It's not the best news that gamers could have had, especially those gamers spoiling for a sweet, sweet slice of indie gaming
joy from Microsoft
and its new entrant into the next gen gaming stakes. But the indie developed games should be making a landing not too long after launch, as the current projections say that the games in question should arrive in early 2014.
Microsoft's ID@XBOX system, the program by which indie games make a landing on the Xbox One, has been garnering big interest almost since its announcement. Phil Harrison, VP with Microsoft, called it an “avalanche” of interest, though this avalanche is also what's causing part of the delay. Microsoft needs to go over all those applications, and get the relevant consoles out to the developers who qualify for the program. Thus, Harrison doesn't believe that indie titles through ID@XBOX will be available at launch, as it's going to take time for developers to actually get the systems and get the games put together. Thus, early 2014, Harrison figures, should be when the new games start filtering through the system.
It's been something of an ambition for Microsoft to better accommodate indie developers and let Xbox One consoles work like developer kits for those looking to self-publish a game. The rush to support indies is seen all over the system, with Sony
and Nintendo each making advancements to offer indies a reason—and means—to offer games on those platforms, along with Xbox.
So for those out there planning to hold off a bit on the Xbox One purchase, it's not a bad idea. Granted, the likelihood of a “red ring” style event doing damage to early Xbox One units is slim, but it will take some time for a decent slate of games—indie or otherwise—to step in and make a worthwhile presence. A six month wait, in turn, might be prudent to allow the games to filter in. Sure, Microsoft has a sound slate of launch titles—I'm practically salivating out here at the thought of tackling “Dead Rising 3”, especially considering how the first two went; I get one mall in “Dead Rising” but “Dead Rising 2” gave me two malls, four casinos, a pavilion, underground facilities and, thanks to “Off the Record,” a theme park--but past that, things are a bit light. That will likely change in the not too distant future, but until then, a wait-and-see attitude might be rewarded with a more robust gaming experience, as well as some fairly significant price drops and the chance at some used hardware to boot.
Still, it's clear that Microsoft wants to put on a pretty big show, and giving it some time to set the stage should be repaid in no small fashion.