Ports From Windows 8 To Xbox One Take “1 Day Or 2″

We have mentioned Boyd Multerer already a little more than three months ago. Xbox’s Director of Development, who is basically considered the creator of Xbox One, confessed to be very proud of the hardware architecture.

Today, Total Xbox published an interesting three pages long interview with him. Multerer had the opportunity to speak on a number of different topics; an impressive detail is that games written for Windows 8 using DirectX can be ported over to Xbox One in just a day or two.

The basic box is definitely easier to develop for, and that goes a long way. We spent a lot of time making sure that if you know how to write a game in DirectX in Windows, you already know how to write a game in Xbox One, and the games that are being written for Windows 8 that are using DX are porting really quickly to Xbox One. Like often in a day, maybe two. Yes, you have to tweak for the specific performance characteristics of this box but you basically already know how to do it, if you’ve developed for Windows. It’s more complicated than that, but yeah.

That is most certainly going to be helpful for the platform, although right now not many games have been specifically written for Windows 8 yet. Multerer also said that he thinks indie developers will find Xbox One a fantastic platform – even though many have been saying quite the opposite.

I think that the Indies are going to find the Xbox One to be a fantastic platform. I ran XNA, and I care tremendously about the indies and as we were designing the Xbox One, one of my goals was to bake in support for independent developers really deeply into the operating system.

Did you upgrade to Windows 8 yet, or are you fine with Windows 7? Tell us in the comments.

Alessio PalumboBy Alessio Palumbo (813 Posts)

Gaming writer since ages, now Founder and Editor in Chief of Worlds Factory. Clan Leader/Guild Master of La Legione del Drago, clan/guild of heroes jumping from a virtual world to another for the most epic (?) adventures ever seen.


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  • Pixlz

    Oh wow. How best to say this. I’m a PC user since DOS days. I do Computer Repair work for people.
    Win 95 buggy.
    Win 98, fixed a lot of the wrong.
    Win ME, one of the worst operating systems ever used.
    Win XP, one of the best operating systems i’ve ever used. Especially after SP2+3 came out.
    Win Vista once again an awesome idea that was horribly implemented. Ahead of its time a bit, needed a lot of horsepower that didn’t come out until…
    Win 7. I love Windows 7, i use Windows 7 as my daily. Its pretty fantastic.

    Windows 8 is Garbage. Its the curse of every other system i think. Maybe I’ll love the eventual Win 9 one day. Maybe Touchscreen monitors will be commonplace making the user interface actually make sense. But for as User Friendly as Windows 8 is “supposed” to be, its garbage right now. Nothings as easy as it should be. My computer is not my Touchscreen phone. The bright side is i don’t have to deal with the Computer Repair stuff on it hardly ever. Most people i know Down/Upgraded back to… Windows 7.

    That being said, after i buy a PS4 this winter(friends have it, i’ve played it, i love it though its not without its own quirks), i would eventually like to try Xbox One. The promise of Motion Controlling a Touchscreen like system could make the Architecture something truly special and something right out of Minority Report. I know the UI’s not there yet, but Xbox Firmware Updates its User Interface at least yearly and sometimes seasonal, so theres hope.

    Anywhos, i don’t think anything will really take off for Microsoft till at least 1 year into this gaming generation. It feels like they released stuff a little underpowered, and a little early.

    Edit:
    Oh, and that 2 day conversion can only apply to games with System Requirements that match Xbox One requirements. Gaming PC’s and newer games are going to exceed its spec’s pretty early this generation. This article i’m pretty sure is specifically targeting Indie turnaround time and not AAA games.

    • k j

      You seriously rip on Windows 8 just because of the interface? If your too lazy to buy a touch screen then you have no right to bitch about Windows 8. Your just one of those people who have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Also all those customers of yours probably downgraded because they didn’t have a touch screen and no one told them it was a good idea for Windows 8.

      • Tony

        I agree with you. Windows 8 is amazing. If people are bitching now, I seriously can’t imagine 5 years down the road.

        • Pixlz

          Read above comment to kj for most of my in depth response.
          But in 5 years, i’ll probably have amazing reason to own Windows 9. I have a feeling it’ll come integrated with a Kinect-like camera using gestures instead of touch, like i mentioned i was excited to see properly implemented in Xbox One. I think the Xbox One is sort of an elaborate test Microsofts doing for a better All in One Operating System down the line. Heck, should Windows 8 actually properly do that stuff(and fix its desktop issues… such a poor desktop) i’ll sing a different tune.

