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Microsoft: PS3 Linux Not 'Competitive' Compared To XNA

Talking in an interview to be published in full on Gamasutra later today, Dave Mitchell, Director of Marketing for Microsoft's Game Developer Group has been discussing the company's newly launched XNA Game Studio Express and Creators Club, touching on both the Xbox 360 homebrew game system's competitiveness with Sony's PS3 offerings, as well as longer-term plans for universal sharing of Creators Club games.

When asked about Sony's efforts to create a homebrew culture by allowing Linux to be installed freely on the PlayStation 3 (albeit without access to the RSX graphics chipset, among other restrictions), Mitchell commented: "On the one hand I've got to commend them for moving up their platform there, but we really don't view what Sony and PlayStation 3 and particularly the Linux solution that they are making available - we don't really view that as a competitive offering or trying to do something in the same vein."

He continued: "The fundamental difference here is not just about providing access to a platform, it's really about making an investment in something, and ensuring that people who will want to make games on your game console are successful in doing that... What we are focused on doing is providing great tools at a free or low price point that are going to enable consumers to be absolutely successful at creating games for both the Windows and the Xbox 360 platforms."

Mitchell concluded by explaining of Microsoft's plans: "And looking forward in that vision, in terms of how we really enable the broad YouTube type experience for games, but also one that fits in with the business model... so if you look at the whole breadth of the offering, and the technical depth of what we are looking to bring to the market, it's not even the same thing as what those guys are doing right now."

The Microsoft exec also hinted that sharing Creators Club games universally over all Xbox 360 users was a major priority for the company next year, commenting: "In 2007, where you're really going to see us investing is on that sharing point. First, it's going to be about how do members of the Creators Club really share games more easily among one another, because we're seeing a lot of desire an interest and people doing that today."

"And then moving beyond that, once they want to take it past that threshold out to the end consumers, and like in this case, I make a game and I send it over to you to have you check out my game, and you're not a member of the Creators Club, I'd still love for you to be able to play it. That's absolutely the scenario that we want to support and start working on and enabling that in 2007."

The full interview with Mitchell, including plenty of specifics on IP rights and other details for the company's Creators Club plans, will be published on Gamasutra later today.

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UrbanJabroni3688d ago (Edited 3688d ago )

They serve VERY different purposes
.
Linux will allow _very good_ programming teams to create some awesome applications, such as media center and emulators until Sony pulls locks it down. Given that the video API isn't made public, quality games will be hard. The process of programming a game is absolutely just as hard as it is programming a Linux game today (read: take a look at whats out there, creating "Next Gen" games isn't going to happen.

PS3MediaCenter, however, will rock just as hard (if not harder) than XBMC. And that alone is reason enough to care.

XNA genuinely does allow people with relatively little programming knowledge to create pretty damn good looking games, and great programmers should be able to create games that easily look "Next Gen." In just a few days I reworked the space war into an awesome next-gen recreation of level one of Microcosm. Carmack I ain't, either.

You will not, however, have access to the "non essential non-graphics" functions, so XBMC360 isn't going to happen, unfortunately.

calderra3688d ago

"You will not, however, have access to the "non essential non-graphics" functions, so XBMC360 isn't going to happen, unfortunately."

What does that mean??? You can't... er... play DivX movies with XNA? Yes you can- because XNA allows you to make a game. If your game wants to use (video format X), it can. But that's all XNA is supposed to be for.

And from the PS3 Media Center's homepage:
"Multimedia Center Software for Playstation 3 / Cell Broadband Engine. This will allow Playstation 3 to decode MPEG2 and H.264 video streams and make it a perfect HDTV receiver / media center"

How does that compete with XNA??? It's not even the same market.

Also:
"XNA genuinely does allow people with relatively little programming knowledge to create pretty damn good looking games"

...er, no it doesn't. You have to code your games just like on any other platform. All the tools are provided and put together nicely, but it's still programming. Many people who just wanted to try XNA out have found their membership fee wasted because they didn't know sufficient programming to really contribute.

It's like riding a bike as opposed to a unicycle. Easier? Yes. Can you do it without practice? No.

UrbanJabroni3686d ago

"If your game wants to use (video format X), it can."

NO IT CAN NOT. XNA is MANAGED direct-x, meaning you are only given access to specific high-level functions. The XNA team has confirmed that media functions are not part of the sdk, and surpise...they aren't there!

"Many people who just wanted to try XNA out have found their membership fee wasted because they didn't know sufficient programming to really contribute. "

Then maybe they should have tried the FREE F*n version before jumping in and paying $100. I highly doubt "many people" wasted $100 without at least reading the basic requirements or trying the tool on Windows first.

UrbanJabroni3686d ago

You are correct, you still need to know C#, no one is denying that. But leaning C# compared to C++ for the average user is a substantially simpler task. Take out pointers and memory management (and thus the associated data structures and search algorithms and whatnot), which C# does, and you can literally rip half of the workload out of a CS degree.

