Microsoft is to reach out to independent computer games developers to encourage them to produce games for its new Xbox One games console.

The move follows a heavily critical response from small developers, when Microsoft first suggested earlier this year that self-published games would not be allowed on the new machine.

The stinging criticism from developers caused a rethink by Microsoft, which announced details of how it would assist self-publishing at the international gaming convention Gamescom.

Under the program developers will be given access to development kits at no charge.

They will also be shown what the company says is an easy path for developers to build, publish and sell their games on Xbox One.

Microsoft says that games that come through this program will be able to access the same features as any other large game company on Xbox One, including Kinect, SmartGlass, Xbox cloud and more.

The developers will also be able to sell the games in the Xbox One Store.

The company says the program was designed after consultation with 50 independent developers.

In a blog post, Chris Charla, Director of Independent Developers at Xbox said the industry is at a great moment in time, "where the independent development scene has matured and changed dramatically".

He said; "in talking with scores of independent developers over the past year, it's clear they are ready for new ways to develop and reach customers. So, we're acting to meet the needs of the development community and in turn, enable a proliferation of games for Xbox fans."

Also at Gamecom today, Microsoft made a number of other announcements about the forthcoming Xbox One, in an effort to turn the PR tide which until now has been flowing against the new console.

The announcements included a number of exclusive features on new games for the console, including Fifa 14 - Ultimate Team and Call of Duty: Ghosts.

Microsoft is under pressure from Sony, whose Playstation 4 is also due to go on sale before Christmas, around the same time as the Xbox One.

Microsoft was forced to make a number of embarrassing u-turns earlier in the year, after details of the new Xbox One were poorly received by gamers and the industry.