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It used to be that if a developer wanted to build an application aimed at a gaming console instead of a PC, they had to jump through a variety of hoops that included learning and using special tools. The game development world is changing.
Microsoft is one of the bigger players now in the gaming console market with Xbox 360 and Xbox One both being contenders for console dollars. With Xbox 360 and continuing with Xbox One, Microsoft has evolved the internals to align more with their Windows product and thus to align better with the development tools that are used for Windows.
For the Xbox 360, you were able to download a free tool, the XNA Game Studio, and begin using C# skill to build games on your PC. Using the XNA Framework, you could build full-fledged games.
Not to be left behind, Sony has just released a free, open source game development toolkit of its own for targeting their gaming devices including the PlayStation3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and PSP. Their “Authoring Tools Framework” (ATF) is available on GitHub at https://github.com/SonyWWS. What you are likely to find nice, however, is that this is a set of C#/.NET components that can be used on Windows. Rather than simply repeat them here, you can find the list of components at https://github.com/SonyWWS/ATF.
It will be interesting to see how the console gaming marketing evolves with the bar for entry for independent game developers continuing to lower.
If you’ve used the Sony ATF to build a game, let us know how it went!