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Microsoft launches Xbox One SDK to let any developer build apps for its console

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Microsoft is finally letting developers build apps for the Xbox One. While the software maker has had a private SDK since the console's launch, that will start to go a lot more public today. At the Games Developer Conference (GDC) today, Xbox chief Phil Spencer revealed that Microsoft is launching its Xbox Live SDK today to select testers, with plans to let any developer access the SDK in the coming months. Microsoft has now made an Xbox Live SDK for Windows 10 available so developers can start creating Windows 10 games with Xbox Live features.

More info at Build in April

Developers will also be able to create apps using the Windows 10 universal app platform that spans across PCs, tablets, phones, and the Xbox One. Microsoft demonstrated a Windows 10 app running on the Xbox One earlier this week, and it looks like it's going to be fairly simple for developers to target the console alongside other devices. Microsoft is promising to discuss its plans for universal apps and Xbox One at its Build developers conference in April, but for now it's official that any developer will be able to create an app for the console. The Verge understands apps for Xbox One should start to launch in November.

An Xbox Live SDK is "currently in the hands of managed partners," according to Microsoft. "Soon it will be in the hands of a broader set of developers." The SDK also includes access to Xbox Live services, and Microsoft is creating a new tier of Xbox Live "that is designed to allow any developer to engage with the Xbox Live community."

Alongside the Xbox One SDK launch, Microsoft is also expanding its ID@Xbox program. While this has been largely targeted at indie developers creating console games, Microsoft is planning to extend this to Windows 10. Indie developers will be able to create games for both Xbox One and PC, and even the company's new HoloLens headset. "It's important to reach gamers wherever they are," says Spencer.