When Microsoft announced Xbox One three years ago, he said he plans to let owners of his next-gen gaming console use their boxes as “development kits,” allowing them to build and test their own Xbox One games.
During its Build conference, Microsoft said it will finally happen today, although it isn’t quite what you expected. An update to Xbox One today will allow anyone to connect their Xbox One to a Windows 10 PC, develop Universal Windows Platform apps, and run them on their Xbox. Polygon got an advanced in-depth dive into the program and reports that it has several restrictions, including the fact that developers can only access 1GB of the Xbox One’s 8GB of RAM.
So while this technically turns the Xbox One into a dev kit, it won’t allow you to create full Xbox One gaming experiences — for that you will still have to go through the standard procedures through Microsoft and get actual development material. (You’ll also need to go through Microsoft’s standard “concept approval” phase if you want to release your game to Xbox One, although no one has ever suggested otherwise.)
If you’re already developing a Universal Windows app and want to test it out on an Xbox One, that’s great news for you. Otherwise, it doesn’t seem like a big change from the status quo ante.