When Microsoft first unveiled the Xbox One they took many gamers by surprise when they revealed the console would not support self-publishing for independent developers. For as much as the company had a strong history with indie devs, it seemed like they were turning their back on them in the next-gen.
However, after strong gamer backlash spread across the net, Microsoft eventually decided they would support indie self-publishing through their new ID@Xbox initiative. Moreover, they revealed that every Xbox One console, even retail versions, would function as a dev kit.
Now that the Xbox One has spent some time out in the wild — the console released on Nov. 22nd — a few gamers have had some time to mess around in the device's dashboard, and one gamer has actually discovered how to turn the Xbox One into a dev kit. It's a pretty simple process, requiring nothing more than a few, cheat code-esque button presses, and takes the user to a secret "Developer Settings" menu.
In ordinary circumstances, we would provide the how-to video showing users where to go to unlock said menu, but in this case we won't. That's because Microsoft has come out to warn Xbox One owners that initiating the "Developer Settings" menu and changing any of the values contained therein could render the console unusable.
Microsoft has released an official statement in response to the video (seen below), and one Xbox One developer confirmed that messing with the console's "Sandbox ID" could put it into a "boot loop." Thankfully, all is not lost if the user does end up changing anything in the Developer Settings, as there is a way to reset the console to factory settings:
"Changing the settings in this menu is only intended for developers for Xbox One, and this alone does not turn the console into a development kit. We strongly advise consumers against changing these settings as it could result in their Xbox One becoming unusable. Customers who have put their consoles into this developer setting can revert by restoring factory defaults under Settings / System, select Restore Factory Defaults."
So, while it is nice to see that Microsoft has made good on their promise to make each Xbox One console a dev kit, only authorized individuals are encouraged to do so. Similarly, those who might use the secret menu for modding or hacking the Xbox One console are treading treacherous waters, and should be forewarned that Microsoft has been employing a zero tolerance policy when it comes to account suspensions. If Microsoft is willing to hand out suspensions for excessive profanity, we can only imagine how they will react to modders.
Have you accidentally encountered the Developer Settings menu? Do you think such easy access to dev kit settings will help the indie community?