distant second place. UI wise there isnt much to go on, most streaming apps are just portals to play video. Personal media players on the other hand do really need good UI's the best two out their MrMC and InFuse will not be coming to Xbox so whatever does don't expect fancy UI's. I've looked at the entire Windows store and not found a single media player app which comes even remotely close to the quality of InFuse or MrMC.
  • No offense at all, but fire TV and apple TV aren't even remotely near the sales of Xbox. Not even close. So you cant compare them. Also apple TV isn't designed to run apps as well as an Xbox. Let's see how windows 10 does on Xbox first.
  • Finally
  • Bring on the apps
  • Xbox users are a much more attractive user base to developers than Windows Phone users. I wonder what kind of access devs get to the Kinect sensors?
  • Kinect doesn't work in apps hasn't since they removed it.
  • That's not true. HBO Now just launched a few months ago and has Kinect gesture navigation.
  • I believe Kinect doesn't work with UWP apps, non-UWP apps are still okay (AFAIK).
  • Incorrect. It is up to the dev to decide which aspects of the Kinect they would like to support i.e. Motion or voice. As an example Hulu an UWP uses voice control API's.
  • Microsoft Camera is a UWP, just launched weeks ago, and uses Kinect.
  • It's the same code as the phone though. UWP. So to bring to phone also will be minimal user interface work.
  • Wish vlc player shows up and can play blurays and skips region check. Hate that the built in app checks. Can't play my region b blurays. Region locks just lead to piracy. Movie industry is so behind times.
  • That wont happen for discs at least, digital copies stored on a server is another matter. Also keep in mind that the Xbox One like all BD disc players over the past several years uses Cinavia DRM which when active on title will disable the audio track when it detects it's not being played from disc. What MS should be doing from a legal point of view is dropping in Windows store codes for digital copies of the movie when you buy the disc just like Apple do with iTunes. VLC will probably show up the VLC team are terrible at UI development don't expect much, the gold standard of app store friendly HTPC style media players are MrMC (fork of Kodi by ex-XBMC/Kodi devs) and InFuse which have the proper UI and all the codecs licensed but neither of those are coming to Xbox, (well maybe a remote chance of MrMC way down the road if the devs are have time/interest).
  • If MrMC and InFuse are in the store... What makes you say they won't appear on the Xbox? It is just another check box?
  • Bring on Emby!
  • This would allow new AAA games were made in UWP or he doesn't have that power yet?
  • UWP should be fine for not graphically demanding games. Not sure if UWP on Xbox are highly optimized that it can have more direct access to the hardware. Console games really needs to really have low-level since the hardware isn't that too powerful, so developers needs to make use of the available hardware very efficiently. If UWP can provide that for Xbox, then it can be done for AAA games.
  • Better work that podcast app. Didn't sync with phone. Phone dl 8 gb of something over a few days couldn't play anything. Unimpressed by that app.
  • Let consumers decide if a game or app is good or not. Check for malware, etc., but open the gates on the apps.
  • You can't be serious... Last thing we need is fart apps on Xbox, get an Android 50£ device for that. I pay a subscription for a premium, curated space.
  • That's such a ridiculous straw man argument. There are 22 fart apps in the Windows Store now, do you ever see them unless you look for them? No, never. You won't see them unless you search for a fart app (like I just did). Frist, many developers first apps are not that great, but publishing them is inspiring and brings better second apps, and even better third apps. These is no reason to block their efforts, because you'll never be bothered by them (see above). Second, how does someone in an office in Redmond know whether an app is useful or not? Maybe I want alarm app on my Xbox so it wakes me up in the morning. Why not? Just because you don't believe an Xbox should be used as an alarm doesn't mean other people feel the same. Who cares if 2% of Xbox users run an alarm app or not? It provides more choice for users. Third, none of these apps are mandatory. What apps you actually see on the Windows Store app is very curated. Please read this article, and it will explain how Microsoft protects you from the horror of seeing a fart app. I say, don't gimp the Xbox Store just so SlayerSpecial doesn't see an app that offends his fart sensitivities. Open the flood gates.
