Late in 2006, Microsoft introduced XNA Game Studio, a suite of tools designed to make it easier for anybody to create their own homebrew Xbox 360 games. Microsoft originally offered a professional and hobbyist version of the software tool, but with the recent release of XNA Game Studio 2.0, both sides will have access to the exact same set of tools – though Microsoft will still offer access to additional plug-in libraries to paying customers.
"We made the decision to make one Game Studio. We think everyone should have access to the same tool," said Chris Satchell, general manager of the XNA organization at Microsoft. "There should be no friction as you move from accessible development to professional development."
Among other improvements, XNA Game Studio 2.0 adds new multiplayer networking APIs, which will allow a developer to take advantage of Xbox Live's network support. The new version of the 360 development is set to arrive by the end of the year along with the first XNA-created title “Schizoid”.