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Microsoft has made another big backflip, announcing it would allow self-publishing, in a big win for indie developers.

Xbox Live Director of Programming Larry Hryb (otherwise known as Major Nelson) today revealed that that policies surrounding the Xbox One have been overhauled yet again.

Previously Microsoft had said that developing for Xbox One would require a publishing partner, making it extremely time-consuming and expensive in comparison to Sony's lenient policies with its PS4.

Game Informer first reported the news, which also means developers won't need to buy a special development kit from Microsoft. They'll be able to use the same hardware as consumers.

As well as allowing self-publishing, Microsoft said it's also looking at a new certification process similar to Apple's, with a 14-day turnaround for approval.

"Our vision is that every person can be a creator," Xbox Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten said in a statement published by Hryb on his blog.

"That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox Live."

"This means self-publishing," he continued. "This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox LIVE.

"We'll have more details on the program and the timeline at Gamescom in August."

The news comes as one survey projected Sony's PS4 could outsell Microsoft's Xbox One by as much as 50% this Christmas, and follows revelations that Microsoft would be axing its controversial always-on policy. 

Both consoles will be released late this year, with the exact date to be confirmed.

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David Swan

David Swan is a tech journalist from Melbourne and is iTWire's Associate Editor. Having started off as a games reviewer at the age of 14, he now has a degree in Journalism from RMIT (with Honours) and owns basically every gadget under the sun. He also writes for Junkee and Fasterlouder. You can email him at david.swan@itwire.com or follow him at twitter.com/mrdavidswan

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