In the past few years, Microsoft has hinted that they would be opening up the Xbox One to development for everyone. Now any retail console can be turned into a dev kit by installing an app and hooking the console up to your computer.
“Now the Xbox isn’t just for playing, but also for creating awesome content,” said Chris Charla, director of ID@Xbox in an interview with Polygon. “We’re excited to open the Xbox One to everyone so anyone can get started developing.”
The development mode isn’t quite final yet. It’s in preview mode right now, and Charla said users may run into issues. The full release of the development app will come later this summer.
In order to make your console into a dev kit, you need to download the Dev Mode app, which is available for free in the Xbox Store. Running that app will give you instructions on the further steps you need to take in order to make the switch. An important thing to note, is that once you switch your console to dev mode, switching back will require you to restore the console to factory settings, which will uninstall all of your games. If you leave the console in dev mode, your games and other apps should continue to run fine.
Charla showed Polygon a quick game that was made using all free software, illustrating how easy it is for anyone to potentially make a game.
“To us it’s very important to be able to do that,” Charla said in the interview with Polygon. “We really see this as an amazing solution, especially for hobbyists, students, anyone who wants to get started with games.”