June 23, 2022

Microsoft says it “has no plans” to remove dev mode from Xbox

Update: Following an apparent crackdown on people using Xbox Development Mode to emulate games, a Microsoft spokesperson issued a statement saying there were “no plans to remove or disable” the mode. development on Xbox.

A group of Xbox users were surprised earlier today when they received an email from Microsoft saying their access to Xbox Developer Mode was being revoked due to inactivity. It was never explicitly stated that this move was meant to curb the growing popularity of using dev mode to turn Xbox Series S / X consoles into emulators, but it was a very popular theory on the GBAtemp Community Forums. Now, Xbox Director of Program Management Jason Ronald has apparently responded to reports suggesting the promising Xbox development mode is here to stay.

“We have no plans to remove or disable developer mode on Xbox consoles,” Ronald said in a series of tweets shared Wednesday afternoon. “We continue to believe in and support a healthy independent Xbox game and app development community.”

Ronald goes on to explain that accounts that lost access to developer mode were “inadvertently” disabled during a routine inactive account scan. “We are actively working to identify and reactivate these accounts as soon as possible,” added Ronald. “Once the account is reactivated, users will be able to re-enable developer mode on Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S consoles. “

If your account has been deactivated and you want access to be restored as quickly as possible, Ronald invites you to send ReportApp@microsoft.com an email explaining your situation.

Oddly enough, the statement never directly addresses the common concern that Microsoft may indeed crack down on the practice of using Xbox development mode to emulate games, sometimes from its direct competitor, PlayStation. It is quite possible that some accounts were intentionally disabled and others were closed by mistake. We have contacted Microsoft for clarification and will update this article if we have a response.

Original story …

It appears that Microsoft is revoking access to Xbox Development Mode for a large number of users, possibly in response to the feature’s common use to run emulators.

Users posting to the GBAtemp Community Forums noted the recent policy change, which resulted in Microsoft revoking access to Partner Center accounts for users who have not uploaded anything to the store in the past 90 days. Notifications sent to users refer to the Developer Code of Conduct, “which says an active store presence must be maintained.”

While there are plans to allow developers to use standard retail consoles as dev kits to build their own games and apps, enabling and entering dev mode on an Xbox One or Xbox Series X or S also allows users to install popular emulators such as RetroArch. From here you can use your Xbox console as emulation machine for upscaled PlayStation 4K games and beyond, all without the need to hack or otherwise modify your console.

YouTuber Modern Vintage Gamer points out this potential for emulation as the likely impetus for Microsoft to crack down on access to dev mode on consoles, calling it a “very disappointing decision” – especially since accessing dev mode in the first place requires pay a small fee. We’ll have to wait and see if Microsoft softens or reverses the course of this decision, or if it’s just going to be much more selective about who will use Xbox development mode from here on out.

In the news of the happier retro game, a New Goldeneye 007 Achievement Set Makes Xbox Renewal Look Imminent.

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