Microsoft wants to strike gold again on the Xbox One the way they did with their XNA coding suite for PC and Xbox 360. The company is touting a massive bridge of synergistic coding communes between the Xbox One and their Windows 8 platform. So what does all that mean? It means that you can port between both platforms in under two days' time.
Worlds Factory picked up quotes from a lengthy interview that took place between Total Xbox and the director of development for the Xbox One, Boyd Multerer.
In the interview, Multerer mentions that...
“The basic box is definitely easier to develop for, and that goes a long way. We spent a lot of time making sure that if you know how to write a game in DirectX in Windows, you already know how to write a game in Xbox One, and the games that are being written for Windows 8 that are using DX are porting really quickly to Xbox One. Like often in a day, maybe two.”
That last quote reminds me so much of Microsoft's campaign during the early days of the Xbox 360, with 2006 being a launch pad for their XNA technology, which they iterated rather quickly on throughout the end of 2006 and majority of 2007. The whole slogan behind the design methodology was: If you can make a game for Windows, you can make a game for the Xbox 360. And that's exactly what developers did.
Today that arena is now known as the Xbox Live Indie Game channel.
I was extremely excited about the possibilities that Microsoft brought to the table with their XNA coding suite back in 2006 and it was a great way for the company to iterate on what door they opened by offering independent studios to produce games for the OG Xbox through the Xbox Live Arcade.
It's such a bizarre thing that the first ever console manufacturer to open the door for indie studios is the same company shutting the door in their faces.
What Multerer talks about regarding quick-ports could help, but as pointed out by Worlds Factory, there aren't many Windows 8 exclusives worth porting to the Xbox One. Alternatively, there are a few Xbox One exclusives worth porting back to PC.
According to Multerer, however, he believes that lowering the bridge between Windows 8 and Xbox One coding compatibility will help draw in some indie exclusives for the console...
“I think that the Indies are going to find the Xbox One to be a fantastic platform. I ran XNA, and I care tremendously about the indies and as we were designing the Xbox One, one of my goals was to bake in support for independent developers really deeply into the operating system.”
Well, even if Boyd cares about indies it doesn't seem like the people in charge of software acquisition and curation were too bothered to have a nice, large cache of games for the Xbox One. For those of us who aren't easily won over by AAA trash, we're kind of left with just two third-party indie titles: Strike Suit Zero and Nutjitsu.
The promise of more indies has been a vague and borderline empty one, forcing gamers who want a more diverse and varied library to seek it on the competitors' platforms.
Right now, being able to port games between Windows 8 and the Xbox One is nothing more than a fanfaronade of tautological marketing -cough-Power of the Cloud-cough.
I'm still waiting for those other 23 indie games. Soon, right?