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What XNA Game Studio 4.0 functionality works in what version of Visual Studio and on what version of Windows

What XNA Game Studio 4.0 functionality works in what version of Visual Studio and on what version of Windows

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Since XNA Game Studio 4.0 and the Windows Phone Developer Tools shipped a couple of weeks ago, I’ve run into some common questions about the supported OS and Visual Studio matrix, so I decided to try to create a couple of tables to better illustrate what XNA Game Studio 4.0 functionality you can use where and provide a little more detail about the install scenarios.

XNA Game Studio 4.0 – how to install

You can download and install XNA Game Studio 4.0 two different ways:

1.  As an integrated part of the Windows Phone Developer Tools

  • This installer works on Windows Vista and Windows 7
  • It includes an edition of Visual Studio
  • It provides the ability to develop games for Windows, Xbox 360 and Windows Phone

2.  As a standalone XNA Game Studio 4.0 package

  • This installer works on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7
  • It does not include an edition of Visual Studio – you must install Visual Studio 2010 yourself before being allowed to install the standalone package
  • It provides the ability to develop games for Windows and Xbox 360

The following tables provide different views into what functionality is supported where.

XNA Game Studio 4.0 – Supported Visual Studio editions

The following table shows what type of games you can develop with XNA Game Studio 4.0 in what editions of Visual Studio 2010.

  Windows games Xbox 360 games Windows Phone games
Visual Studio 2010 Pro/Premium/Ultimate (devenv.exe) Yes Yes Yes*
Visual C# 2010 Express (vcsexpress.exe) Yes Yes No
Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone (vpdexpress.exe) Yes* Yes* Yes*

In the table above, Yes* means that the scenario is supported, but only if you install the Windows Phone Developer Tools.  It is not supported if you only install the standalone XNA Game Studio 4.0 product.

XNA Game Studio 4.0 – Supported operating systems

The following table shows what type of games you can develop with XNA Game Studio 4.0 on what versions of Windows.

  Windows games Xbox 360 games Windows Phone games
Windows XP Yes Yes No
Windows Vista Yes Yes Yes*
Windows 7 Yes Yes Yes*

In the table above, Yes* means that the scenario is supported, but only if you install the Windows Phone Developer Tools.  It is not supported if you only install the standalone XNA Game Studio 4.0 product.

Windows Phone Developer Tools and Visual Studio editions

Windows Phone Developer Tools setup will always install Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone (vpdexpress.exe), even if you already have another edition of Visual Studio 2010 installed.  If you have Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Premium or Ultimate installed, WPDT setup will add Windows Phone development features to those editions of Visual Studio 2010 as well.

WPDT setup has somewhat confusing logic about what shortcuts it creates for Visual Studio 2010 editions.  If it detects that you to not have Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Premium or Ultimate installed, it will create a shortcut to Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone (vpdexpress.exe).  If it detects that you do have Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Premium or Ultimate installed, it will not create a shortcut to Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone (vpdexpress.exe), but it is still installed behind the scenes in case you want to use it.  Regardless of what start menu shortcuts appear after installation, you can launch the supported Visual Studio 2010 editions for XNA Game Studio 4.0 development directly from the following locations (these locations assume that you have installed Visual Studio 2010 to the default location):

  • %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe
  • %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\vcsexpress.exe
  • %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\vpdexpress.exe

Note – in the paths above, you should substitute %ProgramFiles(x86)% for %ProgramFiles% if you are running a 64-bit version of Windows.

  • Here I use the Visual Studio what version of XNA deveriausar send me the link please and my computer and Windows 7 Profisional have a problem?

  • Hi Luan - I'm sorry, but I don't understand your question.  Are you trying to install XNA Game Studio on Windows 7 and running into setup errors?

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