Also, XNA is more like walking with regular game programming like flying a plane. As I put below "It literally takes less than 20 lines of code to set up a 1st person 3D viewport, add controller movement and load a model to walk around. With NO CHANGES, I can compile this for either Windows or the Xbox 360. One can make an amazing game for Windows, make a fortune and MS never gets a dime. "

videl3688d ago

hmm, why does ms always comment about sony ? they know they are not as good as sony. always this dumb comparisons from ms. they make everyday their panties wet. what loooosers.

xfrgtr3688d ago

How could you listen from a guy from Microsoft talking about sony?Do you expect him to say sony is better ,hell no.Stupid interview,really.

UrbanJabroni3688d ago (Edited 3688d ago )

It is pretty obvious that those that are so quick to slam MS and praise sony _on this matter_ have never touched a line of code in their lives.

Just give credit where it is due. Microsoft did an AMAZING thing with XNA. At the very least, forget about the xbox, and realize they created a FREE game development platform with the industry's BEST IDE (FREE), superb training and documentation, examples and assets, an amazing pipeline and the simplest framework for making games in the history of programming.

Please find me another programmer who disagrees with this. Linux C++ OpenGL game programming for a Cell versus C# and managed directx for the .net framework. For the _average_ programmer, there is no contest.

It literally takes less than 20 lines of code to set up a 1st person 3D viewport, add controller movement and load a model to walk around. With NO CHANGES, I can compile this for either Windows or the Xbox 360. One can make an amazing game for Windows, make a fortune and MS never gets a dime.

" they know they are not as good as sony." Seriously, WTF is wrong with the fanboys on this board. It's great that Sony included Linux, but that took virtually no resources or effort. What Microsoft has provided to the community FOR FREE with XNA is nothing short of outstanding...but I guess that doesn't matter if you are an insecure and biased little person.

calderra3688d ago

Er, XNA does require a membership fee. So technically you do have to pay. But $100 for a year compared to the $thousands it would normally take just to start a good dev library?

Relatively free, we'll say.
And as a programmer, I agree with that sentiment. You can't be a programmer and not see at least some good in this. And even if you were trying to hold out with some doubts, look up XNA Racer. One guy, two weeks, and a high-def game that even whole companies would be proud of.

tk3688d ago

Oh you ignoramus / twit..
So you have XNA (C# and DirectX)
On the Linux side you have C# (yeah C#, C++, Ruby, Python, C, C++, Java, Pascal, Basic etc etc etc) and OpenGL (which is similar to DirectX).

The difference is that with Linux you have access to source code you could only dream of with any MS project. Want to know how the networking really work? Just download the sourcecode. Wand to know how the comms drivers work to interface to the controllers? Just download the code. Want to know how to program a spreadsheet? Download the code. There is no comparison between the two. And given a couple of months a decent OpenGL driver to take advantage of the Cell SPE's will be out. It will not be the Cell+RSX, but it will really open eyes on the proper utilization of the Cell.

power of Green 3688d ago

5 - Downplaying
tk - 1 Hour ago | Let him/her speak
And within seconds the xbots arrive to poo poo and downplay any PS3 related news that can vaguely be interpreted as positive. Seems like they are waiting for their XB360's to be repaired.

LOL LOL LOL.

BIadestarX3688d ago

@tk, you sound like a smart guy and who knows you may even be a programmer. Have you ever try making a game for linux/windows using any of these languages? "C++, Ruby, Python, C, C++, Java, Pascal, Basic etc etc etc)" and OpenGL? I have. and if you also did you would know how dificult it is to do so, almost forcing you to spend thousands in game engines and software to create the game assets if you want to come up with an ok game. Even to ready the video card you have to write hundred of lines of code and you must be very aware of drives and hardware capabilities; this is all transparent to anyone using the XNA. This is even bad for the system since it's very unstable, so expect lots of PS3 crashes etc. I'm not saying that the PS3 support for linux is bad but it requires a great amount of technical knowlege (you may have) which not everyone just happen to have. This is not about how many tools the PS3 have since all those tools you mentioned are designed for experience developers, but about trying to open another door so others can contribute. You should thank microsoft for trying to change this since I am sure this will encourage Sony and maybe nintendo to do the same (i.e. xbox live forced online feature to be standard). Who knows maybe one that all consoles will come with tools like this as standard.

tk3687d ago

Yes I am a programmer. That's why it is clear that the MS comment of "not competitive" just does not make sense. It is about as non-competitive as OpenOffice is non competitive to Office.

From MS PR comments Java is not competitive with C#. And Linux is not competitive with Windows. And Notes is not competitive with Exchange. And Apache is not competitive with IIS. And and and. Horse manure. All the tools is available under Linux to compete with XNA. It is just PR BS.

UrbanJabroni3686d ago

"Er, XNA does require a membership fee. So technically you do have to pay. "

XNA, FOR WINDOWS, is 100% free. If you want to test/debug/play your game on the 360, it costs $100.

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the_bebop3688d ago

OMG Microsoft says something bad about another operating system, who would have thunk.

Get ready for this topic to Flame on in 3..2..1.

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