Announced at Gamescom earlier this year, ID@Xbox will allow independent developers to self-publish on Xbox One without fees. Registered users will not be required to pay certification or title update fees, though currently developers “with a proven track record” are being prioritised for registration. Microsoft also said in July that every Xbox One console can be used as a development kit, though the functionality will not be available from launch.
“When released in 2014, the Xbox One add-on for Unity will be available at no cost to all developers in the ID@Xbox program, as will special Xbox One-only Unity Pro seat licenses for Xbox One developers in the ID@Xbox program,” confirmed Microsoft’s ID@Xbox director Chris Charla.
“We want to make sure the dev who’s working away in Omaha, or Coventry, or Chiba will have the same shot to realize their vision on Xbox One as one of my developer friends we hang out with in Seattle or at a trade show like GDC or Gamescom.
“The Unity add-on for Xbox One supports every element of Xbox One, from Kinect to SmartGlass to the impulse triggers of the new controller,” Charla added. “Using Unity, developers will be able to take advantage of all aspects of Xbox One, which is rad. More importantly, Unity is available for Windows and Windows Phone too (and yes, the add-on is available at no cost to developers for Windows Phone and Windows 8 store games). So from one base game, developers can ship their games across all Microsoft platforms.”
Unity Technologies CEO David Helgason has said that while the dev kit will support high-end features that will make use of Xbox One’s additional power, its established toolset will simplify deployment for familiar developers.