One of the coolest announcments it's ever been my pleasure to share...today, Microsoft announced XNA Game Studio Express, one of a pair of development environments (its sibling is XNA Game Studio Professional) designed to make game development easier and more approachable by providing a rich managed code framework for game development.
The coolest part is that by signing up for the XNA "creators club" ($99/year), you will be able to develop, test, run, and share your games on the XBOX 360. XNA Game Studio Express will allow you to develop both Windows games and XBOX 360 games using the XNA Framework. There are some limitations, so you should definitely read the FAQ.
I will be grabbing this as soon as I can get my hands on it. The truth is that it's pretty likely that any game I develop will be pants (as my brit friends would say...here in the states we'd say crap), but just knowing that I can try my hand at developing a game and then play it on my console is very cool. I'm looking forward to this one. The beta's coming on August 30th, 2006. You can sign up here.
XNA Game Studio Express Announcment
Sign up to be notified of the beta release
Let's Kill Dave! - David Weller's XNA Blog
Lot's o' links on XNA