Feeds

MS unwraps XNA for games developers

One platform to rule them all

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft yesterday used the GDC conference to launch a development platform called XNA. This will roll out across all future game platforms - including Xbox consoles and Windows PCs.

The initiative is aimed at providing a common environment for game development on all of the platforms with which Microsoft is involved, ranging from the Xbox - and Xbox 2 - through the Windows operating system to Windows Mobile devices.

As with most such initiatives, XNA's biggest claimed benefit is that it will free up developers to work on unique features, rather than constantly re-inventing the wheel by writing the boilerplate code that holds games together on a basic level.

XNA's launch will see a number of interesting technology moves, of which appearance of the Xbox Live development toolkit on the Windows platform is perhaps the most important of these.

Developers working on Windows games will now be able to use the billing, security, login, friends and matchmaking tools which are integral to the Xbox Live service - effectively extending Live functionality onto Windows games. However, it's not clear if PC gamers will be expected to pay Live-style subscription fees for these services.

Microsoft also plans to develop a common controller reference design which will be rolled out for both Windows and the Xbox, providing a basic standard across both platforms as well as unifying the input APIs and button standards on both systems.

On a more technical level, a number of Xbox development tools such as the PIX analysis tool and the XACT audio authoring system will be made available for PC development purposes for the first time, while the High-Level Shader Language (HLSL) which was recently introduced on the Windows platform will now be ported to Xbox.

The move to unify the development environment between Xbox and Windows is likely to be welcomed by developers working on cross-platform titles, and will have even greater repercussions as Xbox 2 development kits - which are also expected to use the XNA framework - are made more widely available.

Copyright © 2004,

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.