Microsoft doesn’t expect the first wave of indie games to launch on Xbox One until 2014. However, Phil Harrison, corporate vice president of the firm's interactive entertainment business in Europe, also told GamesIndustry that Microsoft has had “an avalanche of interest from all corners of the globe” since it finally outlined its strategy for indie games on the console last month.
"I don't think we're going to see things at launch," Harrison said. “I don't think it's realistic to see a developer get the programme and build a game and get it into the market on November 22. It's reasonable to expect in early 2014 we'll start seeing the first games come through."
Microsoft’s Independent Developers @ Xbox programme will allow registered studios to use all of Xbox One's features, from cloud services, Kinect, Achievements, challenges and Xbox Live multiplayer to automatic Game DVR video recording and uploading. The self-publishing programme also eschews certification and title update fees. Harrison also reiterated that, down the line, Microsoft plans to let any Xbox One console serve as a development kit, further opening the market to small studios and hobbyist creators.
“We're working through applications and creating that dialogue with developers," he said. "As we said at the time, we have phase one where we give away development kits and loan them to the teams that inevitably will have to pass some kind of a qualification to justify a limited number of dev kits being given to them. That process is ongoing. Eventually our goal is that every retail Xbox One console becomes a dev kit. And then we open up to the widest possible audience.”
Xbox One will be released in 13 markets on November 22, 2013. The console will be priced at £430 / $500 / €500 and will have 23 launch games.