xna: More Than Visual Studio

Now that GDC has come and gone, life is slowly returning to normal. As part of that, one of things that I noticed at GDC was the response that people had when I handed them one of my business cards that had XNA on it… the first and most popular response was “Oh! What part of VS did you work on?” The other often heard comment was “Oh! You guys are in that bar upstairs, right?” because XNA sponsored the bar in the lobby of Moscone North. Consequently, I made it a point to talk to people about what XNA was to both Microsoft and to the gaming community…

What is this XNA thing anyway? A product? A technology? A group?


When XNA was introduced at GDC in 2004, we talked about a bunch of different technologies that would allow games to be developed faster and with more quality. Between then and GDC 2007 we launched the XNA Game Studio Express product which the world affectionately shortened to “XNA”. As part of the journey that is the technology part of XNA, Microsoft is growing all things that are XNA: anything that Microsoft delivers to game developers is part of XNA.

That’s what caused my own group’s name to change last month. Some of the other changings that you see coming out of both Microsoft and XNA will confirm and strengthen that message. As we continue to grow and offer more technology to game developers, it will all be part of XNA.

What happens to XNA Game Studio Express? Nothing changes. Well, it would be “bad” to refer to it as simplyg “XNA” now – XNA GSE? Game Studio Express? Both good, but XNA a name is about to grow. A lot.

All good stuffs!

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