Microsoft Tool Aids Xbox Development

At the Game Developers Conference in San Fransisco, Microsoft announced a new software package which it says will help speed the process of game development. Called XNA Studio, the product is based on collaboration tools already available in Microsoft's Visual Studio product.

XNA Studio will offer tools for asset management, defect tracking, project automation and work lists and will work seamlessly. The program will also allow for teams to work together even if they are in different places.

Microsoft plans to pitch XNA Studio to developers interested in building games for the company's upcoming Xbox 2 console.

"Skyrocketing consumer expectations are putting tremendous pressure on game development teams," said Chris Satchell, general manager of XNA at Microsoft.

The program will make it easier for teams to work together thus producing usable code faster. With the demands on game developers increasing, a easier and faster way to produce games was needed, Microsoft said.

"The productivity gain from Microsoft's collaboration and build tools has already been proved for programmers," said Marc Petit, vice president of product development for Discreet, a division of Autodesk. "XNA Studio can have a clear impact on the business of making games and will likely emerge as a differentiating force in game development."

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