Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Game Developers Conference

The GDC kicks off for real today, and there's already an internet rumour that Microsoft is preparing to announce something big regarding the Xbox. I've also heard (separately) that they're revealing something about XNA that may or may not be a big deal. I'm going to update this post over the next few days as information starts to leak out from the show.

Update 1: Microsoft are finally going to deliver on their XNA promises. Using a system that they describe as the "democratisation of content", end gamers will be able to download and play XNA games built by members of the Creator's Club.

Members will submit an XNA game to the club, and it will then be subject to a peer review. Other CC members will decide if the game is worthy of delivery to Live where - upon approval - it will appear for download by Live users. It hasn't been said whether there will be a fee for the end gamer for this (I sincerely hope not!), but seven sample games are already up on Live and are free for everyone to download right now. Confusingly, all the games are on a 17-day trial period. Whether this is because in 17 days the service will be going live for real, or if it's because the final system will be a pay-to-play service, I don't know.

It's exciting though. Even though I did lose interest in XNA, I intend to get involved in the testing and voting of other user-created games whilst I still hold my CC membership. It might even be the kick up the ass I need to get me to finish some games!

Oh, then Cliffy B announced Gears 2 for November. Can't wait.

Update 2: So it appears that the whole XNA dealie won't be around until the end of the year. On top of that, there is going to be money involved, but MS still haven't fleshed that side of things out yet. They're saying that you'll be able to set a price for your content or give it away. I hope that doesn't mean that average joe gamer will have to pay a subscription to download XNA games, because that will completely defeat the point.

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