That’s right, you can now use your retail Xbox One to develop apps and games.
There are several things you need to obtain and install, and you need to play with some pre-release developer tools, but you CAN build apps and test them on YOUR Xbox One.
When contrasting this with the old Creators Club for Xbox 360, there are a few interesting comparisons. First, with the 360 you had to use the XNA Framework. Now, the XNA Framework was so accessible and powerful that it lives on in spirit today in the Monogame platform. But that was your only choice.
For information on downloading and setting up the pieces you need, start here:
UWP on Xbox One.
You particularly will need to follow the steps to get several items:
- You must use Visual Studio 2015 Update 2. You can use the absolutely free Visual Studio Community.
- You have to have Windows 10 on your developer PC.
- You also need to sign up for Windows Insider, but you do NOT need to set your Windows 10 PC to receive Insider pre-release builds.
- You have to install a prerelease SDK for Windows 10.
- You have to enable developer mode on Xbox One.
And there’s one other wrinkle. If you are in the Xbox One Dashboard preview program, you have to exit that program first.
Shahed Chowdhuri and Dave Voyles made a great intro video talking about the steps to get started and explaining your next steps to building a game for Xbox One. Check it out at Dave Voyles blog: Turn your retail Xbox One into a dev kit to create games and apps
Simon Jackson also provided a complete overview of the process and some perspective on how it is really amazing to be building games for your retail console: UWP and development on Xbox One
UWP apps do not have the low level system access of other games built using the specialized Xbox One SDKs. However, there are a large set of games that will run very well even with the limits. For more on that, see the following: System resources for UWP apps and games on Xbox One .
For Xbox One, the platform is the Universal Windows Platform. That’s a mouthful, especially for people who aren’t in the Microsoft developer ecosystem on a daily basis. So what does it mean?
Universal Windows Platform
The UWP is a platform that allows you to choose from many different languages to build apps. What this meanas for game developers is that more ecosystems in the game development space are open to us.
Your UWP app could be built with:
- C# and XAML – This is similar to the WPF platform. But most importantly this means you can use MonoGame. Learn more about MonoGame.
- C++ and DirectX – This means you can get native platform support and build the highest performance games. Learn more about UWP with C++.
- Unity – The Unity game engine exports UWP projects, so those work. Furthermore, you can export these projects with the free version of Unity. Unity is very popular, and they have a ton of tutorial videos and help on their site.
- Gamemaker – Yoyo Games Gamemaker engine exports to Windows Store. This is the UWP platform you need. If you’re looking for a low cost way to get started, as of right now this is not it. Their UWP export module only comes with their most expensive offering. This is a great engine, but just letting you know.