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Required Software

Describes the software required to use XNA™ Game Studio 3.0.

XNA Game Studio 3.0

To download XNA Game Studio 3.0 itself, go to the Creators Club Online website.

Microsoft Visual Studio 2008

XNA Game Studio 3.0 leverages the Microsoft® Visual Studio 2008 development environment, extending it for game development. You can use XNA Game Studio 3.0 with any supported versions of Visual Studio 2008 tools. Click on one of the following links for more information about using XNA Game Studio 3.0 with Visual Studio 2008.

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Only members of the Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 product line support XNA Game Studio 3.0. XNA Game Studio 3.0 is not compatible with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 or earlier.

XNA Creators Club

To develop games for the Xbox 360®, you will need a membership in the XNA Creators Club. Obtain an XNA Creators Club membership from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, or the following pages on XNA Creators Club Online: Sign In and Membership.

XNA Creators Club and Xbox LIVE Membership Requirements

There are two types of online multiplayer games available when you create a networked game with XNA Game Studio: system link game sessions and LIVE sessions. These two forms of online multiplayer gaming describe whether the multiplayer gaming session is on the local area network (system link games), or if the gaming session is advertised and found through the LIVE service. With system link games, you can search the local area network to find the gaming sessions. With LIVE sessions, you can use the LIVE service to find available game sessions. Use the searchProperties argument of NetworkSession.Find to specify the parameters used to search for an available game session – a game session that uses either system or the LIVE service.

Developing and testing a networked game requires at least two machines, but you only need one Xbox 360 console and one Creators Club membership to test network code for the Xbox 360. This is because XNA Framework supports cross-platform system links so developers can run one instance of a game on an Xbox 360, and a second on a Windows-based computer. This functionality helps creators debug their titles without having to purchase a second console. It is also possible for more than one Windows-based development computer to connect several machines in a system link session without any memberships required.

This table shows what memberships are required for a player on a Windows-based computer and Xbox 360 console in a network session, depending on the session type that has been created.

Xbox 360 ConsoleWindows-Based Development ComputerZune
Run an XNA Framework GameLIVE Silver membership + Premium XNA Creators Club membershipNo memberships requiredNo memberships required
Use System Link for Local Area Network gameplayLIVE Silver membership + Premium XNA Creators Club membershipNo memberships requiredNo memberships required
Sign-on to Xbox Live and Games for Windows - LIVE ServersLIVE Silver membership + Premium XNA Creators Club membershipLIVE Silver membership + Premium XNA Creators Club membershipNot available on Zune
Use LIVE to connect to other machines over the Internet while the game is in developmentLIVE Gold membership + Premium XNA Creators Club membershipLIVE Silver membership + Premium XNA Creators Club membershipNot available on Zune
Use LIVE to connect to other machines over the Internet once the game is an XNA Community Game and has been downloaded from Xbox LIVE MarketplaceLIVE Gold membership + Game purchaseLIVE Silver membership + Game purchaseNot available on Zune
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The XNA framework components that interact with Games for Windows LIVE require an XNA Creators Club membership. If for any reason a LIVE profile without a Creators Club membership is set to auto sign-in on a Windows-based computer, the game will not be able to connect to the LIVE service. Furthermore, the XNA framework gamer services components, including the Guide, will not be available. To disable auto sign-in for a LIVE profile on a Windows-based computer, first make sure you are disconnected from the network. Then launch an XNA Framework game, and open the Guide.

Please note the following.

  • If you are running an XNA Framework Game on the Microsoft Windows operating system on a dual-core AMD processor, and the game contacts the Xbox LIVE servers or otherwise uses the Gamer Services extensions, you may experience unpredictable behavior such as a hanging of the game process. To work around this issue, you should install the AMD Dual-Core Optimizer from AMD on the computer on which you are running the game. Currently, the optimizer is available at the following location.

Zune Client Version

When developing games for Zune, the Zune client needs to be running at least the 3.0 version of the firmware.

Additional Required Software Installed by XNA Game Studio 3.0 Setup

The XNA Game Studio 3.0 setup program also installs the following required software.

DirectX Runtime

XNA Game Studio 3.0 Setup installs the DirectX runtime, which is required to use the XNA Framework game API.

Microsoft Cross-Platform Audio Creation Tool

XNA Game Studio 3.0 Setup installs the Microsoft Cross-Platform Audio Creation Tool (XACT) from the August 2007 DirectX Software Development Kit (SDK). XACT enables you to author audio content for your game. XNA Game Studio 3.0 Setup installs a version of XACT that is compatible with the XNA Game Studio 3.0 product. XNA Game Studio 3.0 may not work with content authored using other versions of XACT.

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