Not to be outdone by Sony, it seems Microsoft has finally spilled the beans on how exactly indie developers can, and presumably will, go about self-publishing their games on the Xbox One.
As a registered developer, you will receive two whole dev kits and have access to the console’s “full power.” This includes the tools associated with Kinect, as well as cloud services, SmartGlass, Achievements, and of course, Gamerscore.
Not surprisingly, a developer is required to apply for the program before claiming free kits willy nilly, and they’ll need to visit this page in order to do so.
Though it doesn’t sound terribly difficult to be accepted, as of this writing it doesn’t sound like an actual open, Google Play or App Store style platform just yet either. According to Microsoft, developers who “have a proven track record of shipping games on console, PC, mobile or tablet” are the ones whose acceptance will be granted priority. Sounds like the old “can’t get a job without experience, can’t get experience without a job” conundrum.
Microsoft made sure to reiterate other facets of the program as well. Applying is a free process, and updates to your software won’t cost extra either. When it comes to game discovery, Kinect’s “rich search scenarios” will apparently be saving the day, and lists of games that are either trending, being played by friends, or being frequently DVR’d will be regularly shown and recommended. That part actually sounds pretty cool.
The craziness begins in the Fall, and Microsoft says that in the future all Xbox Ones will be able to transcend consumer status and reach their final form as dev kits. “This means that any hobbyist with a great game idea can make it come to life on Xbox One.” No complaints there!
For more fun quotes, be sure to hit the source link below. What does this all mean in the short term? Well, it certainly seems pretty compelling, but so does Sony’s self-publishing offering. And much like Microsoft’s one-eighty flip on its used games policy, it’s difficult not to feel that this is somewhat of a me-too PR move rather than a truly well-meaning attempt to help out the non triple A sector of the game development cosmos. At any rate, it’s a positive step on paper, so I suppose we should at least be thankful for that.