With a little bit of work, anyone can access developer tools on the Xbox One – but you shouldn’t. Using a simple button combination that a Reddit user discovered will access the tools, but it could render your system “unusable,” according to a Microsoft rep speaking to IGN.
Microsoft’s plans from the start were to allow any Xbox One unit to potentially become a developer console without having to pay exorbitant fees for hardware. There will be a license fee and an authorization process, but developers won’t need to try to obtain costly “debug” hardware, which in addition to being pricey can be hard to find.
“Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development,” Microsoft’s Marc Whitten said. “That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox LIVE.”
Following the post by a Reddit user, complete with proof (see image above), an Xbox One dev replied, “Please don’t mess with anything here for the time being, especially the sandbox ID. You risk putting your box into a boot loop.” A dev from Epic Games then chimed in to agree with the Xbox dev.
When asked when this feature would be ready for the public, the Xbox One dev replied, “I have no idea how far along the ID@Xbox program is. There are many concerns such as privacy, security, stability etc.., that need to be sorted out before we can allow anyone and everyone to simply sideload an app onto their box.”
In order to learn more about the Independent Developers Publishing Program for Xbox One, Microsoft has set up a FAQ to answer questions. The eventual plan according to Microsoft is that “anyone with a retail Xbox One will be able to develop, publish, and sell their game on Xbox Live.” It’s not quite as simple as unlocking a few tools though.
“Changing the settings in this menu is only intended for developers for Xbox One, and this alone does not turn the console into a development kit,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.
The rep went on to elaborate that if a user is stuck in this mode, their best option is to go to “Settings” and select “Restore Factory Defaults.”