How do I publish apps on Xbox One?

Xbox One Apps

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 discussed this in detail on Scott Hanselman’s podcast in February.

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?

 Still interested?

Shoot me an e-mail!

Some additional links



2 thoughts on “How do I publish apps on Xbox One?

  1. So glad I found this article. It’s been a really helpful place to start. Have you seen any significant changes in the process in the last year?

    • Glad it was helpful! Nothing has changed in terms of the content above, but we did announce Windows 10, which is heading to Xbox One in the near future.

      At that point, anyone will be able to deploy their Windows 10 UWP applications to the platform. The link at the bottom of the page about getting your game on the system explains that in greater detail.

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