Xbox One Debug Mode Unlocked By Gamers, Microsoft Warns It Could Brick Your Console

By William Usher 2013-12-03 16:39:33 discussion comments
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If you give gamers an inch they'll take it, open it and find some way to stretch the features into something that turns into a mile's worth of content. That's exactly what happened with the Xbox One, where it was previously revealed that every console can be turned into a dev kit. Well, some developers, along with Microsoft, are warning that gamers should not be messing with the debug mode, at all.

VG 24/7 picked up the news from a Reddit thread, where a user admitted to having unlocked the developer kit module within the Xbox One, opening up a number of hidden system features that are reserved for debugging and development purposes.

Reddit user Liam Hing posted that...
“With a simple button combination in System you can enable developer settings, obviously you’ll most likely need to be a registered dev with ID@Xbox, but when they said it would happen they delivered.”

Developers, however, have chimed in on the matter and are warning gamers not to access the development debug unit, as it could permanently brick your console, and not just because Microsoft drops a banhammer on your arse.

According to statements sent to Kotaku, a Microsoft representative stated that...
“Changing the settings in this menu is only intended for developers for Xbox One, and this alone does not turn the console into a development kit. We strongly advise consumers against changing these settings as it could result in their Xbox One becoming unusable. Customers who have put their consoles into this developer setting can revert by restoring factory defaults under Settings / System, select Restore Factory Defaults.”

This is a dangerous thing to initiate and you probably won't want to do it unless you're actually a designer who wants to become a registered Xbox developer. Microsoft can also remotely activate a console and turn it into a development unit if they feel you're eligible, opposite of the original policies they had in place.

More than anything, I would imagine Microsoft doesn't want people activating the developer mode and working their way into the inner workings of the system in order to churn out a homebrew that could be used to backdoor into the console and eventually create mods or hack the console. I have no idea how Microsoft would stop something like that from spreading, but if you want to get your hands on the code there's a bit of a tutorial over at OXM.

This story could truly prove to be interesting as it unfolds, because I'm curious as to exactly what kind of results pesky coders, hackers, crackers and gamers could come up with using the easily-accessible debug mode from the Xbox One.

Hopefully one of the few positive reversals Microsoft has taken with the Xbox One doesn't backfire in their faces. You can learn more about the developer mode for the Xbox One by paying a visit to the official Xbox website. And if you don't want your console bricked, try to stay away from the debug mode.
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