Multiple, conflicting stories have been circulating about Microsoft's plans to support, drop or maintain plans to turn retail Xbox One units into development kits.
One of the big, key features advertised to indie developers last year was that – after doing a 180 on indie content curation – small-time developers could purchase an Xbox One and receive an a-okay from Microsoft to have that retail unit turned into a developer kit, which could then be used to help developers design their game(s) for Microsoft's console.
Well, Digital Spy wanted to learn more about the feature and where it was on the roadmap of features coming to the Xbox One.
Originally Digital Spy asked the head of the [email protected] program, Chris Charla, about the dev kit compatibility for retail units, to which he stated...
"We were in the early stages of Xbox One looking at the idea of a retail kit that could be turned into a development kit, and vice versa,"
Digital Spy later asked Xbox Advanced Technology Group's Martin Fuller about the status of the feature, to which he replied...
"As far as I'm aware there are no plans. I'm not aware of the reason why we didn't manage to do that."
Turns out both Charla and Fuller were inaccurate in their statements regarding the dev kit plans on the roadmap of Xbox One features, as Digital Spy was sent an update on the story by Microsoft's representatives.
According to the revised statement by Microsoft...
"The comments today were inaccurate. We remain committed to ensuring the best possible solutions for developers and hobbyists to create games for Xbox One. We will share more details at a later date."
Basically, this means that this is a non-story, and that everything that was previously stated by Chris Charla and Martin Fuller no longer apply, as the PR response from Microsoft nullifies those comments.
So basically, there is nothing to report at all regarding the development kits for the Xbox One being switched on from retail units.
For now, the only thing that independent developers can do is sign up for the [email protected] program in order to get their game approved and published on the Xbox One's digital storefront. Anything involving turning retail units into development kits is now back to square one. In a way, it makes this entire story a complete waste of time for everyone, as nothing was learned or gained from this circular marketing spin.
The [email protected] program is still going on, and if you're an indie developer looking to design games for the Xbox One, you'll probably want to check into the program in order to become a registered Xbox One developer.
Additionally, Microsoft is continuing to release indie games on the console, slowly and surely. The games are making their way onto the storefront more frequently than last year, as more studios continue to sign-up and make titles for the console.