Any Xbox One can become a game dev unit starting today

Xbox head Phil Spencer took to the stage during Microsoft’s Build 2016 keynote address to hype up the latest developments in Windows and Xbox gaming. As expected, the presentation centered around the Universal Windows Platform, Microsoft’s recently-announced initiative to unify Windows 10 and Xbox One for developers, and how easy it is to turn any Xbox into a dev unit.

The change is being pitched as a way to empower developers, with Forza creators Turn 10 Studios leading off the segment by talking about how the UWP has enabled them to code the game once for both Windows 10 and Xbox One, promising to launch all future titles simultaneously for both platforms.

“Windows 10 provides the most productive and efficient development platform for developers of all sizes,” explained Spencer. The goal is to minimize the amount of redundant work that developers will need to do in order to optimize their games for a variety of platforms. To that end, Spencer announced that both Nvidia’s proprietary G-Sync and AMD’s competing FreeSync will be natively supported by the UWP this coming May.

The upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary update will include a Desktop App Converter, which will allow users to take games running through other platforms like Steam and integrate them directly into Windows 10. This was demonstrated first with Age of Empires II HD, generating a Live Tile in the Start Menu that showed how many people were playing at that particular moment. They followed that with a more computationally-demanding title, DT Game of the Year winner The Witcher 3, which booted up quickly to run at full frame rate as a modern desktop application.

Xbox Developer Mode, the long-promised feature to turn any retail Xbox One console into a developer kit, launched today as a preview, with the full version coming this summer. This will allow developers to seamlessly switch between testing on console and PC, with input optimized for touch, mouse, and game pad. Unlocking Developer Mode will automatically add the Dev Home app, which serves as a hub for account management and developer settings. It also includes a “Leave Developer Mode” button, which will set the console back to retail mode for regular play.

Other features coming to Xbox One include Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana and the ability to play background music while running other apps.


‘The Division 2’ private beta kicks off February 7 on consoles and PC

The private beta for Tom Clancy's The Division 2 starts on February 7 and runs until February 10, Ubisoft announced in a new story trailer. To guarantee access to the beta, you have to pre-order the game on PS4, Xbox One, or PC.

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.

Microsoft CEO says Project xCloud is the ‘Netflix for games’

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella referred to the company's Project xCloud game streaming service as "Netflix for games." The service will let users play Xbox and PC games on a variety of devices.

‘Rocket League’ is the latest game to get full cross-platform play

Psyonix has announced that Rocket League now supports full cross-platform play across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, joining Fortnite as the only games to do so.

Console wars are so last-gen. Check out all the games that support crossplay

Crossplay is still in its infancy, but a growing number of games support online multiplayer between competing platforms. Here's a list of all games that support console crossplay.

Want to trick out your PlayStation 4? These themes will get you started

Personalize your gaming experience with some of our favorite themes for the PlayStation 4, including free, paid, static, and dynamic options.

‘Mortal Kombat 11’ is even gorier and crazier than we expected

NetherRealm Studios unveiled Mortal Kombat 11 on January 17 and the game looks to be just as gory and over the top as fans have come to expect. Former MMA fighter Ronda Rousey will appear as Sonya Blade.

Play your games whenever you want with a MicroSD card for your Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch uses cartridge-based games, but its internal storage may fill up quicker than you would think. Here's what you should consider when picking out a MicroSD card to expand your Switch's storage capacity.

Get your pilot skills up to snuff for this week's 'Fortnite' challenge guide

The Fortnite season 7, week 7 challenges are now available. The major challenge this week requires you to visit all the Fortnite expedition outposts in the game and we walk you through how to get to each.

Get extra life with our tips and tricks for 'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a much more difficult game than you'd believe based on its adorable art style and 2D perspective. Here's how you can master the game's toughest challenges.

Find all of the secret exits and world skips in 'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has two distinct Mario experiences in one package. In this guide, we'll show you how to find all of the secret exits in New Super Mario Bros. U, that lead to hidden levels and let you skip worlds.

Find all of the secret exits and world skips in 'New Super Luigi U Deluxe'

Just like all other 2D Mario games, New Super Mario Bros. Deluxe includes secret exits and world skips. In this guide, we'll show you how to get to all 12 secret exits in New Super Luigi U.

For Netflix, ‘Fortnite’ on YouTube is a bigger threat than HBO

In a letter to shareholders, Netflix explained that it views the video game Fortnite as bigger competition than HBO, with YouTube videos of the game drawing viewers away from the streaming platform.

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.