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Xbox One’s dev-kit features, self-publishing outlined

Thursday, 25th July 2013 12:55 GMT By Dave Cook

Microsoft announced last night that Xbox One will allow studios to self-publish on the format, and that the console itself can be used as a dev-kit, potentially putting development power into the hands of everyone. The company has shed light on what this all means from a development standpoint in a new interview.

Speaking with OXM ahead of the Xbox One’s initial reveal, Xbox’s director of development Boyd Multerer said that the machines used as dev-kits today are identical to retail models.

He said, “It’s kind of weird. There are debug Xboxes, absolutely, but it’s the exact same hardware as a regular Xbox, it’s just which keys and which certificates are on it, allowing it to see which version of the [Application Programming Interface] is in production.”

Xbox Live’s principal program manager Chad Gibson added that Xbox One development utilises fewer proprietary tools than the 360, meaning anyone can get to grips with how to code for the console and use their own tools to make games.

“Is it easier to use your own services? Absolutely. We’ve used a lot more common protocols for this Xbox than the previous Xbox. In the previous Xbox, we had things like the proprietary security protocol, we had a much more locked-down way for applications or games to call services provided by the actual game developers, and all that stuff is a lot easier now.

“We have typically had requirements that involve a lot of games applications, evaluating how many times they call service “X” or “Y”, and all that stuff is completely automated in the new Xbox. So we’re on a path, absolutely, to allow a much larger array of developers to write applications and experiences

He then compared the development systems between Xbox 360 and Xbox One, suggesting more-unified architecture, “The other fundamental thing, the step that we took to make it much more open is that on Xbox 360, we have all these different environments. We ask application developers to go through what we call CertificationNet, PartnerNet where there’s like, I guess, separate walled environments.

“In the new Xbox, it’s all production. So the way a developer uses and uses all the new Xbox’s capabilities is all just in production. We have a bunch of mechanisms to manage, you know, IP protection and things like that.”

Commenting on the way parts of the development process like certification will work, Gibson concluded that while things will certainly be easier, several facets of the Xbox 360 process will remain.

He said, “So we’re taking a lot of steps to make it so that a wider array of developers can develop things for this Xbox. And to make it so our certification requirements and typical curation procedures are much easier and more streamlined.”

“The way that we do tooling, the way that you actually build and use Xbox Live, I mean, it’s worked, it’s been great for us, we’re just making it a lot easier for next generation.

“We still have PartnerNet, because we still have many parts ready for the system that are going to live for a long, long time, and we’re, we’re still going to be doing lots of things on 360 and PartnerNet is a key part of that.”

What do you make of Microsoft’s self-publication u-turn and the systems discussed above? Let us know below.

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34 Comments

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  1. G1GAHURTZ

    Nice!

    I might do some hobby stuff…

    #1 9 months ago
  2. DirtEHarry

    “Speaking with OXM AHEAD of the Xbox One’s initial reveal, Xbox’s director of development Boyd Multerer said that the machines used as dev-kits today are identical to retail models.”

    Seems like self-publishing had been planned BEFORE the internet went nuts. No “U-Turn” after all, huh?

    #2 9 months ago
  3. Dave Cook

    @2 pretty much

    #3 9 months ago
  4. Fin

    I thought X1 devkits had 12GB of ram?
    I’d assume the devkits have hardware keys/certs too, rather than just being a software difference.

    “And to make it so our certification requirements and typical curation procedures are much easier and more streamlined.”

    This is such wishy-washy bullshit.

    “That thing that people complained about? It’s better now…How is it better? TBA”

    And anyway, pretty sure this is just XBLIG, it’s not true self-publishing. Like, will a game team that’ve made something for the core system (not sandboxed) be able to self-publish on the store? That’s what I wanna know.
    Could something like Bastion or Braid or Walking Dead be self-published, or will it require a retail partner, as has been the case up to now.

    #4 9 months ago
  5. bradk825

    @2 Well we know project spark was already planned, I don’t really understand what it is but it’s supposed to be some way that anyone can make a game world etc..

    I think what MS really needs to do, and do soon, is take all the cards they are holding close to their chest and put them on the table. We are long past the point where vague promises excite us. When MS says “we have big things in store for Kinect” we don’t giggle and scream “OMG, ‘big things?’ sounds so BIG!” Come out with it.

