Feeds

MS unwraps XNA for games developers

One platform to rule them all

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.