Monday, August 14, 2006

Write software for your retail Xbox360

Wow, has it been hard to keep my lips sealed about this one. They broke the news at NEWS.COM last night, and we're unveiling it at Gamefest today, so I guess the cat is officially out of the bag.

Official press release here.

We've announced a set of developer tools and a subscription service for hobbyists and students that will let you write software for a retail (i.e. not a specialized dev kit) Xbox360, as well as PCs.

"XNA Game Studio Express" will be in beta by end of month, and will require (for 360 development) a subscription to a $99 service. (Lots cheaper than the $750 Yaroze of yesteryear).

It's important to note that being able to *develop* for the console is not the same thing as being able to *distribute* software for the console. The only way to share games you create will be to share the entire project (source, art, and all) and have the recipient have teh same development tools and build the app. Commercial distribution still occurs through the same methods.

Still, this is way cool. Maybe I'll have to dust off the programming chops.


Darius Kazemi said...

That's amazing news!

It's kinda scary to me that the vision of the big console manufacturers is starting to line up more and more with my own. Either the Big 3 are getting wiser, or I'm just getting more corporate ;)

Darren Torpey said...

I'll second those sentiments!

Understandably, the IGDA's Education SIG's mailing list is abuzz with this news. =)

Barry Joseph said...

Hi Kim. I justed emailed you, subject line "Gamelab sent me," about the project the teenagers in my program just completed with Eric Zimmerman and his amazing team and my interest in meeting with you Wed afternoon to talk about it.

However, I would also LOVE to talk with you about this new development option and whether it is something appropriate for our high school students.

I can be reached at barry AT globalkids DOT org

You can check out THEIR blog at