NEWS - Tuesday, September 6, 2005

MS Facilitates New Xbox 360 Development

You don’t need an Xbox 360 development kit to start coding your Xbox 360 videogame, which is why Microsoft has information readily available on its website for unsigned developers excited to move into production, even without all of the official tools. What’s interesting to glean from the recommendations, however, is audience perception. For example, Microsoft foresees most Xbox 360 users not having much experience with a mouse and keyboard. "Design for controller input, not for keyboard & mouse input. Console players press simple buttons - they don’t move the mouse or tap a keyboard." One of the hacker additions to the original Xbox was the ability to rip a store-bought game onto the hard drive and effectively eliminate load times from the game. Though Xbox 360 will have hard drive options, Microsoft’s ignoring this choice. "Minimize load times. Console games don’t install to a hard drive - they run directly from the game disc, so using the game disc effectively is important." Also related to the hard drive’s status within Xbox 360 are Microsoft’s thoughts on what should and should take advantage of the device. Developers are told to never assume players have their memory units or hard drive currently in the machine, as "a game should have playable modes even if the detachable drive is removed." Interesting...could we have a similar situation to the original Perfect Dark with Perfect Dark Zero? On Nintendo 64, there were many features players couldn’t unlock without specifically purchasing the additional RAM pak. If you’d like to take a look at the document for yourself, it’s on Microsoft’s own servers. Have a gander by clicking here.


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