Earlier this year, Microsoft announced plans to allow small independent developers - even individuals - to put homemade games on Xbox 360 using a new version of XNA Game Studio and the subscription-based XNA Creator's Club. The idea is simple: make a game with XNA, submit it to peer-review, release it on Xbox Live. At the time Microsoft told that a beta test would go on behind the scenes in spring, with a full launch later in 2008.
That beta is now on the verge of beginning, as Eurogamer found out when they caught up with XNA group general manager Chris Satchell this week. "We always said spring, and we think May is a good time to make sure we've got all the pieces in place for us to record what people do," he told Eurogamer, with a full launch "by the end of the year". Eurogamer also spoke about XNA community games, XNA on future Xbox platforms and how security sometimes gets in the way of best intentions.