Though the pre-launch buzz around the Xbox One has so far focussed on its abilities as a next-generation gaming machine alongside its entertainment-hub potential, the console may have another trick up its sleeve: the ability to run Windows 8 apps.
Covered briefly during Microsoft’s annual Build conference in San Francisco, Steve Guggenheimer, vice president of Microsoft’s Developer and Platform Evangelism group, discussed the relationship between Microsoft’s new gaming hardware and their PC operating system.
“Xbox One has two engines; it’s got a gaming engine and it essentially has a Windows 8 engine,” he said, hammering home the fact that the console runs on a Windows kernel.
Because of this, hinted Guggenheimer, the console could feasibly run Windows 8 applications.
“If you want to know about how to get a head start about thinking about developing for Xbox One, the logical thing to do is go build Windows 8 applications,” he told the collected developers at the conference according to The Verge.
Bringing Window 8 applications to the console could prove a massive bonus to owning a Xbox One console over a rival PlayStation 4 from Sony, given the wealth of flexibility Windows 8 apps offer beyond console standards like media streaming and game play. However, Microsoft have also already stated that developers cannot self-publish on the Xbox One, instead requiring a publishing mediator to cut the deals for them. This would obviously stifle the potential creativity of the Windows 8 dev community, many of whom self-publish their wares to PC users. Microsoft should be looking to make an exception for Windows 8 app publishers on the Xbox One if Windows 8 app compatibility is indeed in the pipeline for the console, if the exception isn’t already planned.