Shortly after this story was published, a Microsoft spokesperson gave the following statement to Gamasutra regarding comments made by a company representative suggesting Microsoft has no plans to allow retail Xbox Ones to double as development kits.
"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."
Speaking today at the Develop conference in Brighton, England, Xbox Advanced Technology Group representative Martin Fuller said that -- as far as he was aware -- Microsoft has "no plans" to make retail Xbox One units capable of functioning as development kits.
"In the end, although that was a very admirable goal, it hasn't happened unfortunately," said Fuller, according to a report
from Digital Spy. "Can't tell you the specifics of exactly why not."
If true, it's a remarkable about-face for the company, which last year promised that developers would be able to use retail Xbox One hardware as development kits
sometime after launch.
"Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development," stated former Xbox VP and chief product officer Marc Whitten last summer.
Whitten proceeded to leave Microsoft
earlier this year to take a position at Sonos.
Fuller's comments are particularly surprising in light of statements
made by ID@Xbox director Chris Charla yesterday about how difficult it is for his team to provide enough Xbox One dev kits to game makers who are interested in publishing through the ID@Xbox program.
"We have said that anyone will be able to use retail Xbox Ones to develop games," said Charla, during a panel at the Develop conference. "We're not there yet, so we need to send custom dev kits."