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Microsoft XBox (Games)

Microsoft Publishes Free XBox Development Tools 221

prostoalex writes "Microsoft announced the release of free XNA Game Studio Express tools for developing C# games that run on both Windows and XBox. They're also selling XNA Creators Club subscriptions, which, similar to MSDN subscriptions, offer access to sample code and additional documentation. Also, Microsoft is explicitly aiming towards uniting the Windows and XBox development platforms: 'You will have to compile the game once for each platform. In this release simply create a separate project for each platform and then compile them both. Our goal is to allow as much code as possible to be shared between those two projects, allowing you to use the same source files in both projects, but platform-specific code will need to be conditionally-compiled.'"
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Microsoft Publishes Free XBox Development Tools

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  • by Jazz-Masta ( 240659 ) on Monday December 11, 2006 @11:33PM (#17203554)
    It's a lot cheaper than a Gamecube, Wii, PS2, or PS3 dev kit. This is a major step forward. Indie developers can use it, even if it is $100 (which, let's face it, is not much money...two games worth) and if they create something worthwhile they can pay more to get it full licenced for release.
  • by Osty ( 16825 ) on Monday December 11, 2006 @11:37PM (#17203596)

    Is it just me, or would this speed up the development of Linux on the XBox 360?

    It's just you. I guess it might be technically possible to build a virtual machine on top of the .NET Framework Compact Edition which could then run Linux, but that's not anywhere near the same as running Linux on the Xbox 360.

  • Non commercial (Score:5, Insightful)

    by edwardpickman ( 965122 ) on Monday December 11, 2006 @11:47PM (#17203658)
    It strictly allows only non commercial development and no distribution including free over the net. There's is another commercial version that'll be released early next year but you still face the Microsoft bottle neck. You can't release commercial games unless they approve of them and take a health chunk of the profits. It'll allow you to develope for the Xbox 360 at a much lower risk but there are no guarentees you'll be able to release the game on Xbox 360. Microsoft still retains the final approval and demands their pound 'O fleash.
  • Re:Non commercial (Score:3, Insightful)

    by east coast ( 590680 ) on Monday December 11, 2006 @11:51PM (#17203696)
    I'm not a game developer and I don't know much about it but what's the costs associated with developing for other consoles? MS offering educational stuff for free or damn close to it isn't that bad of a deal, from where I sit.

    MS put a lot of cash down to develop an entire platform, they stuck out their necks... if you're making cash from a venture involving their proprietary platform tell me where their cut comes from?
  • by ClamIAm ( 926466 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @12:50AM (#17204110)
    So it's not quite free.

    I disagree. It's more like "the first hit is free", a popular Microsoft strategy. They give away free, cut-down versions of stuff (Visual Studio, their virtualization thing), or sell things at a discount (PCs preloaded with Windows + cheap Office, education discounts). This way, people get trapped in their tangled web of "interoperability".

    I can imagine that Sony and Nintendo are none to amused at this, so I'll just sit back and wait for them to file antitrust complaints.
  • Re:SNES (Score:3, Insightful)

    by colmore ( 56499 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @01:18AM (#17204270) Journal
    It would be interesting, but I think you'd find programming for the SNES and modern game programming to be different beasts.

    Back then, with much smaller resources, a lot of work was still done in assembler and some pretty low level code that is now taken care of by libraries. There isn't the need to squeeze every last inch of functionality out of hardware any more, and the coding is a lot different.
  • by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @01:39AM (#17204386)
    I think that the "Developers" chair-throwing speech is exactly why MS is #1. Other companies (especially OSS companies) need to get just as excited about supporting developers if they want anywhere near that kind of success.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @01:42AM (#17204406)
    Actually, jt2377 never stated $99=free. Jt2377 actually stated if microsoft actually gave their product away instead of charging a monthly fee, you still would be bitching that Microsft is abusing their monopoly. No matter what a good number of /.ers would bitch about anything Microsoft does unless they went out of business.
  • by ribond ( 149811 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @02:07AM (#17204536) Journal
    Way to fail to own it. They gave you something free (yes, there are caveats) or at worst dirt-cheap, that others sell for much more. You can now choose -- your wallet or your "must-irrationaly-hate-ms" reflex?

    God help you if the indians get close to you with a few "gimme" rounds of texas hold'em. You'll never break free.

