Microsoft hints at Windows 8-Xbox One cross platform apps

Microsoft has already revealed that the upcoming Xbox One game console has three operating systems running things inside: An Xbox OS to run games, a Windows 8-based OS to run apps and a third that talks between the other two operating systems. The logical next step would be to ask if developers of Windows 8 apps could have them published on the Xbox One.

During Thursday's BUILD 2013 keynote, as shown on the Channel 9 website, there were strong hints that Microsoft is in fact going to allow Windows 8 app developers to release their creations on the Xbox One. The demo presentation on stage showed the Khan Academy app running on what the presenters said was an Xbox One console back stage.

Steve Guggenheimer, the lead evangelist of Microsoft's Developer division, said that while Microsoft didn't have anything more to announce today on making apps for the Xbox One, he suggested to the audience at the BUILD keynote that they go ahead and start making Windows 8 apps to "get a head start" on preparing to make Xbox One apps.

If app makers can make Windows 8 apps that can also work on the Xbox One, the big question is how would they be published. So far, Microsoft has not said anything about developers self publishing games for the Xbox One and it's possible that they would also have similar restrictions for any apps that would be made for the console.

Source: Channel 9 | Image via Microsoft

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However MS already said that they don't want indies for xbox one, also they killed XNA (aka burn the ships).

So, may be MS will allow some kind of application in the xbox one but only if those applications are not-games.

What i really want, is to program a simple game / program and it should be able to run in Modern UI (x86), Windows RT, Windows Phone and Xbox One. However, right now, all those MS products are fragmented.

Edited by Brony, Jun 28 2013, 1:05pm :

this is cool, but boring. cross platform stuff could be gold, except..the games themselves are still stuck only working on the Xbox One. They should redesign the game platform so that the games are platform independent, run in a sandbox, which can easily be ported to multiple platforms. Xbox One games could run inside Windows, on any computer, or the console. And, maybe even easily on phones and other devices once hardware gets powerful enough to full run the platform.

Microsoft could make all games .NET compatible and thus portable. or they could make a new DirectX API designed to make games platform independent, like .NET, but optimized for games, graphics, and multimedia.

since Xbox One appears to run WinRT, which is the version that only supports .NET and the Windows 8 / HTML5 apps, maybe the games are already like this but just heavily locked down with DRM and other garbage making them console only. there's nothing wrong with having another distribution for PCs, but it could all be unified and I'd be much happier with something like that. and plus, if we just stick with the platform, and update it's hardware, and the sandbox, we could pretty much guarantee future-proof compatibility. games which never become obsolete and could be played on newer platforms without issues.

Edited by nullie, Jun 28 2013, 4:29am :

nullie said,
this is cool, but boring. cross platform stuff could be gold, except..the games themselves are still stuck only working on the Xbox One. They should redesign the game platform so that the games are platform independent, run in a sandbox, which can easily be ported to multiple platforms. Xbox One games could run inside Windows, on any computer, or the console. And, maybe even easily on phones and other devices once hardware gets powerful enough to full run the platform.

Microsoft could make all games .NET compatible and thus portable. or they could make a new DirectX API designed to make games platform independent, like .NET, but optimized for games, graphics, and multimedia.

since Xbox One appears to run WinRT, which is the version that only supports .NET and the Windows 8 / HTML5 apps, maybe the games are already like this but just heavily locked down with DRM and other garbage making them console only. there's nothing wrong with having another distribution for PCs, but it could all be unified and I'd be much happier with something like that. and plus, if we just stick with the platform, and update it's hardware, and the sandbox, we could pretty much guarantee future-proof compatibility. games which never become obsolete and could be played on newer platforms without issues.

If we get cross-platform apps then games should be next, but you can forget about full Xbox One and PC games, like the big AAA titles. I think the only thing you'll see is smaller XBL Arcade titles that run on XB1, Win8.1 and WP8.1 and allow you to play with people on either system.

I am just saying that the DirectX architecture, or Xbox One/Windows architecture should merge. the games should run in a protected sandbox, with security measures if that pleases them, but the platform should be open and thus able to be reimplemented by anyone. that way games don't die with the console, emulation and collections become easier to maintain. in 10 years I could have a collection of games that still runs full steam on whatever current hardware I have, that is the result.

and what is the result today? I can choose my platform, where I play on. my PC is my domain, never buying another console again. but if I did buy one, I could play on either or. and if I was exclusively PC, I could sell or trade my games with console gamers.

the thing is, the games don't have to be designed and tied to one platform. they could run on any system. people would buy the system they wanted, a "cheapo" or nice one. or a PC. and all that. the games are downgrades of PC games anyway, and PC is getting crappier quality stuff as every is limited to what these consoles have for capabilities usually.

