Microsoft has never stop to impress us by providing users with extra capabilities and features. And they ain’t gonna stop by just selling you a Xbox 360 – they want you to write games for it.
In times where the development kits needed to create games for the consoles made by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo cost thousands of dollars and usually accessible only to established producers, Microsoft is trying to change that.
The company will be releasing XNA Game Studio Express, a basic version of the companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s game authoring tools that will let aspiring designers write games on a PC and test them on an ordinary Xbox 360. To test games, the designer pays $99 a year to translate the game from the PC into the Xbox format. That sounds like a great deal.
For Microsoft, the goal is to inspire amateurs to share or sell relatively simple games on the companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Xbox Live network. (Microsoft will not own any rights to products created with these tools.) The catch is: Programs created with XNA Game Studio Express will not look as good as most packaged titles.
Whether this will spread a new kind of fire among game developers and amateurs alike is still too early to be decided. The ease of using Microsoft’s tools will be a determining factor for gamers to actually decide to program as well as play.