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.

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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."

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