          I also bitched about Windows ME, which said issues were fixed with XP. I really bitched about Vista(a sadly super delayed buggy launch) which they fixed the issues with Windows 7.

          I get jaded because i actually pay for the operating systems as part of my job.

      • Pixlz

        Wow, are you swimming in cash? I’m not. Touchscreen monitors aren’t cheap for good ones. For the price of one i could buy a rather nice 1080p tv thats 2-3 times its size. All for the sake of saving what? reaching over to launch an app? Its not an intelligent design. And when i was recently employed by Sprint, I used touchscreens plenty.

        My tasks as a user use nothing touchscreen related natively. When i game, its easier to use hotkeys. When i video edit, a mouse is infinitely better than fingerprinting my screen, and more accurate might i add. When i edit audio i can’t think of any reason to use a touchscreen. Those are the main reasons most people use PC’s, not just myself. I don’t play angry birds on my monitor, i do it on my phone.

        So when you think about it, there’s little reason for me to buy a $350-$500 just to launch apps from the main screen. I have a phone that costs less than that can do similar things. I hope one day the OS can just output to the phone and i can operate it natively that way, similar to Remote Play or the Wii U’s controller, over a dedicated Wi-Fi connection. Microsoft’s heading in that direction with Smartglass. I’m very excited for it. But its not there quite yet.

        I have one Multi-Partitioned Computer that i use for diagnosing clients hard drive issues, Win XP/Win Vista/Win 7/Win 8. And then my personal gaming rig which is Windows 7.

        Direct X 12 might sell me when it comes out Holiday of 2015(i really was hoping for an earlier release date), much like DX11 helped sway me off of XP to 7 for gaming. But once again… not quite there yet.

      • ps4lol

        LOL of course anyone who dislikes a microsoft product is “blind hating” to a microsoft shill.

        Keep shilling and spinning while people avoid Xbox and Windows 8.,

    • Tony

      Respect your opinion, but this is the future. If you can lt accept change, you’re gonna be a lost person stuck in the 21st century.

  • Jessika S.

    So to me this just means that they are Lazy, because windows 8 has a lot of basic apps that have not been ported over to the Xbox One. I’ve been waiting for HBO Go, Starz Play and many others.

    • Joe Vicious

      Hbo go is on hbo to make not Xbox, they’ve said so themselves. Not sure about the others but the system has been getting monthly updates, I’m sure they’ll be tons of apps in due time

      • Guest

        (Hbo go is on hbo to make not Xbox) HUH?

        • Joe Vicious

          Hbo go (the app) is being developed in house. Meaning they are making their own app to put on Xbox One. So it’s on them to push it onto Xbox whenever it’s ready.

    • Tony

      It didn’t say anything about “apps,” they were talking about games. Please read the article again.

      • Jessika S.

        I read, porting apps should be way easier than a game.

        • Pixlz

          Porting an actual app is easier than a game if you wanna use the same interface, which lets face it, Xbox One wants to use Gesture Based controls and Voice Commands. Complicates. Dealing with companies like HBO and others and the Licensing stuff they demand is a complete mystery involving Lawyers and such(most likely again over the Gesture/Voice).

          • Jessika S.

            Completely agree. Some apps are the same all around like Hulu Plus, is the same on my TV as it is on Xbox One and PS4. I think a lot of this companies want the same experience all around no matter what device your using but I guess like you said, they have to optimize each individual app to the device that they are on. Hulu Plus and Netflix also use voice and gestures on my Samsung TV. I also just noticed that Hulu has casting capabilities on Xbox One that’s pretty nice.

  • Joe Vicious

    Windows 8 is great performance wise. Anybody complaining about it is just jumping on the ” hate all things MS” bandwagon. It even boots to the old style desktop automatically now since people were whining about it

    • deSSy2724

      Im not hating on Win8 but I will stay with Win 7 as long as I can (every game/software works fine so far).

      I just dont like the Metro…

    • ps4lol

      LOL of course anyone who dislikes a microsoft product is “blind hating” to a microsoft shill.

      Keep shilling and spinning while people avoid Xbox and Windows 8.

    • You are flat out wrong

      Joejoe still shilling.

  • ImonadrugcalledCharlieSheen

    “I think that the Indies are going to find the Xbox One to be a fantastic platform.” Oh NO! What are xbots going to do now call xbone indie box one from now on. Look forward to your PC ports xbots.

