Microsoft is making headlines once again today with their latest announcement of a 'YouTube for Games
' – the company are planning to launch a developer's kit enabling consumers to make their own games for the 360.
Microsoft is using the YouTube and MySpace phenomenon as a template for launching its new service. The idea behind it presumably being two fold: users will be able to create more content therefore giving the Xbox Live service more value, and secondly as a means of discovering the most talented individuals to help create the next generation of games.
To start with, the game development packs will be quite simple, allowing only for basic games. However, future plans are to make more complex software available. The initial program will require a PC running Vista or XP and will be called XNA Game Studio Express.
For those of you who might worry that some designers may make inappropriate content, Microsoft has assured us that they will be regulating everything. One thing they aren't able to regulate though is attacks based on disputes over their consoles:
, an arson that took place on Thursday last week in Seattle was a result of one 20 year old throwing another resident's Xbox from a window onto the front yard. The fight then escalated until one of the combatants decided the best course of action was to burn down the house. A great demonstration on how not to take being beaten at Halo.
The XNA software will go into beta phase later this month with Microsoft hoping for the full release by the end of the year. Users will also have the option of joining a developers group for $99 per year in which they will be able to share their development progress. With ten universities already planning to use the new software as part of their Game Development Schools, Microsoft are hoping that this exciting new venture will prove a resounding success.
Looking forward to playing some consumer made games? Or do you think it will be difficult to discern the good from the bad? Give us your views on Microsoft's gaming version of Youtube over on the forums