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XNA Games: The Next Level

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XNA Games: The Next Level

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:53 pm

Last night I saw one of the many iPhone commercials that blanket the airwaves. Aside from making me hate my current phone even more, it made me realize exactly where Microsoft is dropping the ball in terms of XNA Community Games. But before I get into what Microsoft needs to do, let's go through what the company has done right so far to see how close we are to something truly special in the console world.

At Microsoft's Game Developers Conference 2008 keynote address, the company formally announced that XNA Games would be coming soon to Xbox 360. These games could be made by anybody, would go through a peer review process rather than the standard and rigorous Microsoft certification, and would be put up for sale directly to every Xbox 360 owner. This was a landmark moment in console game development. What was previously the domain of the select few with money and influence enough to obtain a development kit would be open to everybody. Microsoft made good on the promise this past fall and you can now download trials and purchase community made games on your Xbox 360.

XNA Community Games have little oversight and, aside from the requisite pricing structure and official sanction, are not so different from the homebrew scene that has existed on the fringes of the gaming community for years. Say what you will about the general level of quality most XNA games have at this point; the potential is massive. There's little doubt in my mind that initial successes such as Weapon of Choice and CarneyVale Showtime will be followed by some wildly original and experimental games that will light a fire under the seats of gamers burnt out on the high-budget low-risk games we see so often.

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