    The slow info trickle marketing method used by Activision may LOOK sucessful, but it actually is a huge piss-off to CoD fans and the game basically sells itself to the core fans on reputation.

    I like that we are finally hearing a few things, like how turning your wrist will operate your jet-ski in KS:Rivals and it’s capable of making an avatar based on scanning your body, but my basic point is they knew that months ago, why didn’t they tell us then?

    So before the next rumour-mill controversy hits, come out with it and just tell us what this console can do.

    #5 9 months ago
  6. MCTJim

    @4 I thought X1 devkits had 12GB of ram?

    hmmm..let the rumor mill spin :lol:

    #6 9 months ago
  7. Fin

    @6

    Devkits often have more ram than the retail units, it’s not a big deal.

    #7 9 months ago
  8. illuminatusv

    @4: There are 2 possibilities:

    a) Retail-SKUs have also 12GB Ram
    b) Dev-Kits have a difference in available RAM but have identical silicon (SOC) in it.

    I believe it is b). Because of the pricing of the Dev-Kits….

    #8 9 months ago
  9. Fin

    @8

    Yeah, course it’s B). I was just pointing out that devkits and retails units aren’t exactly the same hardware, as yer man said in the article.

    #9 9 months ago
  10. SplatteredHouse

    Also discussed by Marc Whitten, today: “some of this won’t be there for launch”
    http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/24/xbox-one-indies-marc-whitten

    see also: http://gamasutra.com/view/news/196948/What_we_know_and_dont_know_about_Xbox_One_selfpublishing.php

    #10 9 months ago
  11. laughing-gravy

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-07-24-microsoft-will-allow-self-publishing-after-all-rumour
    Unfortunately self publishing seems to come with restrictions. Read the update at the top of this article. @#4 You are right!

    #11 9 months ago
  12. Tech-N9ne

    @11
    People always try to spin any thing MS says negatively. No one from MS has said there will be restrictions, no one.

    This is what Xbox corporate VP Marc Whitten said to GiantBomb.

    GB: But this isn’t a situation where, if you just pick up an Xbox One at Target, you’re only going to be able to access certain parts of the memory, certain parts of the graphics processor? This is going to allow you, at least eventually, once it’s all put into place, to be able to do everything that someone like Respawn is doing?

    Whitten: That’s right.

    http://www.giantbomb.com/articles/microsoft-confirms-self-publishing-on-xbox-one/1100-4696/

    EDIT: Also Phil Spencer; No Indie RAM limit. https://twitter.com/XboxP3/status/360398296117821441

    #12 9 months ago
  13. Kreion

    @5
    Not to sound cynical, but where’s the incentive for them to do so? There are always many more articles on the Xbox One than on the PS4 because of the controversy surrounding it – and you know what they say about publicity.

    I don’t agree with that they are doing really, but it’s clearly working for them. The PS4 may be getting good press, but most of the X1 articles are swarmed by fanboys (from both sides) and the result is that their publicity goes up. By comparison, right now the PS4 is mostly pulling the same card over and over again, the “we have more power” card. Though they have had interesting articles about their cloud services etc :)

    Either way, the result is that the consoles are getting closer to eachother, which makes for a better market. So I’m not going to actually complain about it xD

    #13 9 months ago
  14. Phoenixblight

    @1

    You could already do “hobby stuff” to put on Xbox One you still have to drop a few bills to get access to unlock the device. They are not going to let every tom, dick and harry publish their game just because they own a Xbox system. You want to do that there is the PC, Android, Apple, Ouya.

    #14 9 months ago
  15. Tech-N9ne

    @14

    Apple? I thought you need to a registered developer?

    #15 9 months ago
  16. Phoenixblight

    @15

    Yeah? Its still easy to get on Apple even easier is Android but the choice is there.

    #16 9 months ago
  17. Beersup

    @13

    Your excactly right about more articles on the X1. This console is clearly the more interesting of the two. Even PS4-ers read every single one and comment more than XBoners. Why? Are they really that insecure about the PS4 they need to bash any competition? I’m have both preordered, but I’m starting to wonder what is PS doing that is so special? What’s innovating? What can it do that XBone can’t? Should I really buy a PS4 for Killzone?

    #17 9 months ago
  18. G1GAHURTZ

    @14:

    I’m not interested in selling any games, or having anyone else play them.

