The future of XNA

So basically, Microsoft doesn’t give a single word on future of XNA especially when you think about it within upcoming Windows 8’s context. There are two different views over people’s blogs where few of them claims that XNA reached end of it’s life where others claim that next big XNA update will be coming with new Xbox.

So I dived further in. First I’ve installed Visual Studio 11 Beta, just to see it does not support XNA projects anymore. So at least for now forget about upgrading to VS 11 Beta if you’re still developing for XNA – and I’m really not sure if Visual Studio 2010 will support targeting .Net 4.5 but I hope so.

There is a missing project subtype.
Subtype: ‘{6D335F3A-9D43-41b4-9D22-F6F17C4BE596}’ is unsupported by this installation.

After a few hours of reading, I’ve found these regarding XNA;

  • XNA apps will run perfectly in Windows 8 but only in Desktop mode.
  • You can still have an icon in Metro view to launch your app.
  • Only partial Windows 8 marketplace support, i.e. Marketplace will only provide a web link to an installer that you must host yourself and (as yet) there are many unknowns about handling transactions and security.
  • XNA apps will run on x86 and x64 but not ARM processors.
  • You can reuse your code between XBox360, Windows 7/8 and Windows Phone 7
  • Unknown whether XNA apps will run on Windows Phone Tango/Apollo

Voxeliq’s future
So basically Voxeliq owns a huge codebase which I don’t have any willing/time to port native C++/DirectX any soon. So I’ll be staying within lands of mysterious C# game development. Options available are;

  • Stay within XNA as is.
  • Port to an XNA alternative like ANX (which isn’t any complete yet)
  • Switch to a managed DirectX wrapper – ie, sharpdx or slimdx.

I’ve previously played with slimdx a lot but the bad news is that it doesn’t support upcoming DirectX 11.1 or Windows 8 Platform and it really lacks a sample game framework which I had to implement on my own (too bad I deleted the sources thinking I would never need it!).

SharpDX on the other hand is ready for DirectX 11.1 and Windows 8 platform already. Even better, there’s a good game framework sample itself – the ANX framework which is actually based on SharpDX.

So I guess I’ll be taking SharpDX way though will not be starting to port my code any near before we can get more detailed info on what’s going with XNA.

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