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#1 ncncnc  Icon User is offline

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XNA press release?

Posted 12 October 2012 - 02:40 AM

Hi all,

I understand that Microsoft are no longer supporting XNA or bringing out new versions. Is it possible to get a link to some kind of official announcement about this? or an article? I've googled it, but all I can seem to find is forum posts and people complaining about it :online2long:


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#2 Kilorn  Icon User is offline

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Re: XNA press release?

Posted 12 October 2012 - 05:34 AM

As far as I know, there really hasn't been an official notice from Microsoft that "XNA is no longer supported". All XNA games still work with the desktop side of Windows 8.
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#3 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: XNA press release?

Posted 12 October 2012 - 11:31 AM

I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what Microsoft's future intentions are regarding XNA and 3D graphics in C# (even if there is no XNA in the future). I've scoured the internet pretty thoroughly and can't find anything where they say anything. That's the problem. They've got a new OS (Windows 8) coming out October 25th where all software will have to be completly re-designed.

As Kilorn points out, old software will run in Windows 8 as a "desktop" app. My understanding is that the "desktop" will be a Windows 8 app that basically emulates Windows 7. Old programs will continue to run inside of there. However, anything new that runs as an actual Windows 8 app will have to be completely rebuilt. For C# that means C# 5.0. But I think it's safe to assume that XNA will not work with C# 5.0. I'm reading my first C# 5.0 book right now and hoping it might have something to say on the matter since the author is an XNA guy.

Anyway, the "problem" is that Microsoft has been totally silent (omminiously silent) with regards to what future XNA has in C# 5.0. XNA 3.0 only worked with Visual C# 2008. XNA 4.0 only worked with Visual C# 2010. We now have Visual C# 2012. Is there an XNA version we can use with it? So far, I think the answer to that is no. And you can only develop Windows 8 apps using Visual C# 2012, otherwise it will run under the "desktop".

So, it's not that Microsoft has made an official statement anywhere. They haven't. But it's the fact that even the XNA MVP's doen't seem to know what the future is for XNA that's scary.

I'm "hoping" that when Win8 is released at the end of this month that they will make an annoucement. Or at least when Windows Phone 8 is released (I heard a rumor that it will be released at the same time) maybe then they will let us know where we're going.

I know that they've kept Windows Phone 8 under pretty tight wraps. I presume they see WP8 as their chance to "get back in the game" with their competition between themselves, Google, and Apple. And I think they are keeping their "cards close to their vest" until they are ready to "play their hand".

So the "optimist" in me wants to believe that they are coming up with something similar to XNA that will be based on C# to help people develop for WP8, XBox 720, and Windows 8.

It's pretty certain that that new thing will not be XNA, as we know it today. Windows 8 is radically different and much more closely tied to DirectX with WinRT. So, I believe XNA 5.0 (for lack of a better name) would have to be radically different under the hood. Maybe it would be so different that they would give it a brand new name and consider it a totally seperate product.

Now I'll tell you what the "pesimist" in me thinks. ;-)

The pessimist in me thinks that Microsoft is losing money like a sinking ship trying to bail out all the water. That side of me believes Microsoft is cutting departments and budgets and looking for anything that doesn't "make money" and can be thrown overboard. I don't know that XNA has been a big money maker for Microsoft. It was a really nice thing of them to do to give us XNA for free, but did it ever really bring in revenue? I don't know, but I doubt it. Not that many people were buying WP7 and even fewer writing games for it. I don't know that anyone really released anything for the XBox in XNA that really benifited Microsoft. I'm not sure that XBox owners ever really got excited about games written in XNA. I kind of get the impression that 99.9% of everything ever written in XNA was stuff that no one would want to buy. I just don't see how this made money for them.

HTML5 is out and is considered by some to be the platform for developing new 2D games. XNA was used probably 9 times out of 10 to create 2D games and not 3D. Do they really want to continue to support a framework like XNA just for 3D game programmers. Most of the serious 3D programmers are going to work in C++, and not C# or XNA. (I personally believe XNA has been the language to learn 3D game programming in, but that doesn't mean that supporting it is a good business decision for Microsoft.)

So, if 2D games are mostly going to be written in HTML5, rather than .Net and even what's written in C# will be done using XAML and C#, then do they really need to spend the money to continue to support XNA? If all the 2D game writters are moving over to those platforms, then is it worth it to continue to push C# without XAML for 3D when very few XNA programmers work in 3D?

I don't know. I'm a little worried that Microsoft might be saying "You're on your own now. We're no longer going to give you support like we did with XNA. Either figure out how to do it with HTML5 or learn C++." But it's their silence that's the most frightening.

But again, I'm rooting for the optimist in me that thinks it's in Microsoft's best interest to help independant game studios develop 3D apps for Windows Phone 8 in order to compete with other phones. There's no doubt that you can develop business apps for Windows Phone 8. But are they going to expect everyone to learn C++ in order to write 3D games for Windows Phone 8. And quite frankly, as phones get faster, and screens get bigger, over the next couple of years I expect 3D games to be popular on mobile devices. Surely, Microsoft understands that to win in that marketplace they need to help independent game developers.

I don't know. Do you have to learn C++ to write games for iPhone? Or can you work with a rich library/framework like Java?

So, the optimist in me is holding on to the dream that Microsoft is just waiting for WP8 to hit the market and finally be unveiled. Then they can end their top secrecy and announce to the world their new game design framework for .Net whether it's called XNA 5.0 or something else.

This post has been edited by BBeck: 12 October 2012 - 11:34 AM

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