XNA Game Studio Express announced 14. August 2006 Game Development Comment (0) Microsoft announced the new XNA Game Studio Express Development Enviroment today. If you don't know much about the XNA Framework yet, check out http://msdn.microsoft.com/directx/xna/As you can see from the URL XNA has something to do with DirectX. It is not really the next version, because XNA only uses DirectX 9.0c right now and Direct3D 10 will come with Vista and allow more advanced shader features. But XNA is a big step into crossplatform development and making it easy for everyone to develop XBox 360 games.As Tom Miller pointed out the press release is out and many sites have covered it already, read all these stories here. I won't repeat all these news stories, but basically everyone is excited and happy to see that everyone can now try to make XBox 360 games with help of the XNA Framework. David Weller will do some talks about XNA Game Studio on the Microsoft Gamefest Conference today, we will know more details in a day or two. It will also be announced at the keynote in a few hours, when even more sites will report on XNA :-)You can read on the XNA site: "A beta of XNA Game Studio Express will be released on August 30, 2006. To receive a notification when the Beta is available, please go to http://connect.microsoft.com and select "Available Connections." Then choose the XNA connection and follow the link to sign up for the XNA Game Studio Express Beta."This means you can try out XNA Studio shortly and check out many of the great new features. XNA is kinda the successor of MDX 2.0, which was never released (it reached only beta state). XNA will be programmed in c# (I told ya, ok, I didn't, but it is still great). You will also have new tools available at your disposal like a solid content management pipeline. This means you can now immediately drop your content files (textures, models) in their native format (whatever is supported, dunno yet, great would be .max or .psd files) into your project and all associated textures and model data is extracted and can be used directly in your game.More on XNA in a couple of days, dunno what I can say yet and what I can't, so lets wait :) I will certainly take an early look at XNA Framework and give you guys some code, examples and maybe even games (is that a hint, no way, I didn't say anything, arg, stop talking, ...) Other Updates: AppTrafficMonitorLite and AbiTrafficMonitor are now merged together. Instead of developing the same features in AbiTrafficMonitor again, I just imported everything from the old tool. AbiTrafficMonitor runs much more stable than the old version. Download AbiTrafficMonitor v1.2 here. I updated my CR_Commenter plugin. It is now tested with CodeRush 2.0 and the installer uses the correct 2.0 directory now. More about CR_Commenter v1.7 can be found in this post. Download CR_Commenter v1.7 here.