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HTML5 games on Xbox One? Microsoft eyes cross-platform development
HTML5 games on Xbox One? Microsoft eyes cross-platform development
September 3, 2013 | By Mike Rose

September 3, 2013 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing

Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's mobile business today showed that the company is serious about aggressively taking on the mobile competition. But with other massive platforms already around, including iOS and Android, how does Microsoft plan to convince developers to jump on board?

The key, says Microsoft's EVP of operating systems Terry Myerson, is to provide developers with a way to build apps and games that can then be released across all Microsoft devices easily.

And this includes allowing for HTML5 and native applications across all the company's devices, including smartphones, tablets, and the upcoming Xbox One.

"We want to offer [developers] the opportunity to build either HTML5 applications, or native applications that span all of those devices, enabling them to reach segments of users on those devices, users on a gaming console, and provide them with very unique opportunities to monetize their application investments," he explained as part of today's Microsoft Nokia Transaction Conference Call.

He continued, "So we're pretty excited about the platforms that we're bringing to market. Developer reception in some areas is certainly better than others, but overall we're making progress, and we know we've got a lot more work to do."

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer added that driving consumers to Microsoft devices was the company's main goal, as this will eventually lead to a wider range of developers, apps and games on Microsoft systems.

"We think we have differentiated products, we can tell the story a little bit better, and we can get volume up," he said. "You know, we have over 160,000 applications on the [Windows] Store, and we know we have a long way to go. The key is really offering, with our own first-party applications and first-party hardware, enough reasons to drive volumes, and attract a broader developer ecosystem."

And discussing HTML5 development for Windows phones, tablets and Xbox One, Ballmer noted, "Obviously HTML5 would be kind of a neutral thing - I would expect all the major platforms to embrace it to some extent, and in some senses it takes away a little bit of the app barrier to entry which we know we need to work hard on right now."

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Dave Voyles
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As someone making HTML5 games, this pleases me.

I've been using Impact.JS and it's worked wonderfully.

K Gadd
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Hey, if they ship a decent enough build of IE11 on the XBox One, I'll be able to tell XNA developers I can get their games onto the new console! (-:

Aryadi Subagio
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this is great news for HTML5 developers! oh, that's me as well

Thomas Happ
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I liked it better when XNA was the thing that was supposed to work across all platforms. :(

Austin Hallock
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This is fantastic news! HTML5 (JavaScript is probably the better term) is the one technology that every major player in games is backing. Nintendo, Microsoft, Apple and Google - Sony I'm not 100% sure about just yet, but I'll bet we hear more on this in the next few months.

Leon T
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Good news, now Sony is the only one left out so they need to announce something.

James Waymire
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One glaring omission so far unless I have missed something is lack of gamepad API support in the IE 11 stack... that would put a severe disadvantage to html games developed for the Xbox 360. Hopefully their embrace of WebGL signals they are seriously looking at HTML 5 games and will hopefully look at this as an opportunity to add support.