During the Game Tools & Middleware Forum 2013 held yesterday in the Tokyo technology Mecca of Akihabara, Microsoft Japan Evangelist Shinichiro Isago (yeah, that’s his title, and considering the acceptance of Xbox products in Japan, it’s quite appropriate) spoke at a panel titled “Seven Reasons Why Game Developers Should Embrace Microsoft Again,” sharing a quite interesting detail on how the Xbox One’s operating system works.
Isago-san mentioned the already known detail that the Xbox operating system and Microsoft 8 will coexist in the Xbox One, and the console operates by switching between them, but he went further, explaining that applications, games or anything else originally made for Windows 8 downloaded on Xbox One can run on the console in Windows 8 mode, that ensures compatibility. Actually applications like Skype already work by using this feature.
It’s important to note that Isago-san was talking from a developer’s point of view, and not from an user’s point of view. This means that the fact that applications can theoretically work on the console doesn’t imply that they will automatically be made available on the Xbox One’s marketplace, as using any application on a console still requires dedicated controls and tweaking.
Despite that, this opens the door to a lot of interesting Windows-native apps possibly making their way to Microsoft’s upcoming console, and it’s definitely a boon for developers.