X360, PC Monday, August 14, 2006 | 12:08 PM

XNA Studio Express announced

XNA Studio Express announced

Microsoft announced today the availabilite at the end of the month of XNA Studio Express. This development suite, costing $100 a year, will allow anyone with a bit of programming knowledge to create his own games for PC and for Xbox 360. The Xbox Live distribution system isn't really well known yet, but I think we can count on Microsoft to really push this content. In the news you'll find images from demos done with XNA Express and/or with the Torque Engine it's shipped with.
Update : One small but important information. The development environment itself seems to be free, the $99 a year subscription would only be necessary to be able to use the compiled code on the 360.

All comments

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Commented on 2006-08-14 12:25:13
This is simply amazing, it probably won't affect the average consumer for 6-12 months but this should really start to provide some amazing content next year!
Commented on 2006-08-14 13:11:30
Amazing content? 8 of the 10 games will prolly be crap...
Commented on 2006-08-14 13:49:58
I apologise for being so optimistic, I'm sure you're right.
Commented on 2006-08-14 13:54:07 In reply to ApolloCreed
Posted by ApolloCreed
Amazing content? 8 of the 10 games will prolly be crap...
That's the spirit!

Commented on 2006-08-14 13:57:31
lol this is amazing, shame i dont know **** about programming...
Commented on 2006-08-14 13:59:58
This is a good thing regardless if 8 of the 10 games are crap. Quite simply, this is an avenue that didn't previously exist (at least to my knowledge at this price point and for consoles) for a novice developer with a great idea and the passion to see it through to get recognition for the work and the idea.

Granted, I've not seen how the system works with regards to content ownership (does making something with their engine give them any limited or exclusive rights to the content, beyond the obvious fact that the toolset is made to be used in their environment of course)?

Another benefit that I see is some professors might offer a game development class using this toolset as the primary development engine. It wouldn't be a core class of course since it is a proprietary engine, but it definitely could make for a great elective course for a curriculum in game design.

Ultimately I think this is a great thing for the industry and hope that the other 2 members of the big three make something just as accessible price/availability wise.

My .02
Commented on 2006-08-14 14:09:28
i predict there will be 2 games that isnt complete garbage by the time this gen ends
Commented on 2006-08-14 14:14:58
well the PS1 got at least 2 out of NetYaroze, and that program was a bit more expensive and the tools weren't as good, so i'm guessing there will be quite a lot more than 2 :D

i'm soo happy about this.
Commented on 2006-08-14 14:22:16
This is good because the need for modchips for this kind of thing, will really be no longer needed, though some things like emulators might not be possible but I spose we might just have to wait and see.

Most of the homebrew games i downloaded onto my original xbox were prety crap with the exception of a couple, though I still liked trying them out anyway.

It would be pretty cool if game developer's could somehow intergrate this suite into their games so we could make new charecters or mods.

This could also attract pc players to the xbox 360, being that it is so cheap for the power and would likely get good end results if they put the time and effort in.
Commented on 2006-08-14 14:34:23
The Torque Engine is an excellent shader engine i have downloaded the evaluation copy in the past and it includes some impressive demos

The torque engine actually includes generic FPS, racing engines as standard already you can build on top of these etc

I was concidering buying the engine (its was $200 for personal use) but ill just downlaod the MS version instead

I think people are getting the wrong idea about the use behind this it is not to release fully functional finished games but the allow indy devs to get some ideas out there and maybe het a deal for an xbox live/pc live game

once big advantage of this is by using the XNA studio you can release on pc and xbox 360 with the game source code with xna taking care of compiling to each target
Commented on 2006-08-14 15:45:36
100 bucks a year. Man, that's a lot... And this is not sarcastic!
Commented on 2006-08-14 16:20:31 In reply to Trebby
Posted by TrebuTa
100 bucks a year. Man, that's a lot... And this is not sarcastic!
I guess if you're still living in your mom's basement and spent all your allowance on other stuff... for everyone else though $99 is pretty reasonable and you only have to spend the money if you want to run the code on your 360.

This is pretty awesome news in my opinion. Even though I don't have time to write anything terribly interesting I'll probably spend the $99 to tinker with the tools to see how everything works. I have a feeling that after a year or so (and assuming that Microsoft is proactive in supporting the tools) we'll start seeing some really cool indy developed toys/games using these tools.
Commented on 2006-08-14 16:30:14
If you combine this with the free engines that are out their there is ALOT of potential...

