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access_time July 9, 2014 at 12:39 PM in Features by Tyler Colp

Don’t let Microsoft get away with this again


Let’s start with the facts.

Microsoft said in July 2013 that game developers would be able to use retail Xbox One consoles, the ones you can go out and buy today, as developer kits. Typically, hardware companies like Microsoft and Sony will send development kits, dev kits for short, to game makers. They use these special boxes to create their games. They are necessary.

So, you can see why it was good for developers when Microsoft said that eventually they could turn their retail consoles into dev kits, making the whole process a little bit easier.

Today, Digital Spy reported that, during a Q&A session at the Develop Conference 2014 with Xbox Advanced Technology Group’s Martin Fuller, he said that would no longer be the case. When the site asked him to clarify if it would be coming at a later date, he said, “As far as I’m aware there are no plans.”

Then, Microsoft came out and said this to press outlets:

“The comments today were inaccurate. We remain committed to ensuring the best possible solutions for developers and hobbyists to create games for Xbox One. We will share more details at a later date.”

Nowhere in that statement does it say that retail Xbox One consoles can be turned into dev kits. All it says is that that the comments, which we assume to be from Fuller, today “were innacurate.”

So, why doesn’t Microsoft just say “Yes, retail Xbox One’s can be turned into dev kits”? Because it’s better to make the news not seem like a big backtrack and answer that question at a later date. Maybe this was supposed to be announced later and Fuller slipped up, or maybe now, Microsoft will take its chance, because of its sly statement, and add the feature in anyway. Then, it can act like it listened to its fans.

This is the point of big company public relations. It’s about keeping a good perception of the company, especially when it’s not been great lately. It’s about messaging, and we’ve fallen prey to it.


  • mrf559 July 9, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Oh really? Did you not do your research? Typical of a bandwagon MS hater….. From Kotaku. And actual new site.


    Thats right, you are 100% wrong. Are you going to retract this article and apologize for misinforming people?

    • John July 9, 2014 at 4:53 PM

      Says the exact same quotes as here!!!! Read before posting!

  • Vamien McKalin July 9, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    I’m quite disappointed in the author chooses to report this story. No thought, just anger seeping out everywhere. It’s all so similar to how gamers react to everything these days. You seem to forgotten that you are a journalist, or someone who wants to be, because this is a total mess.

    Throwing accusations without further proof is weak. These are the reason why video game journalism is not taken seriously, it’s a place for the small minded, children, and deranged fanboys from all factions to make their voices be heard. And usually, they have nothing of significance to say.

    • subverity July 9, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      This is an opinion piece. He’s not reporting news as much as giving a perspective on what has happened. The only real speculation he gives is on why Microsoft didn’t simply say “Yes, retail Xbox One’s can be turned into dev kits.” It’s not uncommon for PR spokespeople to use vague language when commenting on an issue, and Mr. Colp is correct in saying that Microsoft didn’t say they would support earlier claims of turning consoles into dev kits.

      One thing that would help the image of games and gamers, is showing that we can report, and comment, with rationality. It’s important to express opinion, but it’s more important to look past what’s in front of you, look at the bigger picture and help to cultivate change rather than conflict.

      • DekonReighn (@DekonReighn) July 9, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        He is spreading propaganda as a means to get peoples attention. Regardless to think that Xbox isn’t going to support indies is just daft. They have a plan obviously they just have not explained it fully yet. Obviously indies are already ON the xbox one. So it’s a plan that is working. Just not 100% yet.

        • subverity July 9, 2014 at 8:07 PM

          There must be something else going on here, because when I read the article, I don’t see him saying that Microsoft isn’t supporting Indies. I don’t think anyone is saying Microsoft isn’t supporting Indies. The issue is Microsoft including developer tools in consumer consoles. Currently, and up to this point, they have been shipping separate dev kits to developers, because that’s the only way to develop and test for the Xbox One. This is how most console development works. They announced early on that this would be a big feature of the Xbox One, and maybe they will include the dev code in consoles someday, but it seems questionable. When a member of the Xbox Advanced Technology Group (the guys that work on this stuff) says one thing, and then a different Microsoft spokesperson (from what department? what division?) says “Actually, that statement was incorrect?”, as a rational human being you have to wonder what’s going on. How does a senior engineer in a specific division of the company not know what his group is or isn’t working on?

          Are you sure they have a plan? They say they have a plan, but how reliable is that, especially with what they’ve been through in the past year?

          Please don’t mistake me for someone who hates Microsoft for the hell of it. I’ve supported them for over 10 years in the gaming industry, and anticipate doing so in the future. I dislike some of their recent decisions, and wish the XBox would go back to it’s roots, but I don’t think that will happen. It will continue to evolve, for better or worse, and time will tell. I’m a fan of games, first and foremost. Consoles are a means to an end. But I do want them to get it right, I really do. I want the XBox to succeed. Very much so.

  • kevin July 9, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Who cares so they are not allowing you to do more with their tech like they said . who cares it’s not like their the first company or government to say and never follow thru and won’t be the last.

  • Lol! Says the fanboy, im guessing you own a xbone ? IF MS fanboys could deal with the fact that they got screwed over big time. BUT at the same time they made that choice and they either get over it. Or not. I don’t know you personally Vamiem, and I really don’t want to either.
    YOUR just as guilty of being a hypocrite , i will agree with you that journalism is joke. But don’t ASSume that every single so called journalist is a complete sell out. True that 99.9 of all gamers have nothing really to say, but it’s not going to stop them. It is the Internet and any peabrain with a computer and an Internet connection THINKS do to self entitlement that they’re experts. And i say let them think they’re the “bomb” but it doesn’t make it so. On the otherhand I strongly dislike ppl, that think that way. Everbody throws that word journalism around, BUT most ppl don’t have a clue what real journalism is? And that has become toxic, and is used 99.9 % of the time as a pathetic cheap troll tactic.
    Real journalism is about ethics, im going to say you knew that real journalists have there own oath like doctors do. Im sure your going to troll me as well. But what else is new lol! Look i could argue with you but it would be a waste of time.

    So why don’t try and hit me with your best shot Mr. Bully I dare you:P

  • Mark89 July 9, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    Great report Tyler. This is something Microsoft made a big deal about but seems to be distancing itself from it.

  • CrunchMaster July 9, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    Microsoft May have all intentions to do this in the future. But for the time being they my be worried about the security of the system it runs on. They don’t want to allow people to jailbreak their device. This allowing people to download games and play with out paying, do you want that?

  • mrimpatient35 July 9, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    From what I’ve seen on gaming boards and articles, people will hate MS no matter what they do, so the same thing will happen if they do this or not. People will still hate them. I guarantee it.

  • lacarious July 9, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    get away with what? devs have to get dev machines? that’s nothing new….. but then again, i don’t care, i have a ps4! 😀

  • corvusmd July 9, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    Oh no!!! You mean based on this report that was already proven wrong I can’t make games on my X1??? Oh no whatever will I do/??? I guess I’ll just have to keep using it as my console that does all the heavy lifting for games and entertainment while my Wii U waits till September and my PS4 sits in a box till February. Grr, whatever will I do? If people didn’t rush to judgement and incorrectly tell me that it’s not possible for an X1 to be a Dev kit, then I’d be making games right now…guess I’ll just have to keep that hobby on the back burner till I get a Dev kit like my PS4 dev kit..

  • Tired of the Xbots July 9, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    Good article. Gets to the heart of the matter on MS’ mixed messaging and communication snafus. Alas I expected these comments as the last remnants of a dying brand do their best to voluntarily stem the blood loss.

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