Did you ever want to see your ShiVa games on the big living room TV, but never had the money or publisher connections to become a licensed console developer? With Windows 10 UWP, your consumer Xbox One and ShiVa 2.0, this dream is about to become reality!
WinRT and UWP
When we added the WinRT target to ShiVa's export options, we started supporting the Windows Runtime (WinRT) which was introduced with Windows 8. It was intended by Microsoft to be a common application architecture. Windows 10 introduces the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), which further evolves the Windows Runtime model and brings it into the Windows 10 unified core. As part of the core, the UWP now provides a common app platform available on every device that runs Windows 10. This means you can create a single app package that can be installed onto a wide range of devices. And, with that single app package, the Windows Store provides a unified distribution channel to reach all the device types your app can run on.
UWP and Xbox One
UWP makes it also very easy to develop games for the Xbox One and test them on the actual console hardware. You don't even need to be an ID@Xbox developer to experiment, create, and test games or apps on your Xbox!
The Xbox One has two modes, Retail and Developer. In Retail Mode, the console is in the state that any customer or user of an Xbox One console would use: you can play games and run apps as a user. In Developer Mode, you can develop software for the console, but you cannot play retail games or run retail apps. Developer Mode can be enabled on any retail Xbox One console - that's right, your consumer Xbox One can be transformed into a DevKit free of charge! We have gathered a few links from the MSDN website to get you started on the process:
- Overview: MSDN Link
- Dev Mode Activation: MSDN Link
- Xbox One UWP Getting Started: MSDN Link
Important: When you activate Developer Mode on Xbox One, you are opting into Xbox system updates for a developer preview release that includes experimental and early pre-release software. This means that some popular games and apps will not work as expected, and you may experience occasional crashes and data loss. If you leave the developer preview, your console will factory reset and you will have to reinstall all of your games, apps, and content.
ShiVa on Xbox One
As you might have noticed from browsing the ShiVa directories, we started shipping Windows 10 UWP binaries for x86, x86_64 and ARM with the recently released ShiVa 2.0 beta 6. These binaries are fully functional, they are not however connected to a Visual Studio 2015 project. We are planning on delivering an easy end-to-end solution starting with beta 7, but for the time being, these binaries are included only for the XAML tinkerers among our testers who would like to try their games and apps on UWP devices. Remember, everything surrounding UWP is very fresh, still in beta or only available as a preview, including the required VS update, Xbox OS Version, and ShiVa Engine Binary.
Despite the beta status of all the software involved, we would love to show you a quick demonstration of ShiVa 2.0 running on the Xbox One hardware as well as the process involved to get your game onto the platform. Please enjoy this video preview: