Microsoft Xbox corporate vice president Marc Whitten said today that each Xbox One
console sold will be able to function as a developer debug unit, unlike the current model that requires a specialized console, costing upwards of thousands of dollars. The move will allow developers to enter Xbox One development at a lower price point, with self-publishing becoming a possibility for the first time on Xbox Live.
Whitten commented that self-publishing on the new console is in the works, and has been for some time. "It's something we've been working on for a long time -- how do we shorten that process, how do we automate a lot of the core requirements checking and some of those things. That'll continue to be our focus around that." No specific speed of game approval was given, but the VP was hoping that it would be quicker than Apple's two-week timetable. "As games move towards games as a service, that becomes a more important part of the cycle. It's the reason that we dropped the title update fees, as an example. We'll announce more on the specifics, but our goal is frankly just to minimize that."
Currently, other than the Indie Game channel with XNA-developed games, participation in the Xbox 360 tools and middleware Program is generally restricted to those companies with good industry references and with significant prior experience. Xbox software may not be published or distributed to end users except by a licensed publisher who has signed an agreement with Microsoft.