    I made games for other people for a long time, and to be honest, I’m still feeling a bit of burnout, even though I stopped over 3 years ago. It’d just be nice to make something for myself, in my own time, and the other formats that you’ve mentioned don’t motivate me at all.

    So I’m not interested in the ability to publish. Just the ability to get creative on the system.

    #18 9 months ago
  19. Phoenixblight

    @18

    If you are just making a game for yourself there is no need to go behind a pay wall to do so. THere are plenty of free engines to do so and with how things re today with plug ins and such its easy to go the hobbyist route. THat is my point. But hey if you want to pay all the fees just to make your own game for yourself, its your money.

    #19 9 months ago
  20. G1GAHURTZ

    What fees? Who said anything about fees?

    I just told you that doing my own thing on an X1 motivates me, and nothing else does, right now.

    It’s nothing to do with ease of use. It’s personal preference.

    Are you going to try and argue that I have the wrong personal preference, now?

    #20 9 months ago
  21. Phoenixblight

    @20

    You putting a game on Xbox One would have to include fees. THey aren’t going to let you put a game you worked on as a hobby just because you have an Xbox One. THere are things they will require of you ie money in order to do so. This is not a home brewing device.

    #21 9 months ago
  22. G1GAHURTZ

    ^ You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.

    No idea about development, either, and and top of all that, you also apparently have no idea what I just told you on two separate occasions.

    Stop talking nonsense.

    #22 9 months ago
  23. Phoenixblight

    @22

    Oh ad hominem now? You pointed out you wanted to make a game on the Xbox One, I pointed out you will have pay to access this debug mode. Now you get in a fit and start throwing jabs. GG.

    #23 9 months ago
  24. G1GAHURTZ

    1. When did I say that I “wanted to make a game on the Xbox One”?

    2. Prove to me that I have to pay anyone a single penny to “access this debug mode”.

    #24 9 months ago
  25. Lengendaryboss

    Oh boy…

    Why So Serious? ;)

    #25 9 months ago
  26. Phoenixblight

    @24

    “Nice!

    I might do some hobby stuff…”

    “Prove to me that I have to pay anyone a single penny to “access this debug mode”

    Because they aren’t going to allow every person that has an Xbox One and wants to make a game access the debug mode, free. Its bad business and it floods their market place especially since Xbox is not going to have a XBLIG section would be exactly like android’s market.

    There is also the cost of certification which they have yet to talk about.

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/196948/What_we_know_and_dont_know_about_Xbox_One_selfpublishing.php

    #26 9 months ago
  27. G1GAHURTZ

    ^

    1. I’m pretty sure…

    No, wait. Let me double check…

    Yep. I’m 100% certain that “I might do some hobby stuff” does not actually mean that I want to “make a game”.

    Try again.

    2. I see no proof there. Just a bunch of guess work and conjecture about what would happen if I actually wanted to do something that I don’t even want to do.

    #27 9 months ago
  28. Lengendaryboss

    Hmmmm…

    #28 9 months ago
  29. Phoenixblight

    @27

    So then you just made a post that has nothing to do with the article about allowing self publishing…. Uh huh, how convenient.

    #29 9 months ago
  30. G1GAHURTZ

    ^ No, I didn’t.

    You really should learn to read properly.

    Either you can’t read properly, or you (along with your buddy who can’t even spell his own name properly) are just a professional troll.

    #30 9 months ago
  31. Lengendaryboss

    @30
    Don’t bring me into this: i’m not involved in this discussion in anyway.

    All i’m doing is casting judgement in vague sentences.

    #31 9 months ago
  32. G1GAHURTZ

    ^ Ok, boss…

    #32 9 months ago
  33. stretch215

    @17+1. I also plan on eventually buying both (ps4 later), but as of right now I don’t see a reason to. My plans to buy a ps4 are based on the assumption that there will be exclusives that I want to play by may – june. Shit, I might even hold off until a price cut if nothing incredible (to me) is released.

    #33 9 months ago
  34. Fin

    Chill the fuck out ffs.

    I’d be very surprised if anyone can code anything on an X1, without a sandbox, for free.
    I assume it’ll be a minimum of €99/year, with restrictions on what you can write (+restrictions on non-store distribution).

    There’s no way they’ll just enable debug mode on every console. This is MS we’re talking about. They’re not exactly fans of giving people stuff for free.

    #34 9 months ago