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Jon Sagara

Console applications (not games)

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Hello, Is it possible, on the 360/PS3/Wii, to write non-game applications that a user can install and run? In other words, do the respective development kits provide the ability to write software that will modify/extend the behavior of the underlying operating system? For the sake of discussion, would it be possible to write a backup-type program for one of the consoles? Thanks, Jon

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It is possible to write any kind of software? Yes.

Releasing that software through mainstream channels is another issue altogether. 'Official' apps go through a lot of corporate hoops, and I believe only the Wii has official non-game apps (such as Opera, and the photo channel for pics, mp3s, and limited movie formats). On these platforms, only X360 currently supports unofficial / uncertified apps, and even their distribution system has rules developers must follow.

You probably could develop a starchart port or clone under XNA, for example, but you wouldn't see OpenOffice.org for dowload to your X360 even if someone did manage to port it. Microsoft has corporate interests in nearly every type of business and productivity app, so doing one would probably violate your SDK and TOS agreements, and certainly invite the wrath of a thousand lawyers.

An X360 disk backup app would probably violate TOS, and also not be feasable entirely within XNA -- and so would break their rules.

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Quote:
Original post by frob
Releasing that software through mainstream channels is another issue altogether.


Right, and that's my concern. Will I be able to sell this program on a DVD, or online, and will the user be able to pop it into his or her console and just run it without having to hack or mod anything? So far, all signs point to no.

Thanks for the response.

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Attempting to distribute an unofficial DVD requires some potentially illegal steps. See an experienced games lawyer (or two) before going down that road. Very few companies have succeeded at that, and it cost fortunes in legal issues.

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