Dave Mitchell: PS3 Linux can’t compare to XNA

As you know, XNA is a set of tools from Microsoft to help homebrew developers make their own applications and games. To run your games on Xbox 360, you pay a year to join the “Creators Club” (those are US dollars). If other people want to run your games on their Xbox 360s, it looks they need to get your source code and they also need to be Creators Club members – but it looks like that will change and everybody can access homebrew games (more about that later).

XNA

Let’s look at Dave Mitchell’s interview with Gamasutra. Dave Mitchell, the Director of Marketing for the game development branch of Microsoft, has a right to talk like a fanboy because that’s his job. So when he’s trying to drum up support for the new XNA Game Studio Express and Creators Club, he doesn’t just talk about MS plans; he also has to answer questions that compare them to Sony‘s PS3 features.

Sony PS3 Linux is not the same thing. Sony made a pro-homebrew move with the PS3 by allowing Linux (but has some big restrictions like not giving access to the RSX graphics chipset). Mitchell said that Sony should be “commended” for that pro-homebrew move, but it is not “a competitive offering or trying to do something in the same vein.” The big difference is the level of support – PS3 Linux is a matter of giving access, but XNA is a matter of giving people tools and encouragement.

He throws out some press-friendly quotations:

  • “The fundamental difference here is not just about providing access to a platform, it’s really about making an investment in something, and ensuring that people who will want to make games on your game console are successful in doing that.”
  • “What we are focused on doing is providing great tools at a free or low price point that are going to enable consumers to be absolutely successful at creating games for both the Windows and the Xbox 360 platforms.”

He compared it to YouTube, and we agree with that kind of vision. For us YouTube is an organization where people upload their own videos – it’s a flood of user-generated content – and these users are normal people like the creepy people across the street to huge business like CBS and NBC. XNA has that kind of vision of user-made applications and games – and that vision actually fits in with the business model of Microsoft.

Universal sharing of homebrew games for *all* Xbox 360 users (not just Creator Club members). According to Gamasutra, “The Microsoft exec also hinted that sharing Creators Club games universally over all Xbox 360 users was a major priority for the company next year.” According to Mitchell, it’s like this:

I make a game and I send it over to you to have you check out my game, and you’re not a member of the Creators Club, I’d still love for you to be able to play it. That’s absolutely the scenario that we want to support and start working on and enabling that in 2007.

Good news, don’t you think?

As you know, XNA is a set of tools from Microsoft to help homebrew developers make their own applications and games. To run your games on Xbox 360, you pay a year to join the “Creators Club” (those are US dollars). If other people want to run your games on their Xbox 360s, it looks they need to get your source code and they also need to be Creators Club members – but it looks like that will change and everybody can access homebrew games (more about that later).

XNA

Let’s look at Dave Mitchell’s interview with Gamasutra. Dave Mitchell, the Director of Marketing for the game development branch of Microsoft, has a right to talk like a fanboy because that’s his job. So when he’s trying to drum up support for the new XNA Game Studio Express and Creators Club, he doesn’t just talk about MS plans; he also has to answer questions that compare them to Sony‘s PS3 features.

Sony PS3 Linux is not the same thing. Sony made a pro-homebrew move with the PS3 by allowing Linux (but has some big restrictions like not giving access to the RSX graphics chipset). Mitchell said that Sony should be “commended” for that pro-homebrew move, but it is not “a competitive offering or trying to do something in the same vein.” The big difference is the level of support – PS3 Linux is a matter of giving access, but XNA is a matter of giving people tools and encouragement.

He throws out some press-friendly quotations:

  • “The fundamental difference here is not just about providing access to a platform, it’s really about making an investment in something, and ensuring that people who will want to make games on your game console are successful in doing that.”
  • “What we are focused on doing is providing great tools at a free or low price point that are going to enable consumers to be absolutely successful at creating games for both the Windows and the Xbox 360 platforms.”

He compared it to YouTube, and we agree with that kind of vision. For us YouTube is an organization where people upload their own videos – it’s a flood of user-generated content – and these users are normal people like the creepy people across the street to huge business like CBS and NBC. XNA has that kind of vision of user-made applications and games – and that vision actually fits in with the business model of Microsoft.

Universal sharing of homebrew games for *all* Xbox 360 users (not just Creator Club members). According to Gamasutra, “The Microsoft exec also hinted that sharing Creators Club games universally over all Xbox 360 users was a major priority for the company next year.” According to Mitchell, it’s like this:

I make a game and I send it over to you to have you check out my game, and you’re not a member of the Creators Club, I’d still love for you to be able to play it. That’s absolutely the scenario that we want to support and start working on and enabling that in 2007.

Good news, don’t you think?

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