Announcing the XNA Game Studio Express Update

Michael Klucher
Program Manager – XNA Community Game Platform Team

In April of this year you’ll be able to download an update to XNA Game Studio Express, this release mainly focuses fixing your requests and issues that you’ve filed through the Microsoft Connect site(yes, we really do read and respond to your bugs and feedback as best we can). So what are some of the improvements in this release? Let’s take a look through each feature area.

  • XNA Game Studio Express
    • Windows Vista is now fully supported
    • You can now add icons to XNA Game Studio Express Games.
    • Incrementally deployment of Xbox 360 projects now works for all your projects (not just the last one loaded)
  • XNA Framework
    • Added Bitmap based font support
    • Added XACT 3D Audio support
    • Improvements and additions to the Math framework API’s
    • BasicEffect now supports per-pixel lighting
    • Many more changes based on your feedback!
  • XNA Framework Content Pipeline
    • Added support for Volume Textures (Texture3D)
    • Content builds can now be canceled
    • Support for “clean” builds
    • Added the ability to read vertex and index buffer information from Model types
    • Many more changes based on your feedback!
  • XNA Game Launcher (Xbox 360)
    • Game thumbnails are now displayed for your games
    • Improved connection-key connectivity experience between the Xbox 360 and the PC
    • The ability to test and diagnose the connection between the Xbox 360 and the PC

I hope that some of the changes called out above are something that you’re looking forward too. Funny, there seems to be something I’m missing from the list... oh yeah...

  • Developer sharing of packaged XNA Game Studio Express Games
    • Users can now package their binary games into a single file to share with other users of XNA Game Studio Express.
    • These files can be emailed or hosted on websites like any other files.
    • To run a game double click a file and it will unpack to your Windows based PC or Xbox 360 console, it’s that easy!

That was it! :-) Throughout the week of GDC and into next week we’ll be expanding on this list to give you information and “sneak peeks” at some of the new functionality to this update of XNA Game Studio Express. We hope that this starts to build in the direction that you want to see and is considered by us to be a small step towards our goals future visions.