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Software Installation Notes

XNA Game Studio 4.0 leverages the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 development environment, extending it for game development. It can be installed as a discrete setup component, or as part of the Microsoft Windows Phone SDK setup.

Microsoft Windows Phone SDK Setup

The Microsoft Windows Phone SDK provide a complete development package for Windows Phone. It includes Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express edition, as well as all project templates and assemblies for developing Windows Phone applications.

Microsoft Windows Phone SDK setup also installs XNA Game Studio 4.0. In addition to the XNA Game Studio 4.0 components for developing Windows and Xbox 360 games and game libraries, the Microsoft Windows Phone SDK install extensions to develop games and game libraries for Windows Phone.

After the Microsoft Windows Phone SDK package is installed, all supported versions of Visual Studio 2010 will include XNA Game Studio project templates for the following platforms:

  • Windows Games
  • Windows Game Libraries
  • Xbox 360 Games
  • Xbox 360 Game Libraries
  • Windows Phone Games
  • Windows Phone Game Libraries
  • Content Pipeline Libraries

These XNA Game Studio 4.0 project templates will also be available in all installed editions of Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.

Multiple Editions of Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

Windows will support multiple editions (Professional or Express) of Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 installed on the same computer. This includes the Express edition of Visual Studio installed as part of the Microsoft Windows Phone SDK.

After XNA Game Studio 4.0 or the Microsoft Windows Phone SDK package is installed, associated project templates and assemblies are available in all installed versions of Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.

Side-by-side Installations of XNA Game Studio

It is possible to have both XNA Game Studio 4.0 and previous versions of XNA Game Studio (such as XNA Game Studio 3.1) installed on the same computer without conflict.

This is possible in part because XNA Game Studio 4.0 is compatible only with Visual Studio 2010, while earlier versions of XNA Game Studio are compatible only with a previous edition of Visual Studio. To install (or retain) an earlier version of XNA Game Studio, the compatible edition of Visual Studio must also be (or remain) installed. The project templates and assemblies for the older version of XNA Game Studio will only be available in that edition of Visual Studio.

For example, XNA Game Studio 3.1 requires Visual Studio 2008. To create and build XNA Game Studio 3.1 games, you will use Visual Studio 2008. Creating and building XNA Game Studio 4.0 games can be performed only within Visual Studio 2010.

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