Microsoft confirms indie self-publishing U-turn; ‘Every Xbox One a dev kit’

Developers will be allowed to self-publish on Xbox One and every hardware unit sold at retail can be used to develop games, Microsoft has confirmed.

Game Informer started it all earlier today by apparently spilling the beans ahead of Microsoft’s intended reveal of the new policies at Gamescom next month.

Sources say the firm wasn’t happy with the premature unveiling, but with the cat out of the bag Xbox executive Marc Whitten provided the following statement to Engadget:

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.”

Indeed, any Microsoft-authorized Xbox One unit can be converted into a debug console. The advantage to developers of course being the ability to play pre-release game code with no expensive specialized hardware required.

The new self-publishing policy is not to be overlooked, as Sony has had the dominant upper hand on Microsoft regarding indies since the next-gen console stances on independent games were originally revealed. Just this week, Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning lashed out at the Xbox platform for outright ignoring the budding indie community.

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