The Interweb is atwitter at Microsoft’s decision to launch a low-end version of its XNA programming framework for making XBox games. The product, called the XNA Game Studio Express, costs $99 per year and allows students and amateurs to play in the XBox sandbox and share games and code with other programmers around the world.
They’re trying to compare the service to YouTube, but this seems a bit more like the blasted reaches of SourceForge where the least-frequented projects lie gathering dust.
The games can run on both XBox and PC, depending on the compiler used, and won’t be publicly available – imagine 500 homebrew versions of Custer’s Revenge – although MS is looking forward to launching a few amateur apps, thereby reducing their development costs to zero.
Clearly this is a viable and interesting model and the barrier to entry is fairly low, so everyone and their dog can get in on this thing early. Interestingly enough – and I’ve always been a big PS3 proponent – I can’t imagine Sony even considering this sort of thing, to their detriment.
Product Page [Microsoft]