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I'm not sure what Sony's developer kit costs, but a bunch of the bigger independent developers had releases lined up at E3 where Microsoft was telling Indies to talk to a big name publisher.

“The obstacle is Microsoft’s current policies that forbid ‘self published indie games’ on their platforms and networks,” said Lanning. “The current terms to be on their networks requires going through a publisher of the traditional retail model. This is THE prohibitor that makes their platforms incompatible with the indie self-published business model. I do expect that there will be an additional announcement (coming soon) that has them opening up to self-published indie titles. In which case, our being on their networks and available to their customer base… should be a no brainer (i.e. not forcing indie devs to carve out a piece of the revenue to share with a Microsoft-friendly publisher that did little to zero in efforts to finance, develop, manage community and bring the product to market.” - Lorne Lanning

Lanning did Oddword and has hopped back and forth between both platforms, apparently the choice to require a publisher was one of many oddball calls Microsoft made only to reverse later for the XBox One.

It's like Microsoft's XBox team is leading with stupid and being dragged kicking and screaming into sanity at every step of the way this time around.
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