Plan for Xbox One Retail Systems to Double As Devkits Hasn't Been Abandoned

Xbox boss Phil Spencer says this feature is still "in the roadmap," but it's not the highest of priorities at Microsoft.

Microsoft's plan to allow Xbox One retail consoles to double as development kits--AKA systems that can be used to make games--has not been abandoned, but don't expect it to come soon. Xbox boss Phil Spencer tells Engadget that he's personally disappointed that the feature has not been rolled out, but made it clear that Microsoft has not given up on the idea.

"I don't love that it was a year ago that we talked about it here and it's still not available," Spencer said. The feature is still "in the roadmap," but one of the reasons Microsoft isn't rushing it out is simply because the company has not seen a great deal of demand for such an option.

"There's been such a great response to [the Xbox indies program] that the request from the community so far hasn't been the retail-to-dev kits," Spencer said.

Developers who sign on to Microsoft's indie program, which it calls ID@Xbox, get two free Xbox One development kits and access to support staff. Though the retail-to-dev kit option would open the Xbox One games market to a massive new audience of creators--anyone, really--Spencer said it's not at the top of his priority list right now.

"I just want to listen and take the feedback and not just do something because I wanna go do it," he said. "I wanna do something because the consumer--developers in this case--get what they're asking for."

Last month, a report claimed that Microsoft had scrapped its plan to allow all Xbox One consoles to work as development kits. However, the company quickly denied that report, saying at the time, "We remain committed to ensuring the best possible solutions for developers and hobbyists to create games for Xbox One."

When the plan was originally announced in July 2013, Microsoft's Marc Whitten--who has since left the company--said, "Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development."

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

73 comments
nintendians
nintendians

didn't this have happen years ago, when xbox one owners was doing random stuff.

Pupchu
Pupchu

I tought the XOne allready acted as DevKit..?

kryotech
kryotech

I think the more pressing matter is to sell more units....

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

Based on what little I know about game development, I don't quite get how the dev kit could be used by the masses.  Is that why there's such "low demand', how could the masses demand something that they don't even understand? 

I'm assuming that even if the console was a dev kit, you'd still need to either build your own game structure from scratch in C++ in Microsoft Studio, or use one of the leading engines such as Unity, CryEngine, or Unreal Engine.  And you'd also have to make or buy 3D assets, sound clips, make or buy your animations, and the litany of other things needed, along with of course making a game out of it all.

The Xbox One dev kit is only useful to people that have created a game already, using various programs, and just want to make an Xbox One port, correct?  That's what I'm assuming.

If they want demand from the interested but yet still layman, they need to explain clearly how this dev kit functionality could be used.

amaneuvering
amaneuvering

Unless Sony plans on copying this strategy with PS4 I expect this might end up being a bit of a major feather in Microsoft's cap. IF they ever get around to actually doing it...and they shouldn't wait for us to say so. I mean I'm not going to f'n write to them to let them know I want this feature but I f'n want this feature.

Gen007
Gen007

would be cray if they ever do it I mean dev kits are one of the biggest barriers to console development .

chaos-commander
chaos-commander

Why do PC guys keep comparing there PC to PS4/X1 is your p3-n1s that small? what is the point we know that consoles are not pc's stop trying to compare we get it. Especially because i'am a PC gamer as well the biggest reason why we like the consoles is because we can relax on a couch and enjoy an exclusive that we can't play anywhere else or play party games with friends that you can talk too without needing a headset it's just fun. So please stop talking about your PC's because we just don't care.

The_Last_Paladi
The_Last_Paladi

Honestly, I can see this making sense from a financial point-of-view.  Microsoft has already wasted a lot of money with taking kinnect out of their xbox ones and reversing some of their earlier policy that this is probably something they are not willing to put too much effort into right now. 

sladakrobot
sladakrobot

Spark will cover my needs.

And sladakrobot will make a game using it.

guydude3412
guydude3412

This will mostly be used by enthusiasts to get features early. I got the dev preview on my phone because t-mo stopped providing updates for it. Let's just say, I am not going to do it again after the experience I had.

ZeroRaider
ZeroRaider

Why would any indie want to waste their time programming for this under-powered, over-priced, poorly selling piece of hardware anyway? Of course there isn't demand for devkits.


You don't spend years learning how to program just to waste your talents developing things for the Xbox One unless you are forced to by being employed by a large company that develops multiplats like Ubisoft.


So yeah, I don't see why any independent developer with control over their own time would waste their time by developing things for this platform.

RabbiSchmuley
RabbiSchmuley

Phil is an okay guy...definitely good for Xbones image in contrast to the previous overlords.

neowarrior793
neowarrior793

sorry to say but MS have been prone to lying and bending facts or simply neglecting to say things, there trust is much to be desired for every gamer. people dont want to hear mights and might not's they wanna hear facts that you WILL do. 

pork7
pork7

I already have one. It's called a ''PC''.

ziseknsa
ziseknsa

This could be an awesome feature. Being able to make a game is a huge thing for hardcore gamers, this should start a new wave of Independent studios no matter how tiny they are.

kutulu1
kutulu1

Well, considering Kinect was a high priority which ended up getting ditched, this does not look promising...lol

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

Cool idea but I dont see more than 10% of xbox owners actually using it to make games.

