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NamelessTwo

What is XNA?

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What is this beast XNA? From the site: http://www.microsoft.com/xna I don't get what is going to be? They claim it will change the world. Is it true or they just make loud noise as usual? Could it mean that we will be able to program our hobby projects for XBox2, when it is released with the official MS tools (for free...)?

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To put it simply. Just another API set that will work with Windows and XBox. So the same code will work on both the console and the PC. Kind of like glut for windows. At least that is the impression I get. Maybe someone with more insight can shed a light?

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Quote:
XNA Home

Microsoft XNA is the catalyst for a new ecosystem of interchangeable, interoperable software tools and technologies from Microsoft, middleware and game development companies. By integrating software innovations across Microsoft platforms and across the industry, XNA forms a common environment that liberates developers from spending too much time writing mundane, repetitive boilerplate code. Instead, XNA frees game creators to spend their time where it matters most -on the creativity that differentiates their games.

The XNA development platform will serve as the foundation for future game platforms from Microsoft, including Windows, Xbox and Windows Mobile-based devices.

XNA

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A bit like GLUT, but I think it might also encompass things like Managed DirectX (perhaps slightly more abstracted). It will certainly cover input, sound and graphics to some extent. Oh, and Live too (so you should see Live working on the PC once the XNA games start coming out).

But yes, that web site's written in marketing speak.

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From what I have read XNA is the New DirectX System, most of Longhorn will be based on it. It will be mostly managed code, and allow for cross platform dev between XBox and Windows systems.

Also Will include the new DirectPlay system. (Fixing Security and performance problems, this is why it is deprecated)

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This question has been asked a lot lately (probably because MS just can't seem to give a clear definition of what it is, exactly), so I have made a little diagram:



Basically, XNA will allow the same networked game to be played across multiple platforms. For example, a person on the PC playing Halo could be on the same server as a person using an XBOX. It's pretty cool.

It's not clear whether Sony and Nintendo are going to be on-board with XNA. However, the answer is probably not. Console manufacturers like to have titles out exclusively for their hardware - XNA takes that away. Remember when Goldeneye came out for N64? That was the point when I rushed to the store and picked up a new Nintendo - just because I wanted to play that game.

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After reading and rereading the information what I understand is that XNA is an intention to standarize the HW and SW development.

Hardware level may be interesting. Say you standarize the controls connectors to... say USB or something like that, then all companies agree to use the same signaling information. Then you can use your XBox control in your Playstation. Maybe some buttons may or may not work, but player can choose which control to use.

At the SW level, I guess its not about an engine but an engine standard... just like Java Reference Documents. Say you want to develop a physics library, then you get the reference document and you program each of the functions there. Then your library can be plugged to any game and there wont be need to change a single line of code. Same with a graphics engine, you initialize your graphics output in a single line (like when you use GLUT) but internally you don't know if the HW will use OpenGL or DX, you just initialize it with a single standarized call (something like InitializeGraphics()... ) and let the standarized engine to startup the HW appropiately.

Look at it as an engine 'standar' way to do things. Thaat way your caode can be recompiled in every platform and it will work with minimal (or no) change.

Unfortunately Sony nor Nintendo have answered the call. If this is what MS has in mind, then the idea is really good and I hope MS can do it.

Now, even when the world may be better with a standar, obviously MS is here for the money. And owning a leading standar will make every other company to kneel before MS wishes, I don't think they will accept that.

But knowing MS, we can just wait more XNA in the future...

Luck!
Guimo



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:)

so if XNA is freely available and I can use it to program for XBox/Xbox 2... than I'll buy one :) because I don't play games anyway.

from my experience I think that .net programs require a more memory then the other programs. for a PC this is not a concern but won't be a problem for consoles?

where can I read about Microsoft's plans for the consoles and MDX?

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The story about that Microsoft want to be rule the consol and the pc market. They are creating a tool which is a nearly complete engine with physics, graphs, network, sound and input. Would that be good ? Absolutely. And for developers who want to develop for linux and mac? No. And that's the point. Noone will develop for that platforms. Perhaps the strong linux community can do something in the future.

I hope it will be free.

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Don't except that XNA will be a 600 mb downloadable packet for free which contains a complete graphics engine with cool physics. From what I understand before XNA is only a collection of well defined APIs. Its your responsibility to create the graphics or physics engine or if you have money you may purchase UE3, Renderware for graphics or havok for physics probably all of them will provide an XNA compatible API. So what will change in the future with XNA is that you may change the main engine from renderware to UE3 without rewriting even one line of code.

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