Straight from the Game Tools & Middleware Forum 2013 that was held yesterday in Tokyo, Japan, comes the news that software designed for Windows 8 devices, such as apps or games, could potentially be useable on the Xbox One.
We already know that there’s going to be a heavy level of integration between the Xbox One and Windows 8 devices, but as far as anybody knew, the operating systems and architecture would be very different. This revelation doesn’t necessarily mean that the Xbox One is running on Windows 8, but it does mean that the Xbox One OS is close enough to Windows 8 that the two pieces of software could be interchangeable.
The news came from a panel hosted by Evangelist Shinichiro Isago of Microsoft Japan (there’s no mistake on the job title there, be sure it left me confused as well). Isago spoke in the ‘Seven Reasons Why Game Developers Should Embrace Microsoft Again’ panel, and had a lot of praise to speak about the potential that was shared by the two different systems.
Isago made a point of how the Xbox One will be running two separate OS’ at once, and switches between the two to get the job done. One of these OS’ is the core Xbox One OS and the other is a modified version of Windows 8 that was made specifically to work with the Xbox One architecture.
Isago explained that this modified form of Windows 8 was actually close enough to the mobile OS software that if you run your console in Windows 8 mode, you will be able to run software originally intended for those mobile devices on your home console.
It seems odd that Microsoft have waited until now to reveal this information, and it’s even odder that they’re debuting it in Japan, where the Xbox isn’t as well received as it is in other countries. The ability to play mobile games on your home television reminds me of the Ouya, and has me wondering if this is Microsoft’s ploy to try and push the Ouya out of the market.