Feeds

MS to offer Xbox 360 programming tool for amateurs

Starting up a shareware community?

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Microsoft today pledged to bring Xbox 360 programming to the masses, but ordinary folk will have to wait until the end of this month to get their hands on the tools they'll need to get coding for the console. Professionals will get a version in Spring 2007, the software giant said.

Microsoft will ship a pre-release beta version of XNA Game Studio Express on 30 August. The software will be be free, and runs on Windows XP. There's a catch: to test code on an Xbox 360, users will have to cough up $99 a year to join Microsoft's XNA users group, an online forum that will provide documentation and a game-sharing facility to allow other users to test unfinished titles. The software can also be used to create Windows XP games, Microsoft said.

Of course, XBA Game Studio simply allows game creators to program code and then build in audio and visual content into a final, playable game. Developers will still need a range of other, third-party tools and, in some cases, middleware.

The final version of XNA Game Studio Express will be available this coming Christmas, with the pro-oriented version following three or four months down the line from that.

To date, console development has largely been closed to individuals and smaller software developers, largely because of the cost of acquiring console vendors' software development kits. The difficulties of CD-only distribution - let alone cartridge production - have also hindered amateur console game creation. Connected consoles finally allow a route for small-scale developers to offer their work.

While XNA Games Studio Express may not generate many top-tier games, it will make possible a variety of lesser titles of the kind computer users are well used to downloading as freeware or shareware.

Indeed, it's this kind of arena Microsoft is undoubtedly hoping to establish, the better to attract games to its console family and associated online services. There are plenty of folk out there put off buying a console because of the cost of commercial games. The presence of a range of more basic, but cheaper titles might just be what's needed to encourage them to start console gaming. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras
Time to ditch that heavy DSLR? Maybe in a year, year and a half
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Leaked photos may indicate slimmer next-generation iPad
Will iPad Air evolve into iPad Helium?
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.