Jul
24
2013

Microsoft: Everyone can make XBox One Games – via XBox One

The next generation of console gaming may have finally found its niche – as the generation that blurs the line between video game players and video game creators. That's according to a new announcement by Microsoft, which confirms – like Sony with the PS4 – that XBox One owners can use the next-gen console as their very own development kit.

Xbox's corporate vice president Marc Whitten said that all Xbox Ones will function as development kits, which are usually only available to licensed developers. This will give everyone who owns an XBox One the tools to build their own XB1 games as part of the very system they're playing them on – a trend Ouya started with its independently-focused Android-based console; and subsequently adopted by Sony for the Playstation 4. To add to the appeal, reports spreading on the internet claim Microsoft will allow indie developers to self-publish on the Xbox One, though Microsoft are yet to comment on this part of the equation.

UPDATE: However, the functionality WON'T be available immediately at the console's launch; it will be installed on all consoles at a later date.

Here's Microsoft's official comment:

Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox LIVE. This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox LIVE. We'll have more details on the program and the timeline at gamescom in August.

Let me be the first to claim this day, Global Gamedev Independence Day 🙂

UPDATED TO ADD:

Mark Whitten added in late-breaking news today that independently-published games will have just as much potential for exposure as professionally-published games, with Microsoft having no intention to separate the two from the future XBox Live Marketplace:

"My goal is for it to just show up in the marketplace. Of course there will be different pivots inside of that. There will be everything from what are we curating, kind of like spotlight content, to the normal discoverability stuff like recommendations, what's trending, what's got a lot of engagement on the platform. And you'd be able to find that content in any of those. There wouldn't be any difference based on what type of game it was. Then of course there will be other type of pivots where you can go and look at whether its a genre of game or any other. But you shouldn't think of it as there's an indie area and a non-indie area.

Just as today, where we will highlight things that are coming in on the service, we want to make that more discoverable. We'll make it things that we curate as well as the other ways that you find content whether that's what your friends are doing or what we recommend based on your play behaviour. Or top listings. We want to make sure we have all of those types of discoverability mechanisms."

Microsoft are yet to comment on whether indie developers will experience any cost to their own pockets to acquire devkits or publish their games. But you WILL have full rights to charge for the games if you prefer; and pricing is aimed to be similar to today's Xbox 360 Marketplace.

With little else revealed, Whitten says we'll have to wait to Gamescon to know the rest of the details. Stay tuned!

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