    ...you see where I'm going with this?

    it's almost like this truly vicious practice that many shareware vendors have (wolves in sheeps clothing, these guys). They offer you up a fantastic game as a trial version and then ask you to pay for it if you love it.


    I can imagine that Sony and Nintendo are none to amused at this, so I'll just sit back and wait for them to file antitrust complaints.
    ...yeah. but it's MS that stifles innovation. What antitrust issue do you see here? The 2nd place player in a field tries to gain an advantage by giving things away... I'd come up with an analogy but they seem to obvious. I'll let you run with it.
  • by phantomcircuit ( 938963 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @02:26AM (#17204624) Homepage
    The one thing that Microsoft does extremely well is document and provide tools to develop software for windows.(free tools such as visual c# express offer non-commercial developers a cheap IDE). It's why there is a much larger number of applications written for windows than for Unix like systems.

    By applying the same principles to the Xbox 360 they might just find that more people use the system because of what they can do with it, not because of the numbers.

    The applications make the system useful, not the other way around.
  • by hitmanWilly1337 ( 1034664 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @02:59AM (#17204762)
    I feel my soul being sucked out as I say this but...

    M$ actually got something right for a change.

    Now before you start flaming away @ this, hear me out. I am a longtime Linux user myself (Slack 11.0 as of this writing) and am as big a M$ hater as they come. This time, though, M$ actually has a good idea.


    One of the biggest draws for me to PCs and PC gaming was the indie game development. I got tired first of platformers, then of FPS's, now of third person sneak arounds. The PC seemed the ideal platform for me because of the fact that anyone could download a compiler and design a game however they saw fit. I knew that someone, somewhere, would eventually start designing, or had already designed, something I would enjoy. And in the rare cases where that didn't happen, I could always do it myself. This is also what attracted me to FOSS in the first place. Not only did we have the power of the compiler, but a ready made development team around the world. w00t!!!
    What M$ is doing is trying to break into that market and bring that into the console world. Imagine that an indie game, spread across the internet, could be brought to the console world? Its a sad fact that most gamers today are moving towards the consoles. This might actually help breathe new life into the PC gaming world. Double w00t!!
    Now, granted, M$ is doing this in its usual bloated, monopolizing fashion. But we can't expect miracles, now can we?
    I'm done now, so flame on!!

    "I think we might actually crash this time"-Mal Reynolds, Serenity
  • by asb ( 1909 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:11AM (#17204814) Homepage

    if they create something worthwhile they can pay more to get it full licenced for release

    Let me rephrase that for you: "if they create something worthwhile they have to pay more to get it full licenced for release".

    Helpful, eh?

  • by ribond ( 149811 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:18AM (#17204840) Journal
    (sigh) where to start...

    Look everybody, a lying M$ astroturfer

    You've accused me of lying (that's emotionally loaded terminology in my mind)
    You're use of "m$" clearly identifies you as a disinterested observer? We all have opinions that we bring to the table. That mine is different than yours does not make me evil.
    ...and then you accused me of lying for money. We disagree somewhere, lets have a conversation rather than a shouting match.

    fraudulently misrepresenting themselves

    that's a lot of negatives, but I see where you're headed.

    Duh. M$ is leveraging their desktop operating system monopoly to gain an advantage (cross-subsidizing from their monopoly) in console gaming. That may be illegal.

    You pretending not to know that is telling

    That seems non-obvious. IANAL and all that, but offering development tools to the public and wailing antitrust seems like a stretch. What could MS offer to customers in any market for free without crossing your boundary here?
  • by ribond ( 149811 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:20AM (#17204858) Journal
    awesome. ...then I read your profile to find...

    Keep your eye on the ball. SCO is merely running interference for M$. M$ is still taxing the world $40,000,000,000/year for a dozen programs it mostly wrote more than a decade ago.

    I'd counter-claim astroturfing, but I don't know who would be paying... :)

    You've clearly got a belief structure built up here... some people are christians, and frankly I don't agree with them either...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @10:26AM (#17207306)
    "can it mean the end of Linux gaming?"


    What Linux Gaming?

    Linux gamers feel their "hobby" threatened by this product?

    I thought the only way to go for Linux Gaming was up.

People who go to conferences are the ones who shouldn't.