XNA is finally out!

XNA

The new solution for creating windows-based games has just gone beta.  Personally, i’ve been waiting to see what its going to be like since I heard the talks at TechEd 2005, so i’m off to grab my copy.

Its good that they’re planning a version that will be free for hobbyists (along with vc# and all the other express versions), and the idea of cross-compilation to the xbox 360 is fantastic (wish we could add some other platforms in there though. Linux and Mac anyone?) but there is one question that occured to me that doesn’t seem to have been asked or answered anywhere.  I’d appreciate it if anyone could point me in the right direction.

The site talks about installing the xna beta framework over the top of visual c# express for the full package.  However, I run a full version of visual c# 2005, not an express version, and am unlikely to downgrade for the sake of xna.  How well is it going to play with other editions of Visual Studio?

I may not be a professional game developer that they’ll be targeting their eventual XNA Studio at, but I am a professional developer.

In anycase, it looks like Microsoft may be dropping development on managed directx altogether in favor of XNA.  I hope they make XNA flexible enough to handle it.

Edit:

Looks like it wont play nice with any version other than Visual C# Express until professional versions are released.  That said, there is still two lots of good news.  1) Visual C# 2005 will run alongside other 2005 editions with no problem.  2) Apparently if you extract the dlls from the XNA GDE package, you can use them to develop in other visual studio editions, just not using the gde ui extensions.

A few places i’ve read suggest we can run express editions next to visual studio 2003 as well.  That might be something i’ll try on my laptop in the coming weeks.

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