Why Xbox One’s Dev Mode Took So Long to Come Out

After speaking at Microsoft’s Build keynote, Xbox head Phil Spencer spoke to press about many different things including the Dev Mode for Xbox One. He explained why it took so long to put it out and what he believes it will bring to the console.

Spencer explained the delayed release, which comes nearly three years after it was announced. He said that when it was announced, the app model on Xbox was proprietary, and the company “had to handhold” developers because Microsoft “didn’t have a good dev platform.”

“The reason we waited so long was because I wanted to get [Universal Windows Platform] to a point where I could just say ‘Hey, Windows developers, the millions of you that are already out there, instead of you having to learn something else to go put your app on Xbox, let’s just move Xbox over so it supports apps that you’re already building,” he explained further.

He also mentioned that he doesn’t think being able to turn any Xbox One into a dev kit will necessarily bring more games to the platform, though he does think the console will get more apps.

“We’ll probably see some games, but I think more interest will come from app developers,” he said. “I think there’s a bunch of cool scenarios that app developers will go off and drive, and instead of sending dev kits out, we just say ‘Hey, let’s figure out how to turn every Xbox into a dev kit.'”

Spencer said Universal Windows games could come to Xbox One but noted that ID@Xbox is still a better route for indie developers wanting to make a native game on the platform.

Xbox One Dev Mode is available now through the Xbox One Preview Program. It’ll be made available to all in a later update.

Spencer talked during the keynote about how Microsoft is working to ensure Windows 10 is a “great gaming experience.” It was also announced that all future Forza games will come to both Xbox and PC platforms.

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