Microsoft made a big announcement today when Xbox Live Director of Programming Larry Hryb (a.k.a. Major Nelson) revealed that the policies surrounding the Xbox One have been overhauled yet again.
In a massive shift, it turns out the Xbox One actually will support self-publishing, a welcome boon to indie developers.
Previously Microsoft stated that releasing a game on Xbox One would require a publishing partner, creating a huge barrier for indies.
Today's change broke at Game Informer and Hryb discussed it later on his blog, tweeting that more details will be revealed at Gamescom in Germany next month.
'Every person can be a creator'
Sony's PlayStation 4 won the popular vote at E3 for many reasons, one of them being its emphatic support of indie developers.
Microsoft's policies alienated those same developers, though, and it seems the backlash has caused the company to rethink its policies.
In addition to allowing self-publishing, Microsoft is looking at a new certification process similar to Apple's, with a 14-day turnaround, and it turns out that every Xbox One console can be used as a development unit as well, rather than devs requiring special hardware.
"Our vision is that every person can be a creator," Xbox Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten said in a statement published by Hryb. "That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox Live."
"This means self-publishing," he continued. "This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox LIVE. We'll have more details on the program and the timeline at Gamescom in August."
That's another big shift for Microsoft, and once again it's not unwelcome.
- This isn't the first time Microsoft has been forced to rethink its Xbox One policies - will this one be enough to get gamers back on its side?