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Why Microsoft says devs shouldn't write off the Xbox One X

"From the get-go we knew that we wanted devs to be able to take the existing engines that they were working on on Xbox One and get those engines up and running in 4K."

Chris Kerr

June 23, 2017

2 Min Read

Microsoft has been waxing lyrical about the Xbox One X, codenamed 'Scorpio' while it was being kept under wraps, for what feels like an age. 

The console maker has continuously promised more power, true 4K experiences, and more teraflops than you can count on one measly hand. But what does that mean for developers, and why should they go the extra mile to create games that shine on the Xbox One X when there's a huge Xbox user base out there already? 

According to Microsoft's senior director of product management and planning, Mike Ybarra, who was speaking to Gamasutra earlier this week, they should care because, in this instance, going the extra mile will be relatively pain free.

That's not because Ybarra thinks developing games is a breeze, but rather because Microsoft itself has gone above and beyond to ensure devs can yank existing assets, devs tools, and code over to the Xbox One X without breaking a sweat.

"Because we knew we were introducing a new concept of doing a mid-generation console leap in performance, which hadn’t been done before -- at least, when we were conceiving of it we didn’t know of the PS4 Pro. We needed to figure out how to make that process really easy for developers," he explained.

"From the get-go we knew that we wanted devs to be able to take the existing engines that they were working on on Xbox One and get those engines up and running in 4K. And we knew we wanted the high resolution textures and assets that they were building for 4K PCs and give them a place to run in the living room.

"I think the pitch is actually quite easy for developers, particularly ones that are making games on PC, which is: If you built an Xbox One game, the code, your dev tools, your systems, your profiling tools, everything you’ve done for Xbox One is going to work immediately out of the box."

So there you have it, the idea behind the Xbox One X was to make a console that's as appealing to devs as it is to players. 

Whether or not Microsoft succeeds in winning the hearts and minds of consumers and creators with its supercharged device remains to be seen. But with the console's November 7 launch date closing in fast, we'll know sooner rather than later. 

In the meantime, why not find out more about the system by checking out Gamasutra's full Q&A right here.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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