I think there is money in it for the devs and hardware manufactures in this. it would create this market, where if you invest a little money, you get big returns in terms of being able to play these console games better. maybe it would create a market where, Xbox One is selling for $500, with garbage hardware, and for $800 or $1000 you can get something quite a bit better that "maxes" everything out ; giving the home market a bit of that upgrade rush feeling that the PC one has. but in the end.. it would open it up to more games, in more places, especially on the PC. and give us the ability to choose how well we want to run our games.

Xbox Arcade games are bad mkay. we want every game designed in this echo system, for life. then there's also no reason to have to redev a game to bring it to a future system or console, it just works, runs on all future and previous hardware (generally previous, unless the API/sandbox/hardware is too limited; but lets guarantee for the console side that games will continue to be made which are compatible for at least 3-5 years; then it may be the console becomes obsolete, except for older titles, but the old titles will always work on what's newer without changes).

Edited by nullie, Jun 28 2013, 8:50am :

Now this changes everything...
The unification begins??? I think...
Xbox on Windows Phone, bout to go Super Saiyan??? Find out soon...

XBOX ON!!!!!

You can buy an app and install it on up to 5 devices. Since Xbox One will use the same store as the Windows Store (at least based on what it looks like), and it's already known they're working on merging the WIndows Phone store into it as well... you won't need to purchase the apps multiple times unless you're using it on more than 5 devices. But let's wait till they announce something before we start rumours hehe.

j2006 said,
You can buy an app and install it on up to 5 devices. Since Xbox One will use the same store as the Windows Store (at least based on what it looks like), and it's already known they're working on merging the WIndows Phone store into it as well... you won't need to purchase the apps multiple times unless you're using it on more than 5 devices. But let's wait till they announce something before we start rumours hehe.

That would be the optimal way to do it but we don't know yet. I hope it's true and they work it out that way.

Avi Patel said,
this is actually pretty cool, i'm excited to see easy access to my windows 8 apps.


Oh boy you're in for a treat

... here we go again. I wonder if Microsoft will actually deliver this time round... more importantly will we have to actually buy apps again?

SierraSonic said,
How about.... GAMES?

Yes, there will games, many of them. Adding features does not remove features. I don't get this complaint.

Microsoft is ADDING FUNCTIONALITY and people bitch about it because it takes away from their games somehow? I don't get it.

This is going to be killer for devs, and it's going to be a peace of cake for indy developers to make their games available on xbox through the windows store.

This is FANTASTIC news and people just complain.

Actually it is not a dumb quesion, as apps and games made on the platform (Windows 8) are made with different APIs and languages.

Zedox said,
Actually it is not a dumb quesion, as apps and games made on the platform (Windows 8) are made with different APIs and languages.

xbo has full WinRT...

AWilliams87 said,

I'm a bit perplexed at what you're trying to say here?
The system is basically a x86 computer with custom software... no reason that it should not be possible.

I was complaining about the lack of cross compatibility between xbox one and pc, at this stage that would be a killer feature. Imagine every game for the xbox one working on the pc as well.

We all now it'll go that way in the future, but it's not going to be THAT easy though. There will Always be platform specific guidelines for both Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and the Xbox One.
Having one programming language/environment and easy recompiles at hand is already a VAST improvement and I don't think you should be complaining as Windows 8 has already garnered a LOT of games during the past year.
A WinRT app store would be a killer feature for the Xbox One.

Crimson Rain said,

xbo has full WinRT...

Are you saying the XBOX ONE has a complete implementation of the Windows Runtime, or do you think that somehow they managed to run an ARM OS on AMD chips?

SierraSonic said,
The system is basically a x86 computer with custom software... no reason that it should not be possible.

I was complaining about the lack of cross compatibility between xbox one and pc, at this stage that would be a killer feature. Imagine every game for the xbox one working on the pc as well.


And the rampant piracy...

(not implying I am against it)

deadonthefloor said,

Are you saying the XBOX ONE has a complete implementation of the Windows Runtime, or do you think that somehow they managed to run an ARM OS on AMD chips?

Windows RT can run just fine on x86.
WinRT is already present in ARM/x86.