Finally the marriage between Xbox LIVE and XNA has been announced. Major Nelson live blogged it from GDC (Game Developers Conference) in San Francisco on his twitter feed and promptly posted about it.
It was just announced at GDC that we are introducing a new, open distribution service for games created by the community. Games created with the XNA Game Studio will be available over Xbox LIVE. Later today, seven games created by the community will be available for download over Xbox LIVE.
Up until this announcement community and hobbyist game developers have been rather limited in terms of distribution of their games. XNA games produced using the awesome (and free) XNA Game Studio 2.0 have only been able to distribute XNA games through the paid for XNA Creators Club. An open distribution service sounds like an awesome new facility that could seriously blow open the casual gaming market for hobbyist and community game developers.
Other highlights I happened to notice on Major’s live blogging feed up to this minute include:
- XNA games are coming to the Zune. This could be a huge leap for the Zune mobile media player that could start to encroach on the iPod’s market share.
- There will be over 1,000 games on the Xbox 360 by the end of the year.
- The Halo 3 community is uploading approximately 100,000 pieces of user generated content per day, that is 30% more content than all of the daily uploads on YouTube.
- As of 2007, gaming is bigger than music on a global basis. Wow, I’m sure the music executives can’t be too happy about that, watch out film industry, you’re next. 😉
Watch this space for more interesting tidbits as they get announced.