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Xbox One SDK Released by H4lt

Xbox One SDK Released by H4lt

by Drew CordellJanuary 6, 2015

The organization known as H4LT, which objects to being called a hacker group, has leaked Microsoft’s Xbox One SDK (Software Development Kit). The group’s intent was to distribute the SDK for the community to create new applications and research new uses. Unlike Lizard Squad, H4LT has committed  a minor offense. Though SDKs require registration, many individuals and companies acquire them free of charge. SDKs are not some secret entity which has to be hacked to be attained;instead, they are handed out on a daily basis by multiple companies.

Also read: Lizard Squad Fails Hard

H4lt Releases Xbox One SDK

pix1H4LT gave the following statement about their reasons for distributing the SDK:

We leaked it to the community because if something is shared then.. progress is achieved faster than alone. Something kept between us will not achieve anything. Share it with the community = creativity and research. Shared is how it should be. The SDK will basically allow the community to reverse and open doors towards homebrew applications being present on the Xbox One.

The SDK includes a program by Microsoft called Pix (Performance Investigator for Xbox), this program reveals that the Xbox One’s seventh core is not required for game programming. The SDK also includes multiple Kinect tools in addition to multiple other programs. The Kinect applications included in the SDK include gesture creation, gesture recognition, and speech application development. From the files in the SDK, it is very clear that Microsoft was committed to creating a strong back-end development environment for Kinect in order to help developers succeed.

Once the SDK is out, people who have knowledge or has in the past reversed files related to the Windows (8) operating system should definitely have a go at reversing some files in there. Why? Well, the Xbox One is practically a stripped Windows 8 device and has introduced a new package format that hasn’t had much attention. This format is responsible for updating the console and storing applications (Games are under the category of ‘Applications’ on the Xbox One) and is a modification of Virtual Hard Disks. There is no definite ‘exploit’ but from what we have studied and tested, this simple Packaging format could possibly lead us to creating Homebrew applications for the Xbox One.

H4lt suggests that the SDK is only a small portion of what would be required to turn a Xbox One console into a homebrew system. Community users and Homebrew developers will need to continue to look for ways to establish methods of creating a homebrew system with the Xbox One. Whether or not it will be done remains to be seen.

Images from Microsoft and Shutterstock.

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