It’s kind of interesting to see where we’ve ended up now with the Xbox One from the day it was first announced and detailed to a short two months later. It seems Microsoft’s next console is nothing like what they first told us with policies, rules, and functionality being changed/updated quite often. The latest change is a favorable one, especially if you’re an indie developer.
Originally, Microsoft did not allow indie developers to self publish on the Xbox 360, meaning that they needed a publishing partner in order to be considered for the console. Typically, this was done through Microsoft Studios. Not only that retail consoles will also double as development kits so developers no longer need to pay extra money to obtain a dev kit. Having these rules in place made trying to get on Xbox Live a turn off for many developers, especially those that did not have enough finances to cover the large expenses and patch updates.
In a public statement reported by Engadget, Xbox corporate VP Marc Whitten had this to say about the move:
“Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox LIVE. This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox LIVE. We’ll have more details on the program and the timeline at gamescom in August.”
With the Xbox One, indies can now self publish and Microsoft has also confirmed that they’re looking to provide a faster turnaround on the certification process. So games should be out sooner including any updates and patches. It’s great news for developers and gamers alike.
This is a welcomed move and one that you could say was forth coming as PC and Sony’s platforms make the development process extremely easy. Microsoft was starting to leg behind those two and needed to do something. Here’s something to chew on though: With the path we’re now seemingly going down, it seems like the PS4 and Xbox One are destined to be the same machine. All we need now is a non-Kinect SKU and a $100 price reduction. Nah, can’t be that simple, can it?