Any Xbox One can become a dev kit

Published: March 30, 2016 3:00 PM /


xbox one logo

After almost three years the promise that was made at the launch of the Xbox One has been realized as Xbox Dev Mode is available to preview members as of today. This app will allow you to turn your Xbox One into a developer console so that you can build and test any Universal Windows Program. 

The only thing that is required of the user to turn their Xbox One into a dev console is the following:

  • An Xbox One with at least 30 GB of free space
  • An active Windows Insider Program account
  • Have a PC running Windows 10
  • Have a wired connection between your PC and Xbox One
  • The latest version of Visual Studio 2015
  • $19 to cover the creation of a Dev Center account

After you have fulfilled these requirements you'll just need to download the Dev Mode Activation app onto your Xbox One and run it. The app will explain what this will do to your console as well as give you warning that you may run into issues with retail games on your dev console, and that to leave this mode you will need to reset your console to factory settings requiring to reinstall all your games and apps. If you're fine with that though you will be given a code that you enter into your computer on your Dev Center account.

Chris Charla, the director of ID@Xbox explained that the process is extremely simple and that he was excited to see what would come out of the community:

Now the Xbox isn't just for playing, but also for creating awesome content, We're excited to open the Xbox One to everyone so anyone can get started developing. You don't have to do a lot of extra stuff to get a game to run on Xbox One. There is no specific Xbox API for Unity. You can do some things with screen resolution, but really you don't have to do much.

This isn't to say though that any game or app will end up on the Xbox One though. ID@Xbox wants to stress that there will still be an approval process so that games will meet a certain standard. This just makes the development of these Xbox One games and UWP apps now available to everyone.

You will only have to completely reset your console in the eventuality that you wan't to not have access to the Dev Mode as the Dev Home app will allow you to swap between the Dev Mode and Regular Mode at will. This news also come hot on the heels of Tim Sweeney voicing his concern about the UWP platform. More news will likely be revealed this week during the Build 2016 conference so stay tuned.

What do you think of Xbox opening up the development to anyone? Are you going to try your hand at a UWP app or build a game? Let us know in the comments below!

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