Microsoft has announced new tools that will allow the masses to create games for the Xbox 360. XNA Game Studio Express will give everyone the tools they need to create video games for the 360 console. Microsoft hopes these tools will "bring...creative game ideas to life while nurturing game development talent, collaboration, and sharing that will benefit the entire industry."
XNA Game Studio Express will be available for free to anyone with a Windows XP-based PC this holiday season. Users can join a "creator’s club" for $99 annually. This allows them to be able to "build, test, and share their games on Xbox 360 and access a wealth of materials to help speed the game development progress."
"XNA Game Studio Express will ignite innovation and accelerate prototyping, forever changing the way games are developed," stated Chris Satchell, General Manager of the Game Developer Group at Microsoft. "By unlocking retail Xbox 360 consoles for community-created games, we are ushering in a new era of cross-platform games based on the XNA platform. We are looking forward to the day when all the resulting talent-sharing and creativity transforms into a thriving community of user-created games on Xbox 360."
In addition to the first XNA Game Studio Express available this Christmas, a second XNA toolset geared toward game development professionals is set to be available in Spring 2007.