Microsoft has confirmed that it will allow indie developers to self-publish titles on Xbox One after all, despite earlier rumours to the contrary.

Every Xbox One console, including shop-bought retail models, will also double up as a developer kit, provided Microsoft authorises the console for development purposes.

In a statement to Game Informer, Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten said that Microsoft's vision "is that every person can be a creator. 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. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements.  This means great discoverability on Xbox LIVE."

Whitten claims that a more dynamic Xbox LIVE Marketplace "has been pretty key for how we've developed the Xbox One platform.

"My goal has always been to reduce the amount of time it takes to make a certification pass," he says. "It's good for all reasons, and it's a function of how to you build the automation. My goals will always be to take the amount of time in certification down."

Neither retail dev kit functionality or self-publishing will be available at launch, but are expected to be available within the first 12 months of launch.

The news is rumoured to have been Microsoft's major reveal for next month's Gamescom, where the firm says it will reveal "more details" about self-publishing on Xbox One.

Xbox One goes on sale this November.

The move is a huge step forward for indie development on Xbox One, but it also throws in new questions about Microsoft's vision for the console. If this was the original plan, why not answer critics when it mattered most at E3? And if it wasn't, it's yet another sign that Microsoft doesn't appear all that confident in its original vision for Xbox One.

And if developers really can use retail consoles as devkits, where does it leave this?