RabbiSchmuley
RabbiSchmuley

Not without lucrative restrictions.


"We still haven't figured out how to gouge the users"

sonyonly4
sonyonly4

Better off making it double up as a VCR since it is extremely outdated and looks like one XD.

voltedgamer
voltedgamer

@kryotech OOOH, you're one of THOSE people. Right....

emerin76
emerin76

@spacecadet25 Youre right.  I'd guess it would have been similar to how the xbox360 could be developed for using Microsofts XNA (c#), which was great.  But since xna has been abandoned by MS....

It's not a selling point in any case.

What it could have done though is help breed next generation's batch of programmers and designers for the MS platforms.

rasterror
rasterror

@chaos-commander I have a gaming PC and I feel the same way. the total cost of mine so far is around $1400 so there's no comparison with the consoles. And even though people try to say you can, you really can't build a PC with the same power as a PS4 and Xbox One with the same features for $400-500. And then you'll have upgrade every couple of years. They are two different platforms, just like consoles and handheld consoles are.

psxp-one
psxp-one

Finally somebody with a functional brain.

emerin76
emerin76

@ZeroRaider you're a fool. what a moronic statement that is.

sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@ZeroRaider Yeah,these dudes who still make games for the Dreamcast,PS2,GameBoy,PSP,Vita,even Genesis+SNES...scr€w them.

_williamwallace
_williamwallace

So bitter. Please tell what you know about Indies development decisions...

Lacerz
Lacerz

@neowarrior793 Microsoft lie?  It's not like they were showing games playing on the Xbox One at Gamescom, only to have the game crash to the Windows 7 home screen.  Oops!  If their product isn't good enough to show without being on a PC, how good can it be?

rasterror
rasterror

@sonyonly4 Right and the PS4 is so great. You want MP# playback, pay for our service. You already have some of your own? Great but buying into our service is better for....reasons. You want backwards compatibility? Great! We have the perfect service for you. You only have to rent games for a small fee. You mean that small fee cost 2-4 times the amount at retail and you have a slow internet connection or data caps? Well....our service is still better because we say it is. You want PS3 features on the far more powerful and superior PS4? Oh, that's nice. It seems like the Ps4 is starting to become a nickel and dime machine. Why play new games when we can recycle old games and sell them at the same price when they were new? 

SoulScribe
SoulScribe

@saltlife225 @SoulScribe Just signed up. Hopefully my indie game makes the cut, if not we will we will continue to go with steam greenlight and crowdfunding. Yeah said it "crowd...funding..."

hystavito
hystavito

@rasterror @chaos-commander Most of the time you don't HAVE to upgrade.  Yes sometimes there are horribly ported / poorly optimized games that need more power to be just playable, but usually people upgrade for psychological reasons.  We see that the game could look better, and we know we have the option, so we want to do it.


I usually had the money to upgrade whenever I wanted, so I don't have any personal experience running the exact same hardware for as long as console cycle of like 7+ years.  However, there are a lot of people who have done that or very close.  Some people are satisfied, and some just simply cannot afford to upgrade, and they run the same hardware for a lot longer than others think is possible.

sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@Lacerz
Sony used at Gamescom PCs to,so take your pink Sony glasses off.

It is a common practice to use PCs to showcase games at conventions and such.

Splincir
Splincir

@daikkenaurora12 @shadow580 @sonyonly4 All fanboys suck... most people agree Sony fanboys just suck a little harder. It's a common trend. It's become more so in the last year. 


I honestly think a lot of the seething hatred Xbox and Microsoft gets is from all the old Xbox fanboys that migrated to the PlayStation brand. They were immature and ignorant before, now they added insane and psychotic to the list.


Now I don't blame fans at all for buying a ps4, heck I did, but I bought it because I wanted one not because Microsoft hurt my feelings.


But this hatred coming from this crowd is just above and beyond the typical fanboyish behavior. I mean people are threatening other people with bodily harm and death.. .over what? Hurt pride? Imagine how they'll feel if xbox brand somehow makes a good comeback to being competitive. 


Someone will have to tell them to not drink the kool-aid.

sonyonly4
sonyonly4

@daikkenaurora12 @shadow580 @sonyonly4 Na their just Gels........Jealous little Xtots.

Xtots making Video games is a bad idea anyhow even if they could do it we already have too many Dude Bro Shooters.

SoulScribe
SoulScribe

@sladakrobot @SoulScribe Can't announce it yet, we just finished the concept stage and are currently working on assets for a simple game build for our kickstarter pitch.

rasterror
rasterror

@Splincir @daikkenaurora12 @shadow580 @sonyonly4 No offense but you can have all of those immature fanboys. It's gonna suck to deal with them when I get a PS4 though. the funny thing is that all of my friends agree that playing Titan Fall online is a rather quiet affair and you don't hear all of the immature kids and their rants. It's a very peaceful and rather enjoyable place to play.