  • Grim

    So…what about console to PC ports? As a PC gamer this means nothing to me when console gamers get the most out of this.

    This mirrors what Sony said not too long ago. They said anyone can port their PC games to the PS4 easily but not one word about the reverse process.

  • Guest

    Excellent. MS’ multiplatform strategy will pay off more than $0N¥’s messed up BS tactics and poor man’s VR.

  • Paul

    I see multiple pros and cons to this article. Firstly the idea of porting a game quickly (albeit reducing performance in many ways) is a great idea for developers because it will encourage PC developers that tend to shun consoles more often than not, to consider making a console game if it is a case of a simple port over and then some code changes here and there to accept how the Xbox does things. So it “could” mean some of the PC exclusives porting over to XboxOne and not only that but not porting over to PS4. It could add more quantity over time as well as more semi-exclusives (Console based exclusive, not overall exclusive as it would be on PC also). Because development costs are virtually obliterated by swift port-overs it means developers can take more risks on the Xbox One having a version because they are not building it from the ground up like they would for Sony, Nintendo or whoever else comes along.
    On the flip side though, the XboxOne is NOT a fully specialised PC and as we saw a lot when developers ported games from Xbox360 to PS3, a port can bring along its own massive headaches and problems when it is built for one system hardware and forced to run on another. I suppose Microsoft have the advantage that they are sharing the same software and OS and other similarities but it is still a Port that requires a game developer to have extra options built in for the XboxOne specs. Although with the XboxOne having exact same specs across the range it doesn’t add too many woes, but it does open up the opportunity for some developers shift focus away from building a game for XboxOne and maxing out its specs, and instead turning towards the PC audience and knocking out a port to XboxOne that doesn’t take full advantage and therefore has a few corners cut here and there, or a few bugs or glitches that would not be there if it was built purposefully for the right hardware in the first place.

    What could be a huge benefit though is Kinect products. The problem that the XboxOne (and 360) has with Kinect is that it is a HUGE concept that is the future, but they are relying on game developers to create games for it that are wary of investing time and resources into hardware that still needs a lot of creative understanding. It is similar to the days when iPhone came out with touchscreen, GPS and gyroscopes/accelarometers and at first Apple were offering this stuff and nobody really knew what to make of it and seemed quirky, but as the app developers got on board and started to create wonderful things it soon took off that all phones needed this stuff on board as standard, and Kinect is the same, it is sitting there underused and waiting for people to jump on board and create amazing things with it, but at the moment nobody can afford the huge amount of resources it needs to risk developing (and making an initial loss) on. But if Kinect can be used on PC and the indie developers can create some stunning apps and games and ideas for it that can then be ported over to the XboxOne quickly and cheaply, it could open the door up to a huge new world that will leave Sony and Nintendo flagging. But it is going to take creativity from the Indies and cheap development (like on PC and port over to X1) to finally make that happen. Add to that Microsoft making Kinect work with VR headsets and you have yourself the first prototype of a virtual holodeck!

    So in terms of quantity of games and some PC exclusive titles finding their way to a console, and possibly exclusive to one console, it is a huge step forward being able to port very quickly and cheaply. It also opens up doors to Kinect getting developed and used a lot more if Indie developers take the plunge with new opportunities and cheaper development costs. But there is always the worry that developers may get lazier with the Xbox One and simply rely on making epic PC games (of which there is a huge audience) and porting a copy over that has not been built and optimised from the ground up for the Xbox One, in which case we may see a shift where the Xbox One has LOTS of PC type games and a huge variety to choose from as the Xbox One moves towards a PC under the TV environment, but the real quality diamond games that have all the amazing spit and polish going on are still on the PC and are found more often on the PS4 that can’t just be easily ported to and so requires that extra development time and ground-up building, which will push their hardware harder and achieve more. It means PS4 may be the better console for running the nicer looking and fluid running games, but Xbox One has more content and variety and bridges that gap between console and PC a little more, at the expense of some of the ports being some really cruddy garbage compared to the original PC versions.

    And of course, all this has to take into account that people actually want to support, embrace and develop for Windows 8, which until recently has not been the most favoured of operating systems out of the PC/Console/Phone operating systems. It could end up that their biggest asset of porting games simply and cheaply, may never get to realise its dreams if developers are hesitant to work with the entire platform as a whole.
    It could go either way!

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