Home Gaming Xbox One devkit functionality decided “years ago”

Xbox One devkit functionality decided “years ago”

2 min read


The Xbox One, as you know by now, will allow just about everyone to make games on the thing, as it’ll have a mode than enables devkit functionality. Many believe it to be something reactionary, based on the Xbox One’s initially poor indie showing. Microsoft says that’s just not the case; which is weird, considering that functionality  will have to patched in, and wont be available when the console is released.

“So at first we have dedicated devkits [and that’s what we’ll send to developers], “ Microsoft’s Ken Lobb told Edge. “But the existing devkit is just an Xbox that’s locked into development mode. The reason [for the delay] is that there’s some work we had to finish on the back end before we could enable it. But the boxes we ship on day one are all ready to be turned into development kits right away.”

He says the decision was made two years ago to make all Xbox One’s Devkits; and also mentioned something that we’ve been wondering; Players can be whitelisted to run unsigned code, much in the ay that we’re able to run unsigned code on our Xbox 360 debugging unit. for one, it could allow us to get Xbox One reviews up a little quicker. It’ll also allow MS to do more beta testing with its games, by letting actually gamers playtest for them

“The plan to turn a box into a devkit is [from] two years ago. It had to be. You don’t just decide that we’re just going to unlock the box magically and everyone can run unsecured code. We can do amazing things with this. We can whitelist players. We’re doing this with Killer Instinct. I’m going to be shipping characters after we launch and I’m going to invite about 10,000 people to be the ones that help us balance them; the same way that we’ve been inviting Evo people to Double Helix.

I want to invite 10,000 really great players to help me lock down the balance on those last two characters. The way we do that is sort of like a mini version of what it means to be in devkit mode. What we’ll do is send them a code that’s whitelisted. They’re the only ones that can play it. And, again, you don’t architect that in minutes, this has been planned for years. So, yes, a lot of our ‘alterations’ in the last few months have just been us saying, “Now we get to explain to you [the things] we’ve had in mind all along.””

I just wonder if Microsoft is opening itself up to some pretty easy piracy; I’m sure hacker-types will try and chip away at the security around the ability to run unsigned code, in the hopes of opening the Xbox One right up.

If you’ll recall, the original Xbox was a hacker’s dream, and could run all manner of cool unsigned code, even birthing one of the most widely used and most configurable bits of media-playing software ever made; XBMC.

Last Updated: October 2, 2013


  1. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    October 2, 2013 at 15:14

    XBMC ftw!!

    I do guess they make some sense. The choice must have been made a while ago because as he said, this kind of functionality can’t magically appear.

    Anyone know if MS offices have had their devs working 24hours a day to get this released or if they actually had that choice ages ago?


    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      October 2, 2013 at 15:59

      From what I’ve read, it’s a recent thing, so obvious MS PR bs, but at least their heart is in the right place. I’m a bit annoyed that Edge is toying the party line though. I reckon Polygon is going to do the same with a similar article in the not too distant future.


  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    October 2, 2013 at 15:18

    So they first have to patch the switch before they can flip it?


    • Rincethis

      October 2, 2013 at 15:19

      Silly boy! It’s like painting the switch, changing the light bulb, THEN flipping the switch!


      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        October 2, 2013 at 15:27

        That’s all too complicated for my tiny little brain :/


  3. JHN

    October 2, 2013 at 15:25

    It is a seriously hot console though!


  4. Uberutang

    October 2, 2013 at 15:28

    I like this….


  5. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    October 2, 2013 at 15:58

    lol bullshit.

    Cool idea though, but I seriously doubt they decided on this years ago. Maybe it was under discussion, but this seems like a recent addition post-DRM fail.


    • MacDoodle

      October 2, 2013 at 16:30

      Yeah dude I couldn’t agree more


  6. Marc O Polo

    October 3, 2013 at 19:34

    i call bullshit!!!


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