What Games Are: Welcome Back, Xbox One


Microsoft today made good on a nearly three-year-old promise, unlocking the ability for all retail Xbox One consoles to become development kits free of charge.

Xbox Dev Mode is available starting today as a preview and will be finalized as a full release this summer. The mode will allow anyone to build, test and experiment with Universal Windows Program (UWP) development. Converting a console to Dev Mode requires no special equipment or fees, though to fully access the abilities, a user will need to create a Dev Center account for $19.

“Now the Xbox isn’t just for playing, but also for creating awesome content,” said Chris Charla, director of ID@Xbox. “We’re excited to open the Xbox One to everyone so anyone can get started developing.”


In a short demonstration over Skype earlier this week, k2-_e08b2154-9efa-4294-978f-f8ae63908501.v1[1]showed how easy it is to switch a retail Xbox One into one that can be used for testing UWP apps and games.

First, a user has to download the Dev Mode activation app from the Xbox Games Store. Launching the app kicks off a welcome screen and a link to documentation that details what to expect when you switch over from retail to a dev kit, as well as the requirements.

way to go TechCrunch


Editor’s note: Tadhg Kelly is a games industry consultant based in Seattle and the creator of leading game design blog What Games Are. You can follow him on Twitter here.

This time last year I wrote up my deep reservations about Microsoft’s Xbox One. Comparing it to the Spruce Goose, I called it a technological marvel that solved last year’s problem. I faulted it on its size, on its focus on TV, and on its short-head approach to games. Overall I said it was an example of a product that was out of step, one which thought television was still the first screen and fighting a battle for the living room that seemed dated. 

To its considerable credit, Microsoft understood its missteps early. It ditched its complex DRM-driven plans after Sony poked fun at them over and over. It canned the requirement for the box to be always-online. It gave much more prominence to its…

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