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Connecting to Your Xbox 360 with XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh

XNA Game Studio makes it easy for you to create games for both Windows and the Xbox 360. By joining App Hub and by downloading XNA Game Studio, you can begin developing for your Windows-based computer. To begin developing for Xbox 360, follow these additional steps.

This guide assumes you have already installed a supported version of Visual Studio tools and XNA Game Studio. You must install these products before you connect to an Xbox 360.

Step 1: Sign In to Xbox LIVE

Turn on your Xbox 360 console and sign in to Xbox LIVE. At the very least, you will need a Silver Xbox LIVE membership, an App Hub membership, and a hard drive for your Xbox 360 to be able to develop games for Xbox 360 by using XNA Game Studio. You must be connected to Xbox LIVE while you are in XNA Game Studio Connect or playing an XNA Game Studio game.

Connections between your Xbox 360 and XNA Game Studio require an App Hub membership .

Step 2: Download XNA Game Studio Connect

You must download XNA Game Studio Connect from Xbox LIVE Marketplace, and install it on the Xbox 360. Go to Xbox LIVE Marketplace to find XNA Game Studio Connect. To download XNA Game Studio Connect, choose one of the following options:

Browsing to All Games Using the Guide

  • From the Guide, navigate to the Marketplace blade.
  • Select Game Marketplace, and then All Games. This brings you to the All Games screen.
  • Continue with Downloading XNA Game Studio Connect from the All Games screen, below.

Browsing to All Games Using the New Xbox Experience (NXE) UI

  • Navigate to Game Marketplace, and then select Explore Game Content. Press A on the controller.
  • Select Browse, and then press A. This brings you to the Titles A-Z screen.
  • Continue with Downloading XNA Game Studio Connect from the Titles A-Z screen, below.
Bb975643.Xbox_Titles_A_Z_Menu(en-us,XNAGameStudio.41).png

Once you've arrived at the Titles A-Z screen from the Guide or from NXE, use the following procedure to download XNA Game Studio Connect.

Downloading XNA Game Studio Connect from the Titles A-Z screen

  • From Titles A-Z, browse to X screen, and then press A. This presents a list of titles:

    Bb975643.Xbox_X_Menu_Creators_Club(en-us,XNAGameStudio.41).png
  • Scroll to XNA Creators Club, and then press A.

  • From the XNA Creators Club pane, select extras, and then select XNA Game Studio Connect.

    Bb975643.Xbox_XNA_Creators_Club_Pane(en-us,XNAGameStudio.41).png
  • Press the A controller button, and then select Confirm Download to begin downloading.

Step 3: Connect Your Xbox 360 and Windows-based Computer

When you develop games for Xbox 360, you develop them on Windows and then transfer them over your local network to your Xbox 360. This requires that your computer and Xbox 360 share the same subnet. Most home networking layouts support this configuration. If your console and computer share a router or a 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, Generate a Connection Key:

  1. From the Xbox Dashboard, go to My Xbox, select Game Library, and then press the A controller button.

    Also, you have the option of using the Xbox Guide: select the Games tab, then Game Library, and press the A controller button.

  2. From the Game Library, go to the Collections tab, select Indie Games, and then press A.

  3. Select XNA Game Studio Connect, and then press A.

  4. Next select Launch, and then press A.

    The XNA Game Studio Connect screen appears.

    Bb975643.ConnectXbox_ConnectionKey(en-us,XNAGameStudio.41).jpg
  5. Choose an option:

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

      - or -

    • If the connection key does not appear, you can generate a new key by pressing the X controller button.

      - or -

    • 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 device center. To add a new connection key to the list of connection keys recognized by this Xbox 360, press X. To reset all connection keys and generate a new connection key to connect to this Xbox 360, press Y.

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

  1. From the Start menu, select Programs, select XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh , and then launch the XNA Game Studio Device Center.

    Bb975643.note(en-us,XNAGameStudio.41).gifNote
    You can also use the XNA Game Studio Device Management toolbar to directly launch XNA Game Studio Device Center, and add a device. Visual Studio 2008 displays the XNA Game Studio Device Management toolbar by default when an Xbox 360 game is open in Visual Studio.
  2. Click Add Device.