  • You're forgetting something. What if I make an emulator app for the Xbox so I can play all the Nintendo roms. Or an app that turns on the Kinect and records people without knowledge. That's just two examples with completely different reasons to certify the apps and not just "open the flood gates"
  • I'm ok, even expect them to scan for illegal and malware apps. I just don't want them trying to predict which legal apps should be published. Just publish them and let users decide to buy them or not.
  • .
  • .
  • It doesn't matter if you're ok. If MS allowed a Nintendo emulator onto their console, Nintendo would be all over them. They don't have to "predict" what is legal or not. Laws are already defined, they KNOW what is illegal or not. That's not even taking into account my other example of something turning on your Kinect without your knowledge. The whole point there is WITHOUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE. How is a consumer supposed to know they are getting something bad if it's hidden from them? You just blindly want the Xbox flooded with apps regardless of what they are. The Xbox doesn't need that, it sells amazingly without it.
  • What the hell are you talking about? I said that I expect them go after illegal and malware apps.
  • I have to admit fault there, I misread your comment. It does still mean though that all apps have to go through a vetting process before getting published.
  • No problem. When I first saw Minecraft, I thought the graphics were horrible and no one would play it. I might have said "not good enough" of I was filtering apps for quality and likelihood of success. I would have been famously wrong.
  • Thing is though, that's not what they're checking for. The process is to make sure its not overly offensive, vulgar, or questionable. As well as something within the capabilities of the Xbox itself, though I think they work with you on that part not just turn you down.
  • Curation, please!!
  • Finally
  • Bring on a app that plays bluray/dvd with out an internet connection. My internet went down the other day so i couldn't watch Netflix's so I tried to watch a DVD and couldn't cause the app doesn't work with out a connection.
  • Really? Maybe send feedback to MS about this. It is redundant to require an internet connection to watch DVD's
  • When the Windows Central app ?
  • I hope someone makes a media player that doesnt suck as bad as the current media player. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • "You can now send out required updates for UWP apps.
    Devs can list even more system requirements for UWP games and apps. If people install them on unsupported hardware, they will get a warning.
    Devs can no longer change the category of an app to or from 'Games.'" These sound like great new features! Especially the required updates and the unsupported hardware warning. Should make it much easier for devs to patch critical bugs or vulnerabilities, and easier for consumers to know if their hardware isn't capable of running certain apps and games. Awesome stuff, Microsoft. Keep it up!
  • "Apps can be installed even if the device does not meet the minimum requirements, but customers may see a warning (depending on their version of Windows and the specific requirements you provided) and may not submit ratings or reviews." Now THIS is a good update, should spare developers getting bad reviews because someone using a Lumia 520 to run a graphic-intense game on max settings is having a less-than-ideal experience. Reading through the blog, this overall sounds like a bunch of fantastic new features for devs. Very good stuff.
  • VLC please!
  • We need some emulators. Someone make this happen asap!
  • VBA10 already exists. Now if you want it on Xbox, should probably be more specific with your statement.
  • What's wrong with you? This article is specifically talking about apps on XB1. SMH
  • Won't happen. I'd love it, but the legalities of it would be a nightmare.
  • Come on Ring! Bring your Video Doorbell app to the Xbox One!
  • Can't wait for perfect workout
  • Good good good, I still will get mine XB1S next year to play it with 4K gaming feature. Good job by MS!
  • Wondering what will Car and Driver say if I published their app. I built it last year and have been using it privately between all my devices (except Xbox).
  • Can't wait for the Windows central UWP on Xbox
  • I anticipate a wave of new weather apps suddenly appearing on xbox now.
  • Nothing wrong with that.
  • Probably a wave of other apps as well. Don't you think?
  • Just a bit of humor. Never mind...
  • Since apps are ideally UWP, will this bring more apps to mobile?
  • No.
  • So when we can expect more apps?
  • There are not as many as 10. I am one of them, and I think I have 3 or 4 buddies worldwide.
  • WOW.  I was only kidding...the windows 10 debacle is worse than even I thought!!!!
  • Just sent in my own UWP app for validation, will be interesting to see how it turns out on a bigger screen. ​Its a app to track rocket launches, so any one intertested can check out the link below, its availible for Windows 10 phones and desktop and hopefully soon on the Xbox One. =)​
  • When on IOS and Android?