Xbox One dev unit - white
We may not be able to get our hands on a sweet Xbox One development unit in white (above), but the average Joe can still easily obtain a development unit. That’s because the Xbox One and its development unit counterpart are one in the same! In a statement recently made by Xbox corporate VP Marc Whitten, Microsoft’s retail version of their next generation console will also be able to be run in debug mode; your video game tool set, if you will.
Usually, these special units are only sold to qualifying parties, are much more expensive and sometimes differ in aesthetics to their retail brethren. The way indie games are showcased will also change. Instead of a segregated “Indie” section like they had on the Xbox 360, the way they advertise these games will be by sharing screen space with 1st and 3rd party games available; a seamless interaction between all available games on the retooled Xbox Live interface. Marc Whitten wants these indie games to be a big part of Xbox Live, stating: “Our vision is that every person can be a creator.” Even though this debug mode will be available right off the bat on the hardware end, these features will not be activated until after launch.
This could be a potential boon for indie development on the Xbox One. The narrative so far has been PlayStation 4 has all the indie support while Xbox One only cares about the bottom line. Maybe this was their plan all along? The way publishing is going to be handled will be a big part of this, so we’ll have to wait to see exactly how prominent the indie games will be on Xbox Live. At the very least the console will take up less space than the infamously huge PlayStation 2 dev kit (below).
PS2 Dev Kit alongside retail PS2