What's New in This Release

Describes new features and changes in Microsoft® XNA® Game Studio.

Xbox LIVE Community Games

XNA Game Studio 3.0 supports Xbox LIVE Community Games which enables you to distribute your Xbox 360 games using Xbox LIVE Marketplace. For more information, go to the Creators Club Online website.

To assist you in developing complete games for Xbox LIVE Community Games, we've created two new advanced tutorials.

Changes to the Development Environment and Tools

Upgrading Your XNA Game Studio 2.0 Projects to XNA Game Studio 3.0

To use the new features of XNA Game Studio 3.0 in games that you have already developed, you will need to upgrade your game projects. For information about upgrading your games to XNA Game Studio 3.0 see the Upgrade Guide: XNA Game Studio 2.0 to XNA Game Studio 3.0 topic.

Support for Visual Studio 2008 Products

XNA Game Studio 3.0 installs and runs Visual C#® 2008 Express Edition, as well as the following Visual Studio® 2008 products:

  • Visual Studio 2008 Standard
  • Visual Studio 2008 Professional
  • Visual Studio 2008 Tools for the Microsoft Office System
  • Visual Studio 2008 Team Edition for Software Architects
  • Visual Studio 2008 Team Edition for Software Developers
  • Visual Studio 2008 Team Edition for Software Testers
  • Visual Studio 2008 Team Edition for Database Professionals
  • Visual Studio 2008 Team Suite

For more information, see the Required Software topic.

Support for C# 3.0

XNA Game Studio 3.0 supports the new language features available in C# 3.0. These include: query expressions, extension methods, lambda expressions, expression trees, and partial methods. These new features are available on all the target game platforms - Windows, Xbox 360, and Zune. For more information, see the Overview of C# 3.0.

Support for Games for Zune

XNA Game Studio 3.0 supports developing games that run on the Microsoft Zune digital media player. For more information, see Zune Programming Considerations and Connecting to Your Zune Device with XNA Game Studio.

Improved Support for Cross-Platform Games

XNA Game Studio 3.0 provides additional and approved facilities for developing games that run on multiple platforms (Windows, Xbox 360 and Zune). These include linked game projects and content projects, and multiple content projects within a game platform. For more information, see Developing Cross-Platform Games and its subtopics.

XNA Game Studio 3.0 Now Supports ClickOnce Deployment for Windows

With XNA Game Studio 3.0 you can share your Windows games using ClickOnce deployment. For more information, see the Distributing Your Finished Windows Game topic.

Transparent Content Compression and Decompression

XNA Game Studio 3.0 automatically compresses and decompresses content (textures, shaders, meshes, etc.) for games built to execute on Windows and Xbox 360 platforms. In addition to requiring less storage space, this will reduce deployment time. For more information, see the Content Compression topic.

Changes to the XNA Framework API

Media API

XNA Game Studio 3.0 includes a media library class, which enables you to access content, such as songs, playlists, and pictures in a device's media library. It also includes support for music visualization. The media library class works with all three target platforms--Windows, Xbox 360, and Zune.

SoundEffect API

In XNA Game Studio 3.0, the SoundEffect classes enable you to generate sound effects without using the XACT tool. The SoundEffect classes integrate with the content pipeline and support WAV, WMA, and MP3 audio formats.

Marketplace Offers and Trial Mode Testing

Rich Presence

Games can now control the online presence information that is displayed to other players when Xbox LIVE Community Games are played.

Game Invitations

Multiplayer game invitations are now supported across games and in-game via the Guide.

Networking Improvements

Behavior of Local Sessions

XNA Game Studio 3.0 introduces a change in the behavior of network sessions when local profiles sign out in the middle of a session. In previous versions of XNA Game Studio, a session would end whenever a player signed out. Now, profiles that sign out are removed from the session, and the session will be ended only if there are no suitable players left in the session.



Application Model


Content Pipeline

Community Additions