Microsoft puts development tools into the hands of gamers, developers

Microsoft's XNA Game Studio Express development software has been released for the budding game developers out there. According to Microsoft, the software is mainly for students, hobbyists and independent game developers.

XNA Game Studio Express is built on Visual C# Express 2005 and helps gamers create Windows-based games for free. However, if you'd like to develop and play games on the Xbox 360 platform, you'll have to pony up for the XNA Creators Club which costs $49 for four months or $99 for a full year subscription. For those that wish to share games developed for the Xbox 360 platform, these steps must be taken:

  • The individual you are planning to share the game with must be logged in to Xbox Live and have an active subscription to the XNA Creators Club
  • The receiving user must have downloaded the XNA Framework runtime environment for the Xbox 360
  • The receiving user must have XNA Game Studio Express installed on their own development PC
  • The game project, including all source and content assets, must be shared with the receiving user. The receiving user then compiles and deploys the game to their Xbox 360.

XNA Game Studio Express games developed for the Xbox 360 can only be stored on a Microsoft 20GB hard drive and cannot be used with memory cards, external hard drive or CD/DVD.

For those that would like to find out more about XNA Game Studio Express, you can check out Microsoft's FAQ and Readme.

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