Games coming to Zune – and anyone can develop their own


xna-games-on-zune.jpgThere’s a big, high-brow and important gaming convention going on right now in San Francisco, called the Game Developers Conference.

Such joys as the inevitable Gears of War 2 for Xbox 360 (coming this November) have been revealed so far, but elsewhere, Microsoft also announced plans to expand Zune into a portable games machine.

Interestingly, the Zune games shown were developed using XNA – Microsoft’s bedroom-coding solution for wannabe game makers that’s also responsible for a pile of new games from independent developers appearing on Xbox Live last night.

So will we soon see portable Zune versions of Xbox Live Arcade games? Well, probably not, what with the processor limitations of Zune compared to Xbox 360, but with XNA an effectively free home development solution for anyone with a brain large enough to cope, the floodgates for masses of free, or at least super-cheap indie games on Zune may just be about to open.

With Apple already running a limited gaming scheme for its iDevices with the likes of Sonic The Hedgehog appearing on iTunes, is the next portable battleground going to be over casual games for the masses?

Don’t expect to see any games appear on Zune until the end of the year. And, if it’s anything like the original Zune, don’t expect them to hit Europe for another couple of years after that.

(Via Zune Scene)

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Gary Cutlack
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