Microsoft is launching a beta version of Project Spark today, its game-maker project for Windows 8.1, Xbox 360, and the new Xbox One console. Project Spark is essentially a tool to allow developers, enthusiasts, and gamers to build a game within a game. Players can build custom worlds, characters, and animations from an Xbox One or a Windows 8.1 PC to play across both platforms. It's similar in concept to Sony's LittleBigPlanet, but Microsoft is making use of its history with Kodu and pushing SmartGlass integration to allow players to interact with their games and collaborate from a tablet while they build and play on an Xbox One.
While you’ll be able to create games that run on Xbox One from Project Spark, the beta version won’t launch on the Xbox One until early next year. Microsoft is rolling out Project Spark in limited numbers, too. The app will soon be listed on the Windows Store (it's restricted to certain regions right now), but you'll also need a special beta key once it's downloaded to activate and start building games. The beta for Windows 8.1 is preparation for the beta launch on Microsoft's new Xbox One console in January, ahead of a full launch later next year. Project Spark for Windows 8.1 will be made available in the Windows Store today, and you can request access to a beta key over at Microsoft's own Project Spark site.
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