Small Developers will get to use 360 Kits for free

Microsoft and the Victorian government in Australia will be jointly investing in eight Xbox 360 development kits worth $15,000 each.

The Games Developers Association of Australia will decide which developers in the Victoria area will be able to use the kits for free.

The hope is to give smaller development houses a leg up in a fast moving industry with rising development costs.

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Neutral Gamer3705d ago (Edited 3705d ago )

Anyone know how much of a difference the SDK's are for the Xbox 360 Development Kits and XNA?

I know that the kits will use native code and no doubt the functions and documentation would be similar in style to Win32 and the Platform SDK. But is the code object orientated like GDI+ or is it all in standard C?

Crucially, how much EXTRA do you get for your $15,000 considering that XNA is free and the forthcoming Professional edition of XNA will no doubt be considerably cheaper than the kits?

UrbanJabroni3705d ago (Edited 3705d ago )

...would be allowed to answer your (good) questions, as most of what you are talking about falls under NDA. There are some historical/foundational differences between what is available to hobbyists and what comes with an SDK.

At the end of the day, the kit is very similar to the compiler on all fronts.

With XNA you use VS Express editions, which are really incredible IDEs and cover 99% of the issues a small or lone developer will need. With actual development, it is VS 2005, which by itself has super-powerful tools, customizations, plug-in interfaces and analytics...the sort of stuff a 20+ million dollar game needs to eek out every bit of optimization.

Could you use OO code under C++ using the DX library...sure. Must you? No. Most professional development is going to be built from the ground up and most will support c++...object oriented design makes sense even if you don't use GDI+ or any libraries.

XNA has one, and really only one, way to do things, and that way is amazingly simple and well thought out (now that the pipeline is here). With a straight SDK, however, you could implement a game in whatever fashion you see fit using whatever styles/tools/languages best fit your given need.

Neutral Gamer3704d ago (Edited 3704d ago )

... it's much appreciated.

I agree the express editions of Visual Studio are very productive. I'd been doing most of my programming in C++ and Win32 before but after I started using Visual C# productivity went up quite a bit. The Intellisense and the C# language itself speed up coding times.

From what I've used so far XNA basically seems like a wrapper for Managed DirectX so I've been finding it pretty easy to use. If you can do 99% of the stuff with XNA then I'm pretty happy and I'm glad I won't have to spend $15,000!

Can't wait to have access to the Xbox Live interface when they release the Professional version so I can make my game multiplayer. That'll be cool!