From today’s Seattle Times, the coolest Microsoft news I’ve heard in a while. We shall see what we shall see:
“Microsoft is indeed developing a digital-media player to compete with Apple’s iPod, and there’s much more to the story.
“A few details trickled out last week from music companies that Microsoft is lining up to support the device. Microsoft isn’t commenting, but I was able to piece together a broader picture with some research, reporting and information from a source close to the project. What’s being developed is actually a complete line of Xbox-branded digital-media products, including a device that plays media, a software media player and an online media service.”
Here’s a link to the full article, by Brier Dudley.
Some more important highlights:
“the device is expected to go on sale by Christmas. It has Wi-Fi capability so it can connect wirelessly to home and public networks and other players.”
Umm, yeah, WiFi network access from a mobile media and game device. Yeah, that rocks.
“Argo is likely to showcase another Allard project — XNA, a new toolkit that helps game developers create titles for multiple platforms.”
This is really really really big news, though Microsoft has still been keeping a low profile about XNA. Here’s a link to the Microsoft Press Release about XNA, and then I’ll quote a few key paragraphs from it.
“XNA Studio represents a set of tools and technologies Microsoft is building to help streamline and optimize the game development process.”
“The XNA Framework contains a custom implementation of the Microsoft® .NET Framework and new game-development-specific libraries designed to help game developers more easily create cross-platform games on Windows® and Xbox 360 using the highly productive C# programming language. Using the XNA Framework, game developers will benefit from the ability to re-use code and game assets in developing multiplatform titles, without sacrificing performance or flexibility.”
“With millions of developers worldwide proficient in C#, the XNA Framework is designed to make game development significantly more approachable for independent and aspiring game developers, while enabling rapid prototyping and concept iteration.”
Put the pieces of the two stories together and consider the implications, if all this is true. Here’s how Next Generation’s headline said it: Allard’s iPod-Killer also a PSP/DS-Killer?
Yeah, the best Microsoft news I’ve heard in a while. We shall see what we shall see. Stay posted for more on this one.