Also if you read the news properly on cnet the limited distribution to the "insider" group seems to be "initially" so perhaps that means that without going through microsoft publishing it gets released to only other developers but there may be another route beyond that to get it out to xboxlivemarketplace?

I'll be spedning the 99$ personally i hope people realise this gives the Xbox Media Center team a in road into developing on the 360 ... HELL YA

LOL this is the 360 not the ps2... theres a large homebrew crowd, and the fact that 10 universities already signed on is a showing of that.. i love this move as im a programmer and a gamer, and i've been looking for a cheap way to get onto the 360... the hassles of getting the full XNA are insane if you arent a big company you have to thave "reasons" and "plans" and like the holy grail of gaming to get it approved... the XNA Express seems like its gonna be a nice light feature download like well... the Visual Studio Express's hehe
Commented on 2006-08-14 16:31:39
I want the mahjong game.
Commented on 2006-08-14 16:33:49 In reply to Trebby
Posted by TrebuTa
100 bucks a year. Man, that's a lot... And this is not sarcastic!
The $100 isn't really for consumers, it's for the developers to have access to support, critique and verification from Microsoft. Of course if you really want to play buggy work in progress software then you are entirely free to do so, but the majority of consumers won't see anything but the end result in the "YouTube style" service that Microsoft are planning for later implementation.
Commented on 2006-08-14 16:50:45 In reply to Slabs
Thats hillarious
Posted by Slabs
I apologise for being so optimistic, I'm sure you're right.
Commented on 2006-08-14 17:06:02 In reply to ApolloCreed
Posted by ApolloCreed
Amazing content? 8 of the 10 games will prolly be crap...
and 2 of the 10 perhaps will be realased so whats the problem?? for the first time ever in history of console games we have oportunity to create our own game for almost no costs!! fu.k me if thats not amazing! and quality will be higher becouse when 100000 clones of galaga or pacman will be available only games with new ideas will be on top :D.
Commented on 2006-08-14 17:23:09
I'm just curious as to how many of you have ever developed any type of software. I took an openGL course in college, and unless you guys have a great deal of programming knowledge, this thing is going to be worthless to you.

it's not just like you can have an engine and some tools, and not have a good programming knowledge, and make a decent game. if you think that, you will be in for a huge surprise.
Commented on 2006-08-14 17:30:22
yes judgeing by how many freeware/sharware games is available on internet i agree almost nobody has developing skills :D
Commented on 2006-08-14 17:31:09
Another plus for MS.. Seems like a really good idea.
Commented on 2006-08-14 17:35:25 In reply to futromurzyna
Posted by futromurzyna
yes judgeing by how many freeware/sharware games is available on internet i agree almost nobody has developing skills :D
Yeah but this would help those novice programmers who want to make games an easy access to find. Furthermore like Slabs said they get support and helped on with their game. It's not like they are going to teach them but with problems or glitchs one might have. Also most of those game on the internet are hard to find.
Commented on 2006-08-14 17:43:40
Wonder if Microsoft will make a few contests or if you can distribute your own games as a XBL Arcade game on Xbox Live. Question then is ofcourse, will you get any money for it. I mean if you develope a very addictive game and sell as an arcade game for a couple of bucks it will sell like hot cake on the market place, and thousands of times a couple of bucks is alot of money.
Commented on 2006-08-14 18:07:10
Wow, can't wait to check this out.
Commented on 2006-08-14 18:27:24 In reply to Trebby
The quality of these games will be pretty desent, it's not like you just pay them 100 bucks to publish the game for you, they take a look at the game games you make and decide if the game is good enough to be released via xbox live, within time there should be lots of exiting and innovative games that might not have had a chance of being released by traditional publishers due to the high cost of publishing/marketing.
What microsoft is doing here is pretty similar to what valve are doing with steam only microsoft are going one step further by providing the software required to develop the games something that can easily cost 1000$+
Posted by TrebuTa
100 bucks a year. Man, that's a lot... And this is not sarcastic!
Well aren't you a stupid one, for 100 bucks a year you get the chance to get a game published, getting a game published is a expensive and rare thing what microsoft are doing here is providing people who want to get into the games industry a chance to do that without having to spend a furtune of their own money.
Commented on 2006-08-14 19:05:25
This is so big :)
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