Chris Gomez

Development topics for the indie programmer

Xbox Dev Mode with JavaScript and Web Technologies

Xbox Dev Mode was one of the exciting announcements from BUILD 2016.  Every retail Xbox can now be used to test and develop Universal Windows Platform apps.

There has been praise and scorn over this feature announcement.  While I will not try to defend it as perfect, I think there are a lot of hobbyists (like myself) who just appreciate the opportunity to make something and see it working on our consoles.

One thing I noticed immediately was that the documentation for this feature offers a C# and C++ option to get you started.  I was thinking, “Does this mean JavaScript apps using the UWP don’t work?”  I didn’t think that would be true, so I got to work trying it out.  It actually was pretty simple, but there was one minor thing you might consider a gotcha.  So consider this the missing documentation for web developers.


The documentation (Set up your UWP on Xbox development environment) was actually quite good to help me get the Dev Mode preview installed and get all the prerequisites installed.  I summarize here, but you can skip to the next section if you’ve done this already or want to read the real docs.