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Connecting to Your Xbox 360 Console with XNA Game Studio 2.0

This article provides the steps necessary to connect and deploy a game to your Xbox 360 console using XNA Game Studio Connect.

XNA Game Studio allows you to easily create games for both your Windows-based computer and your Xbox 360 console. By simply downloading XNA Game Studio, you can begin developing for your Windows-based computer. To begin developing for Xbox 360, follow these additional steps.

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This guide assumes you have already installed a supported version of Visual Studio tools and XNA Game Studio. These products must be installed before connecting to an Xbox 360 console. For information about installing these products, see Setup and System Requirements.

Step 1: Sign In to Xbox LIVE

Turn on your Xbox 360 console and sign in to Xbox LIVE. You will need at least a Silver Xbox LIVE membership, an XNA Creators Club membership, and a hard drive for your Xbox 360 console to be able to develop games for Xbox 360 using XNA Game Studio. While you are in XNA Game Studio Connect or playing an XNA Game Studio game, you must remain connected to Xbox LIVE.

Step 2: Download XNA Game Studio Connect

XNA Game Studio Connect must be downloaded from Xbox LIVE Marketplace and installed on the Xbox 360 console. XNA Game Studio Connect is listed on Xbox LIVE Marketplace next to the XNA Creators Club Subscription, which may be found by selecting Game Store, More..., Genres, and then Other.

Step 3: Connect Your Xbox 360 Console and Windows-Based Computer

When you develop games for Xbox 360, you develop them on your Windows-based computer, then transfer them over your local network to your Xbox 360 console. This requires that your Windows-based computer and Xbox 360 console share the same subnet. Most home networking layouts support this configuration. If your console and computer share a router or hub, it is likely that they share the same subnet.

With your computer and console on the same subnet, follow these steps to set up a connection between your computer and your console.

Step 3A. On Your Xbox 360 Console, Generate a Connection Key:

  1. From the Xbox Dashboard, select the Games tab.
  2. From the item list, select Games Library and press the A controller button.
  3. From the Games Library list, select My Games and press the A controller button.
  4. Select XNA Game Studio Connect and press the A controller button.
  5. Select Launch and press the A controller button.

    This displays the XNA Game Studio Connect screen.

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  6. If the XNA Game Studio Connect screen displays a connection key, continue to step 3B.

    If the connection key does not appear, a new key can be generated by pressing the X controller button.

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    If the connection key does not appear, the Xbox console could already be connected to this Windows-based computer. XNA Game Studio allows multiple connection keys for multiple users on multiple computers. For more information, see Using XNA Game Studio Device Center.

    To add a new connection key to the list of connection keys recognized by this Xbox 360 console, press the X controller button.

    To reset all connection keys and generate a new connection key to connect to this Xbox 360 console, press the Y controller button.

Step 3B. On Your Windows-Based Computer, Enter the Connection Key and Initiate the Connection

  1. From the Start menu, click Programs.
  2. Click Microsoft XNA Game Studio 2.0.
  3. Click XNA Game Studio Device Center.
  4. Click the Add Device button.

    Alternatively, the XNA Game Studio Device Management 2.0 toolbar allows you to directly launch XNA Game Studio Device Center and add a device. Visual Studio 2005 displays the XNA Game Studio Device Management 2.0 toolbar by default when an Xbox 360 game is open in Visual Studio.

  5. Enter a name for this Xbox 360 console. This name serves only to identify your Xbox 360 console to XNA Game Studio. The name does not need to correspond to any other computer or Xbox 360 name.
  6. Click Next.
  7. On the Xbox 360 display, enter the connection key displayed in XNA Game Studio Connect.

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    The connection key might be somewhat hard to read on a standard television screen. Look at the guide below to help you distinguish between specific letters and numbers:

    • The number "1" has a small tick at its top left, whereas the capital letter "I" does not.
    • The number "8" does not have a straight side at the left, whereas the capital letter "B" does.
    • The number "3" has no straight side at the left, whereas the capital letter "B" does.
    • The number "0" and the capital letter "O" are so similar, XNA Game Studio Connect treats those characters as the same character. Therefore, the number "0" and the capital letter "O" are interchangeable.
    • If the connection key seems difficult to read, press the X controller button to generate a new connection key.
  8. Once you are sure that the two keys match, Click Next on the XNA Game Studio Devices dialog box. XNA Game Studio Device Center will test the connection with the Xbox 360 console.

    If the connection is successful, the XNA Game Studio Device Center on the Windows-based computer will display "Successfully connected to the Xbox 360 console." XNA Game Studio Connect on the Xbox 360 console will display "Waiting for computer connection" followed by the name you have chosen for your Xbox 360 console in the XNA Game Studio Device Center.

    If the XNA Game Studio Device Center fails to connect to the Xbox 360 console, click Try again to edit the connection key and try again. If the connection continues to fail, make a careful note of the error message displayed at the bottom of the XNA Game Studio Devices dialog box. This error message can help you or a technician diagnose the cause of the connection failure, if it did not result from mismatched keys. For more information about troubleshooting a failed connection, see Troubleshooting Xbox 360 Game Deployment.

  9. Click Finish. The name you gave to your Xbox 360 console will be listed in the XNA Game Studio Device Center. From now on, your computer and your console can connect to each other easily.

Step 4: Create and Deploy an Xbox 360 Project

Try out the Xbox 360 console by deploying a simple, blank XNA Game Studio game to it.

  1. On your Windows-based computer, at the main Visual Studio screen, click the File menu, and then click New Project.
  2. From Project types, expand the Visual C# and select XNA Game Studio 2.0.
  3. In Templates, select Xbox 360 Game (2.0).
  4. Click OK.

    At this point, you should bring up XNA Game Studio Connect to prepare the Xbox 360 console to receive content from the Windows-based computer.

  5. From the Xbox Dashboard, select the Games tab.
  6. From the item list, select Games Library and press the A controller button.
  7. From the Games Library list, select My Games and press the A controller button.
  8. Select XNA Game Studio Connect and press the A controller button.
  9. Select Launch and press the A controller button.

    This displays the XNA Game Studio Connect screen.

    Bb975643.ConnectXbox_ConnectToComputer(en-US,XNAGameStudio.20).png
  10. On your Windows-based computer, with your new project open, press the F5 key. The project will build, deploy necessary files to the Xbox 360 console, and run.

    At this point, you should see a simple display on your console, just a blue screen. If you see this screen, you have successfully deployed a game to your Xbox 360 console. You can now deploy and play any game you create on your console.

  11. To stop the game and return to the main screen of XNA Game Studio Connect, either press the BACK button on your Xbox 360 gamepad, or stop debugging on your computer by pressing SHIFT+F5.

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    If the deployment fails, you may need to check your network settings. See Troubleshooting Xbox 360 Game Deployment for more information.

What's Next?

You have successfully deployed your first Xbox 360 game. This game, like every game you deploy, will now appear in the My Games section of Games Library on your Xbox 360 console. Using Games Library, you can play any of the games you have deployed to your Xbox 360 console. From Games Library, you can also delete games you do not want to keep.

A good next step would be to try some of the tutorials. The code used in the tutorials works on both Windows-based computers and on the Xbox 360 console, so you can try either platform to get a feel for how to develop for both. Start with Tutorial 1: Displaying a 3D Model on the Screen for your first taste of game development.

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