I get this question all of the time, and I end up answering it in email on a pretty consistent basis, so I thought it was about time I made a post to point developers towards.
What is the team looking for?
They are looking largely for MEDIA applications. Take a look at what is currently on there, to get a better gist. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Twitch, etc. They want experienced developers. If you haven’t written an application before, they will likely not consider you.
They prefer that you use their HTML5 / JS framework. It is based on WinJS, so basically WinJS + some Xbox One specific things. I’d *STRONGLY* encourage you to start writing your app in WinJS if you want to be considered. There is no WebGL on Xbox One’s version of IE at the moment.
Which languages can I use?
I worked on Comcast’s Xbox 360 and was the only developer on their Xbox One and SmartGlass apps. Months before I received a dev kit, I just wrote it all for Windows 8, then brought it over without any issues. It was literally a few hours of work to get it running 100%.
Once approved, the Xbox Apps team will send you 1 or 2 dev kits, but even after I had a dev kit, I seldom used it. I just wrote for Win8, and for a 1080p display. There is an SDK that allows you to write an app for both platforms simultaneously, although you wouldn’t be able to release on both. There are a number of considerations when
There is also a C++ route, but I found it far easier to just use the built in HTML5 framework that the team provided.
What types of questions will they ask?
When you reach out to them, here is what they will ask for:
They will respond with the following questions (and a few more):
1. Official company name (Ex: SmartApps, Inc)
2. Type of entity (state of incorporation) (Ex: New York corporation)
3. Is Partner an affiliate of another media company? (Yes/No)
3.1. If Yes, please list full legal name of affiliated media company:
4. Partner corporate complete address (to be used in contract)
5. Partner corporate main phone number
6. Partner corporate website
7. Years in business
8. Please provide a brief description of services, tools or technologies that you offer (you can attach supplementary documentation to this email). Will you offer (1) client application (Xbox and/or SmartGlass) development, (2) components to be used by other developers or (3) services?
9. Please briefly explain how the services, tools or technology offered by your company could be useful to our video entertainment app publisher and developer community
10. Please list any open source software used for your services, tools or technology
Pretty straight forward, right?
Some additional links