At its Build 2016 developer conference, Microsoft announced that developers can start bringing their Windows apps to the Xbox One. Last year at Build 2015, the company promised app makers would be able to bring their apps to the console, and now it is finally delivering. The functionality will come as part of the Anniversary Update that will let you turn your Xbox One into a devkit.
Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP) allows developers to build a single app that changes based on your device and screen size. One app can work on your Windows 10 computer, Windows 10 tablet, Windows 10 Mobile smartphone, Xbox One console, and eventually HoloLens headset.
In short, game developers will be able to use Visual Studio to deploy their projects to 19 million Xbox One owners. That means a single app can finally be written to work on Windows 10 and the Xbox One.
The first details of this new functionality leaked last night via an MSDN page that stated:
Xbox runs Windows 10, version 1607, which means that it shares the same core operating system as other devices in the Windows 10 family: desktop, mobile, and HoloLens. But, because this is the first release of the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) on Xbox, there are some feature areas that haven’t reached the same level of support on Xbox as they have on other devices.
Microsoft plans to keep at it until “all of the Universal device family API surface is fully operational on Xbox.” In the meantime, the company promised that all APIs are callable and will fail gracefully if they’re unsupported.