At Build Conference 2016, Microsoft finally announced that they will open the Xbox One store for your UWP apps in summer. From now on, the developer program for the gaming console is open and we can take a first look at how to bring new or existing Windows 10 apps to Xbox One. I tried it out and will guide you through the first steps.
Join the Xbox One developer program
To join the preview program for developers you simply need to register for the Windows Insider program with the account that you use on your Xbox One. You will also need a Windows Dev Center account, if you don’t already have one. Afterwards, you can download the Dev Mode Activation app directly from the Xbox store.
Important: If you take already part in any Xbox One Beta program, you will need to leave it first, due to Xbox does not allow two programs at the same time at the moment. This can take up to 48 hours.
Register your console for development
After the download has finished, you can start the application and follow the process to register your console for the development program. It will you provide a code, that you need to enter at the new Windows Dev Center section for Xbox. Once your console got registered there, it will claim for an update that contains the new developer mode. Once it got installed, you can start the Dev Mode Activation app again and switch your console into developer mode.
Connect Visual Studio with your Xbox One
Now you can connect your IDE to it and deploy and debug your app. First, make sure that your console is connected to the same network as your development machine. Start the Dev Home app and pair your console with Visual Studio by clicking the according button. A pairing pin appears, that you will need later.
Once the console is ready for pairing, you can open Visual Studio, create a new Universal Windows project or open an existing one and set a Remote Machine as your target device. After entering the IP address of your Xbox, you will be asked for the pin that your Xbox created recently. Enter it and enjoy your apps and games on Xbox One for the first time.
Advanced debugging features
As you might have noticed while scanning the Dev Home app on your console, you can do a little bit more than just connecting it to Visual Studio. By activating the Remote management, you can access your Xbox One via web browser by entering
https://XboxOne:11443 to it. Now you will see a portal where you can get an overview of your console’s performance, manage the installed applications and even take a deeper look at its storage.
May the debug gods be with you and have fun testing your apps on a gaming console. I can’t wait to upload my applications to the Xbox store in summer and am looking forward to see yours there!