Microsoft GDC 2015 Roundup

As I’m sure a lot of you are aware this week the Game Developers Conference is happening. Yesterday Microsoft took to the stage to share the plans for Microsoft, Windows 10 and Xbox One  in the near future.

There was quite a lot talked about, so I break it down in bullet points, and then if you want to read a bit more, you can scroll down further for a bit more info on it all.

  • Cross platform gaming is going to include cross-buy as well. Buy from one device, download and play on another device
  • Developers will submit their apps and games into one store. This store includes Xbox One as well
  • Xbox Live SDK Preview is going live now
  • DirectX 12 adds a 20% GPU boost to the Xbox One
  • A Universal Development center will allow devs to develop games from one application
  • Xbox will bring games to Hololens
  • HoloLens APK should be available around the time of BUILD
  • Implementing crossplay is “super simple and easy”
  • ID@Xbox is now helping devs for Windows 10, including Phones
  • A wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers to work with Windows 10 will be coming out later this year
  • Battletoads coming to Shovel Knight and a bunch more Indie games


Xbox Live SDK Available for Windows 10: In January, we announced our commitment to bringing Xbox Live to Windows and today we announced that the Xbox Live SDK for Windows 10 is currently in the hands of managed partners to create new games. Soon it will be in the hands of a broader set of developers. This SDK will provide access to the vast majority of Xbox Live services currently available on Xbox One, under a shared set of APIs, integrated with the Windows Store. We are also committed to making Xbox Live accessible to all game developers, regardless of size, which is why we’re introducing a new tier of Xbox Live that is designed to allow any developer to engage with the Xbox Live community.

Windows Universal App Platform: Windows 10 brings together one core operating system, one application platform, one gaming social network, one store, and one ingestion path across all Windows PCs, Tablets, Phones and Xbox One consoles – that’s more than 1.5 billion people. With the Universal App Platform, any developer can create a single project to target multiple devices. It will be easier than it has ever been to bring content to PCs, tablets, phones, Xbox consoles, and future Windows 10 devices like Microsoft HoloLens. Developers will be able to do this and more when Windows 10 is available this year.

Windows Store: With the Windows Store, Microsoft is committed to delivering best-in-class scenarios for gamers and game developers. For developers, the promise of one store across devices means they will now have the ability and flexibility to deliver content across PCs, console, tablets, and phones, easily and quickly. Similarly, by enabling new experiences such as cross-buy, developers now have more flexibility on the features they deliver to gamers across Windows devices.

Universal Development Center: The Universal Development Center is the developer portal to building and delivering games to the Windows Store. It provides fast, lightweight game submission and update capabilities within the developer’s direct control, as well as access to key metrics to understand their game’s performance. Improvements in platform, tools, and Xbox Live services, while reducing overhead of publishing, will foster more compelling game content and a richer, more engaged gaming community.

DirectX 12: DirectX 12 enables PC developers to have a new level of power and control and is a single API developers can access across Windows devices. As shown with Fable Legends running on Unreal Engine 4, there has been a 20% improvement in performance. And as announced today, Epic is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which sets a new bar for visual fidelity in PC gaming.

Accessories: All wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, we’ll be delivering a Wireless Adapter that will let you use current Xbox controllers and future devices wirelessly on your PCs.

Elite: Dangerous is Coming to Xbox One


We’ve long had a great publishing relationship with Frontier Developments, which is why we’re so happy to announce that their epic space adventure Elite: Dangerous will be coming to Xbox One this summer. Developed by famed designer and Frontier CEO David Braben, Elite: Dangerous combines elements of space adventure, resource trading, and combat simulation to create a wholly unique experience that’s quite literally out of this world.

David Braben also had this to say about the announcement over on the Elite Dangerous Forums.

Hi everyone,

When asked, I’ve said we’d be mad not to consider bringing Elite: Dangerous to console. Well, that madness is about to end! Today we’re announcing that we will be bringing the full Elite: Dangerous to Xbox One this year. Xbox players have supported Frontier well over the years, and thanks to games like Zoo Tycoon and ScreamRide we know the hardware well, so Xbox One is a natural fit for Elite: Dangerous’ console debut.

 Elite: Dangerous on Xbox One will be the complete and authentic Elite: Dangerous experience. It will not be “dumbed down”. We’ll be working with an all-new audience, but that doesn’t mean a change in direction for the game, and nor does it mean slowing development on the PC version. The second of our updates – Wings – is being beta tested by some of you right now, and the third will be coming in the spring, free of charge. We’ll be talking more about the third major update – Powerplay – soon!

 More players across more formats means we can devote more resources to development. The more players we have, the better the game will become. Elite: Dangerous is a living game and it will keep growing on all our formats so long as people are excited to play it.

 I’m also pleased to announce PC, Mac and Xbox One players will all share the same overarching narrative and galaxy state. That means even more players contributing to the wars, power struggles and Community Goals across the galaxy.

 If you want to keep up to date on our Xbox One release you can sign up to be kept informed at .

 With the new Mac and Xbox One players joining us we’ll see new faces on the forums and we hope you’ll make them feel welcome. The Elite: Dangerous community has always been strong, and I’m sure it’ll be even stronger the more it grows.

 Thanks for playing, and Right On, Commanders.



ID@Xbox Program Comes to Windows 10

It’s been an amazing year since we showed off the first ID@Xbox pre-release games last year at GDC. Many ID@Xbox games have shipped, hundreds of games are in development, and more than 1,000 independent studios have Xbox One development kits in hand. Today, we revealed that ID@Xbox will be expanding to help developers succeed by reaching gamers on Xbox One and Windows 10.

Gigantic Comes to Windows 10 and Xbox One

We’re devoted to bringing the best games to Windows and Xbox which includes new IP and continued commitments from gamers’ favorite studios. Today we announced a partnership with Motiga to bring its first game, Gigantic, to Windows 10 and Xbox One. Gigantic is a five-on-five third-person battle arena game with a beautiful fantasy art style where you select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles and wield your way through an areas to defeat your opposition’s Guardian – while also protecting your own. Gigantic is optimized for both keyboard and mouse, and controller. Through the power of Xbox Live, we will be enabling cross-device play, and allowing gamers to choose how they want to play.

Microsoft HoloLens

As announced on January 21, Microsoft HoloLens is the world’s first fully untethered holographic computer running Windows 10. Developers in the Windows ecosystem will be able to create games to reach the masses through a system where they can designate their game’s distribution even for future devices – devices like Microsoft HoloLens. The reaction to Microsoft HoloLens has been incredible. While there are going to be many uses and industries that take advantage of Microsoft HoloLens and everything that holographic computing has to offer, gaming is a huge opportunity. For all the game developers out there, we encourage you to join the Windows Insider Program to get the holographic APIs when available, and stay tuned for Build 2015, where we will share more details.

Sources: Here and here.

If you wanted to watch it all, you can do so here.

There have also been a lot of games talked about coming through the ID@Xbox program, you can check all these out here.

To be honest, I might have missed some things, but already that’s a pretty big list of stuff to get your head around. I love the idea of cross platform purchases, let’s just hope they manage to get some big names on board for that to make it really worthwhile.

Oh yea, there was also a tease of something called Battletoads coming to Shovel Knights. I don’t know, people seem pretty excited about it…

– Will

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