Homebrew Software on the Microsoft Xbox 360

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8 replies [Last post]
Anonymous

For an annual subscription of $99, Microsoft will let amateur game developers do their thing on the Xbox 360, according to this BBC News article

Sounds interesting...

Bill Loguidice
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Here's a link to the beta:

Here's a link to the beta: http://msdn.microsoft.com/directx/xna/gse/

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mrCustard (not verified)
Nah...

With XNA available, MS still has control over what will be possible, and what not. If MS would open source (part of) the system, they can't really stipend what is acceptable content and what not. In fact, a version a the GPL doing just that is heavily critized at the moment. The lack of control is the main reason why MS opposes to OSS so strongly.

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Mark Vergeer
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Opening up part of the xbox to open source community....

I think this could very well be a smart move. There's a lot of developers out there who love to develop for the consoles but have to resort to illegal modding their consoles in order to run unsigned code. This might take away the need for a lot of hacking/cracking the new console as devving for it can be legal. Creating software allowing for pirated games to run should be banned. Perhaps M$ can put some sort of check in place preventing that stuff from happening. Hacking/cracking the console will only be beneficial to pirates, and if M$ has freequent Dashboard updates in place - like sony does for its PSP - they might very well stay on top of the game and loose less money on piracy! A very good thing I say.

-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-

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mrCustard (not verified)
answers?

I think the $99 fee give you a) the possibility to "compile" for the 360 ) and b) the ability to actually run your own and other people's creations on the 360. It looks like you can create PC versions for free. This would seem sensible, because 3rd party developers (mainly those on XBLA) wouldn't be too happy were the marketplace flooded with free software of questionable quality.

After some time there is quite a bit of decent content in place, MS could choose to open up the homebrew scene to the general public. This would almost certainly mean some sort of certification and licensing to insure the integrity of the 360 experience. MS only needs to implement some form of code signing procedure for this, and as such it's more of a logistical than a technological operation.

Gamertag: Custardo

Bill Loguidice
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Two Clarification Articles and a Question

Microsoft Opens Up XNA, Introduces XNA Game Studio Express: http://biz.gamedaily.com/industry/feature/?id=13514

XNA Gets Torqued Up: http://biz.gamedaily.com/industry/feature/?id=13516

So just to be clear here, you can use XNA for free, but in order to create a generally or commercially distributable game, you need to pay the $99 annual fee? Otherwise you can only distribute to other people with the XNA toolkit? Is that correct? Seems reasonable if that's the case, I suppose.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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mrCustard (not verified)
Limits...

I'm sure there are going to be severe limits to what's possible. Aside from the obvious size constraints, I suspect the software won't have free access to the file system or (if at all), be limited to a single CPU thread. Most likely the programs will run a protected sandbox. But, aside from this, being able to create even simple games, and have them available to the community is pretty revolutionary. Ok, Sony had the Yaroze, but it's limited availablity and accesability meant it was only really available to a small group of hardcore DIY gamedevs.

Gamertag: Custardo

Matt Barton
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Microsoft

I'm not nearly as skeptical, Bill. From what I've seen, Microsoft is really sowing the field here. I tried lots of different C++ IDEs, and I'll be darned, Microsoft Visual C++ Express turned out to be the best. I kept coming back to it. They also have made many efforts to interest indy game development, offering contests, forums, and other techniques to get people involved.

I see no reason to doubt that things will be different with XNA Express. Indeed, I'm tempted to download it and check it out--though the official release is a bit away.

One of the main reasons why Windows is #1 anyway is that Microsoft has really catered to developers. Their tools are amazing. I have yet to meet a professional developer who doesn't swear by some Microsoft IDE or another. DirectX might be somewhat confusing for novices like me, but it's not as though anyone else is offering a better alternative. I checked out OpenGL, and almost every piece of documentation is "Well, in DirectX you do it this way...but OpenGL is this way..." In other words, they all expect you to be 100% familiar with DirectX before learning OpenGL. That's the kind of back-asswardness that has kept Microsoft on top for so long, and probably into the distant future.

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Bill Loguidice
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True homebrew on a console or a limp pacifier?

(re-post from elsewhere)

It will be interesting to see if the best stuff will be allowed to be released onto Xbox Live at large. It would be a good quality control mechanism while still allowing people an outlet for homebrew. Unfortunately it seems like the tools will be limited, so I'm sure we'll be seeing lots of simple puzzle and arcade-style games for the most part. Still, it should force good ideas to the forefront at the very least. What happens from there remains to be seen, though hopefully the best stuff does indeed get picked up for a final polish and release (the creator retains their own rights).

=================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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