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xna ..what exactly is it ?

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deadstar    536
XNA is a simplified wrapper and toolset for DirectX from Microsoft, designed for use with their C# language.

It's a simpler version of the DirectX API aimed to attract people beginning game programming, and allows for easy ports of your games to Xbox 360.

No, it isn't a language in its own right, its a games development API.

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Andorien    139
Let it be said that while it is indeed "simplified", it's still plenty powerful. The only thing I can think of that it doesn't allow really is using DirectX10.

Also, it stands for XNA's Not Acronymed.

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NickGravelyn    855
If we want to be completely correct here, "XNA" refers to all of Microsoft's game related technologies. So technically if you just say "XNA" it could refer to any of the following (and possibly more):

- Native DirectX
- XNA Framework
- XNA Game Studio

(Was this a dumb move on Microsoft's to start having XNA be a brand with numerous products under it where two have XNA in the title? Possibly, but that's life)

So inside of "XNA" is native DirectX, the same DirectX everyone has known and loved for years. The XNA Framework is a set of .NET libraries that you can use when making games. And lastly XNA Game Studio is a bunch of Visual Studio add-ins and tools for writing games. Generally if you are using the XNA Framework you are using XNA Game Studio, but it isn't required (you can simply make any .NET application and reference the XNA Framework assemblies without any of the XNA Game Studio stuff like the Content Pipeline or Xbox 360 deployment).

Also I wouldn't really call the XNA Framework a simplified wrapper. For the most part there is very little I've seen done in DirectX that couldn't also be done using the XNA Framework (excepting any Direct3D 10 things that is). It does handle a lot of things for the user such as maintaining a game loop and performing window creation, but I wouldn't title it a "simplified wrapper".

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