Hello from sunny Seattle.
This morning Chris Satchell, General Manager of the Game Developer Group made a couple of great announcements.
First, he announce a new product called XNA Game Studio Professional which will allow companies to build commercial games on the XNA Framework. It will include all the XNA Framework tools, Visual Studio 2005 an will permit the creation of cross-platform games on XBox 360 and Windows Vista.
Even more exciting though was the announcement of another product called XNA Game Studio Express with a beta available as soon as the end of the month. As it's name imply it will be free for Windows and allow a brand new generation of game developers to come on board the XNA platform. There will also be a subscription available for $99 a year that will allow you to build, compile and run your games on a standard retail XBox 360 console. A club is being created as well called the XNA Creator's club that will allow an easy venue for sharing these games.
As you can see Microsoft is really serious in opening up the game market to a new breed of developers and I look forward to bringing back some of the content to all of you.
N.B. I'm typing this between sessions so I'll have more info soon.