Microsoft has made an announcement regarding one of their development tools, the XNA Game Studio Express. Anyone with a Windows XP based PC will be allowed to develop games using the software for the PC and Xbox 360.
It looks like Microsoft’s next move might be something along the lines of a “Community Arcade” space.
With the upcoming XNA Game Studio Express release, users will be able to connect their PC to their Xbox 360 and port their game to the console to play — but they won’t be able to upload it or transfer it to their friends via the Live network. They will, however, be able to email their game files to friends, or download the game to a memory stick and take it to a friend’s house where it can be loaded on to the PC and then ported on to their Xbox 360.
Obviously, Internet sites could start appearing where players can download these homebrewed Xbox 360 titles and then port them over to their PC — Microsoft hopes to see a community grow around the toolset — but the logistical issues for a “Community Arcade” are still pretty numerous.
It should be interesting to see if such a low point of entry enables gamers to let their fantasies run wild or if Microsoft will clip it in the heels when bad people try to use the software to do bad things.