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European devs cool on Xbox One

GDC Europe survey puts new Microsoft console at the back in developer interest

The Xbox One has apparently failed to inspire the European development community, with Microsoft's divisive new console placing low in the pack in a GDC Europe survey.

The data showed that only 20 per cent of 300 surveyed developers in Europe considered the Xbox One to be, "the most interesting new games market." That's significantly behind the PlayStation 4 on 39 per cent, the "Steam Box" concept on 37 per cent, and Android-based micro-consoles like Ouya on 32 per cent. Tablets and smartphones were comfortable leaders with 61 per cent and 53 per cent respectively.

This trend was reflected in the number of developers actively developing for the next wave of consoles, although numbers were low overall: 13 per cent of respondents were working with the PlayStation 4, compared to 9 per cent working with Xbox One. And the future looks brighter for PlayStation 4, with 23 per cent of developers planning to work on the platform, compared to 14 per cent on Xbox One.

So far, Sony has demonstrated a better understanding of what both consumers and developers want from a new console. From the point-of-view of European development - which doesn't have the same presence in AAA as North America - the PlayStation 4's more open approach to self-publishing has been warmly received, giving a large number of smaller studios access to the console market.

However, Microsoft's platforms are relatively well supported compared to Nintendo, which has particularly weak support among European developers: just 5 per cent of respondents are working on a Wii U game, and 1.5 per cent are working on a title for 3DS.

The survey was organised by GDC Europe and UBM Game Tech Network, with a goal of capturing an accurate picture of the European development scene ahead of the conference next month.

GDC Europe will be held in Cologne, Germany, from August 19 to 21.

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Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.