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GDC: Microsoft Announces XNA Game Studio 4.0

GDC: Microsoft Announces XNA Game Studio 4.0

March 9, 2010 | By Staff

March 9, 2010 | By Staff
More: Console/PC, GDC

Microsoft has announced version 4.0 of its XNA Game Studio development package, which includes support for its new Windows Phone 7 Series, as well as enhancing features for Xbox 360 and PC game development.

The details have been posted on Microsoft developer blogs, including this lengthy post from XNA Development Platform lead program manager Michael Klucher and this quick breakdown on MSDN from Shawn Hargreaves.

The platform will now support development for Microsoft's newly announced mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7 Series. As part of that, the target of the development environment is expanding to a more professional audience and beyond the indies that have been previously targeted, according to Klucher.

"With Windows Phone 7 Series we’re targeting the developers who work in small teams at large studios as well as the lone programmer working solo on their first mobile game title. We think this benefits all game developers and continues to grow the usage of .NET for games for indies and high end professionals alike," he says in his blog post.

It also seems that support for the Zune may be waning on the Microsoft side. Says Klucher, "in XNA Game Studio 4.0, we’re encouraging you to migrate your games over to the Windows Phone 7 Series platform."

The platform will now fully integrate with Visual Studio 2010, and also includes enhancements to audio, visual effects, and usability options.

Here's the complete list of enhancements as posted by Hargreaves:

New platform
- Windows Phone 7 Series

New features
- Integrates with Visual Studio 2010
- Dynamic audio output
- Microphone input
- BasicEffect has four new siblings: SkinnedEffect, EnvironmentMapEffect, DualTextureEffect, AlphaTestEffect

Improved portability and usability
- Collapsed graphics caps into just two profile levels: Reach and HiDef
- Many graphics API improvements
- This involves some breaking API changes
- Split Microsoft.Xna.Framework.dll into several assemblies, to make it more obvious which pieces are available on each platform

Further information on XNA Game Studio 4.0 is being debuted this week at Microsoft's Game Developer Days at Game Developers Conference 2010 in San Francisco.

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