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Earlier today, reports surfaced that Microsoft was pulling the plug on its plans to turn any Xbox One into a development kit. That isn’t true, according to the publisher.
Microsoft responded to a report from Digital Spy that had Xbox advanced technology group boss Martin Fuller saying that the company no longer intended to add the dev-kit functionality to retail Xbox Ones. The console manufacturer says that Fuller misspoke and that it is still working on enabling that feature.
In response to the reports, Microsoft provided GamesBeat with the following statement:
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.
As Microsoft introduced the features of the Xbox One throughout 2013, it made several commitments to help smaller developers. That included its ID@Xbox program, which enables anyone to self-publish their software on the Xbox One platform. It also included the capability to eventually turn a retail Xbox One into a fully capable development kit. Microsoft said early on that it wouldn’t have the feature ready for the console’s November launch, but it hasn’t said much on the subject publicly since.
In the past, to produce a game for the Xbox 360 or other consoles, developers had to contact the platform holder directly to get an expensive, proprietary, and relatively rare dev kit. This is a barrier that many one-person indie developers can’t overcome.
While Microsoft is still working on turning retail Xbox Ones into dev kits, it is still providing a way for smaller studios to start making games immediately. Anyone that gets into the ID@Xbox program gets two traditional Xbox One dev kits for free.