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Visual Studio Differences Between Game Platforms

Describes the differences in the appearance and behavior of the integrated development environment (IDE) of XNA Game Studio when developing for the Xbox 360 or Zune.

Assembly Information Dialog Box

You can open the Assembly Information dialog box from the Application page in the Project Designer.

To open the Project Designer

  1. Double-click the Properties folder under the project node in Solution Explorer.

    Or, select [project name] Properties from the Project menu.

  2. On the Application page, click Assembly Information.

Use this dialog box to change the assembly information for the current project. This information includes the game title, company name, copyright, and trademark, plus a brief description. When the game is installed on the target device (such as an Xbox 360 console or Zune), some of this information will be displayed in the game selection interface for that device.

The assembly information specified here only affects the values seen in My Games area of Games Library if the project is a game project. Assembly information of library projects is not used when deploying or displaying information about a game.

Title

This field specifies a title for the assembly manifest, and is required to deploy a game to a game device. On most game devices, only the first 25 characters of this field are displayed.

On the Xbox 360 console, the title is displayed in the My Games area of Games Library.

On Zune, the title is displayed in the Games list.

Description

This field specifies an optional description for the assembly manifest. Only the first 300 characters of this field are displayed.

On the Xbox 360 console, the description is displayed in the My Games area of Games Library.

On Zune, the description is displayed after you select the game from the Games list.

Company
Specifies a company name for the assembly manifest.
Product
Specifies a product name for the assembly manifest.
Copyright
Specifies a copyright notice for the assembly manifest.
Trademark
Specifies a trademark for the assembly manifest.
Assembly Version
Specifies the version of the assembly.
File Version
Specifies a version number that instructs the compiler to use a specific version for the Win32 file version resource (Windows projects only).
GUID
Specifies a unique GUID that identifies the assembly. When you create a project, Visual Studio generates a GUID for the assembly.
Neutral Language
Specifies which culture the assembly supports.
Make Assembly COM-Visible
Specifies whether types within the assembly will be accessible to COM (Windows projects only).

Platform Differences Summary

The differences in operation of the Assembly Information dialog box for specific platforms are:

PlatformsDifferences
Xbox 360, Zune
  1. The File Version field is not available.
  2. The Make Assembly COM-Visible check box is not available.

XNA Game Studio 3.0 Device Management Toolbar

The XNA Game Studio 3.0 Device Management toolbar is an additional toolbar you can use to maintain a list of one or more external game devices (such as Xbox 360 consoles or Zunes) available for deployment. It is available when you load a game project or game library project in supported versions of Visual Studio tools.

For more information, see:

Platform Differences Summary

The differences in operation of the Assembly Information dialog box for specific platforms are:

PlatformsDifferences
Xbox 360, Zune The XNA Game Studio 3.0 Device Management toolbar is available.

Add Reference Dialog Box

Use this dialog box to add component references required by your project. Because the Xbox 360 and Zune platforms do not have the same feature set as the Windows platform, the COM tab is hidden and the .NET tab contains only Xbox 360 or Zune-specific assemblies. These assemblies include:

  • Microsoft.Xna.Framework
  • Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Game
  • mscorlib
  • system
  • system.core
  • system.xml
  • system.xml.linq

These assemblies, with the exception of system.xml, are added automatically to an Xbox 360 or Zune project.

To open the Add References dialog box, right-click the References item in Solution Explorer, and then click Add Reference.

Bb203930.caution(en-US,XNAGameStudio.30).gifCaution
The Projects tab lists all projects in the solution, regardless of platform. The assemblies in the Browse and Recent tabs may also include references to assemblies that are not for the project's platform. Projects must only reference assemblies that are intended for their platform. For example, Xbox 360 projects do not support references to assemblies that target platforms other than Xbox 360, nor do Zune projects support assemblies that do not target Zune.

Platform Differences Summary

The differences in operation of the Assembly Information dialog box for specific platforms are:

PlatformsDifferences
Xbox 360, Zune
  1. The COM tab is not available.
  2. The .NET tab contains only Xbox 360 or Zune-specific assemblies.

Add New Item Dialog Box

You can open the Add New Item dialog box by right-clicking the solution in Solution Explorer or from the Project menu. Use this dialog box to add new Xbox 360 or Zune–supported items. This list contains the following items.

  • C# Class
  • C# Interface
  • C# Code File
  • XML File
  • XML Schema
    Bb203930.note(en-US,XNAGameStudio.30).gifNote
    This option is only available in Microsoft Visual Studio.
  • Text File
  • Assembly Information File
  • Resources File

    Bb203930.caution(en-US,XNAGameStudio.30).gifCaution
    The string resource type is the only built-in resource type supported by Xbox 360 or Zune projects. Adding other resource types such as bitmaps or icons to a resource file may result in compilation errors.
  • Class Diagram
    Bb203930.note(en-US,XNAGameStudio.30).gifNote
    This option is only available in Microsoft Visual Studio.
  • Game Component
  • Content Type Reader

The Assembly Information File template for Xbox 360 or Zune projects excludes the AssemblyFileVersion attribute. Neither the Xbox 360 platform nor the Zune platform support this attribute.

Project Properties

Project properties are grouped into pages in the Project Designer. You can access the Project Designer in the Project menu by clicking Properties, or by double-clicking the Properties item in Solution Explorer. The Project Designer property pages are located in the same middle pane used by the code editor.

  • On the Application page, the Target Framework drop-down list box is disabled for Xbox 360 and Zune projects.
  • On the Build page:
    1. The Platform target drop-down menu has been disabled in supported versions of Microsoft Visual Studio tools.
    2. The Allow unsafe code property is disabled for Zune.
  • On the Content Build page, the Compress content pipeline output files checkbox is disabled for Zune projects.
  • The Debug page has been modified for Xbox 360 and Zune game projects. The Start Action and Enable Debuggers options have been disabled. The Working Directory, Use Remote Machine, and Enable the Visual Studio hosting process controls have also been disabled.
  • The Settings project property page allows you to add a settings file to your Xbox 360 or Zune project. However, note that the settings file is not supported for Xbox 360 or Zune projects.
  • The Security and Publishing pages are hidden.
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