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Xbox One's ability to play in-development code has Minecraft-esque implications for gamers


The Xbox One's retail units will also run in-progress game code and function as debug units for budding devs, but Xbox VP Marc Whitten says not all of that functionality will be available when the console launches this November. More details will be available during Gamescom 2013 this August, but he told us in an interview this afternoon that "some of this won't be there for launch."

Self-publishing for indies, however, is already on the table, though Whitten didn't provide a specific roadmap for when and how it'll work. "It's something we've been working on for a long time -- how do we shorten that process, how do we automate a lot of the core requirements checking and some of those things. That'll continue to be our focus around that," he said. Nor would he confirm the turnaround time, said to be close to Apple's 14-day turnaround, though he did suggest it could be even shorter. Again, more details will arise closer to Gamescom, but in the meantime Whitten says: "As games move towards games as a service, that becomes a more important part of the cycle. It's the reason that we dropped the title update fees, as an example. We'll announce more on the specifics, but our goal is frankly just to minimize that."

Beyond benefitting indie devs, Whitten spoke to the implications of retail consoles running in-progress code could have on gamers. "I'm not confirming any feature or anything like that," he prefaced. But? "This idea of how can [Xbox] Live and the console work on a certain set of code which is what you need to do when you're the developer. Well that also opens up these sorts of ideas around early access to betas or these types of features, and that's foundationally what we've been working on around the architecture of the system," he said. As expected, that content won't live in the same marketplace as completed code (read: finished games), but it does sound like the Xbox One has room for the Minecraft model of game launches.

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