    Bb975643.DeviceCenter_AddDevice(en-us,XNAGameStudio.41).png
  3. Select the type of device you're adding. In this case, click Xbox 360 .

    Bb975643.ConnectXbox_Add1(en-us,XNAGameStudio.41).png
  4. Enter a name for this Xbox 360, and then click Next.

    Bb975643.ConnectXbox_Add2(en-us,XNAGameStudio.41).png

    This name serves only to identify your Xbox 360 to XNA Game Studio. The name does not need to correspond to any other computer or Xbox 360 name.

  5. Enter the connection key that is displayed in XNA Game Studio Connect on the Xbox 360.

    Bb975643.ConnectXbox_Add3(en-us,XNAGameStudio.41).png
    Bb975643.note(en-us,XNAGameStudio.41).gifNote

    The connection key might be difficult to read on a standard television screen. The following guide should help you identify specific letters and numbers:

    • The number "1" has a small tick at its top left; the capital letter "I" does not.
    • The capital letter "B" has a straight line on the left; the number "8" does not.
    • The number "3," sometimes mistaken for a "B," also has no straight side on the left.
    • The number "0" and the capital letter "O" are so similar that XNA Game Studio Connect treats these characters as the same. Therefore, the number "0" and the capital letter "O" are interchangeable.

    If the connection key is still too difficult to read, press X on the Xbox 360 controller to generate a new connection key.

  6. 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.

    Bb975643.note(en-us,XNAGameStudio.41).gifNote
    • If the connection is successful, the XNA Game Studio Device Center on the Windows-based computer will display "Successfully connected to the Xbox 360." 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 in the XNA Game Studio Device Center.

    • If the XNA Game Studio Device Center fails to connect to the Xbox 360, 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 deployment.

  7. Click Finish.

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

Step 4: Create and Deploy an Xbox 360 Project

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

  1. On your Windows-based computer, at the main Visual Studio screen select File menu, and then click New Project.

  2. From Project types, expand the Visual C#, and then click XNA Game Studio 4.0.

  3. In Templates, select Xbox 360 Game (4.0), and then click OK.

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

  4. From the Xbox Dashboard, go to My Xbox, select Game Library, and then press A on the controller.

    You can also use the Guide: select the Games tab, select Game Library, and then press A.

  5. From the Game Library, go to the Collections tab, select Indie Games, and then press A.

  6. Select XNA Game Studio Connect, and then press A.

  7. Select Launch, and press A.

    The XNA Game Studio Connect screen appears.

    Bb975643.ConnectXbox_ConnectToComputer(en-us,XNAGameStudio.41).jpg
  8. 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, 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. You can now deploy and play any game you create on your console.

  9. 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 press SHIFT+F5 to stop debugging on your computer.

    If the deployment fails, you may need to check your network settings. See troubleshooting 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 on the Recent Games tab in the Game Library on your Xbox 360. It can also be found by selecting Indie Games on the Collections tab in your Game Library. Using Game Library, you can play any of the games you have deployed to your Xbox 360. From Game Library, you can also delete games you do not want to keep.

Once your game is loaded onto the hard drive so that it appears in the Recent Games tab of the Game Library on your Xbox 360, it can be transferred to a memory unit if one is installed. From System Settings on your Xbox 360, the Memory selection enables you to transfer a game from the hard disk to the memory unit. The memory unit can then be installed on any other Xbox 360 and played or copied.

Bb975643.note(en-us,XNAGameStudio.41).gifImportant
Only XNA Framework games built and deployed with XNA Game Studio 3.0 and later can be transferred to a memory unit. If you want to transfer a game developed under an earlier version of XNA Game Studio, you must convert, build, and deploy the project by using the current version of XNA Game Studio.

A good next step would be to use some of the tutorials. The code used in the tutorials works on both Windows-based computers and on Xbox 360, so you can try either platform to get a feel for how to develop for both.

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