No XNA support for Metro applications in Windows 8

Just a little heads up in case you are an XNA developer dreaming of developing multiplatform games for Windows Phone, Windows 8 and / or Xbox: XNA is not supported for developing Metro style applications in Windows 8. XNA applications will be treated as classic desktop applications in the new OS but XNA is still the recommend route for developing Xbox Live Arcade and Windows Phone games. Here are Microsoft’s recommendations for developing games targeting Windows 8′s Metro:

DirectX gaming power underlies Windows 8, so you have several options when creating Metro style game
apps. You can write full-screen, chrome-free games with smooth, flicker-free action using HTML5, JavaScript,
and CSS3. Or, write impressive 2D and lightweight 3D games using XAML with managed C# or Visual Basic.
You can also use the full processing abilities of modern graphics hardware using native C++ and HLSL
with DirectX 11.1.

Create immersive games using the power of DirectX
The new Windows 8 graphics stack is better integrated, making Direct2D, Direct3D, and DirectCompute
components easier to use together and requiring fewer duplicated resources than before. Capabilities
previously available only in XNA, such as DirectXMath, XAudio2, and XInput, are now available. For the
ultimate experience in gaming and video, use DirectX 11.1 to bring stereoscopic 3D to your apps.

Microsoft’s S.Hargreaves:

It is correct that XNA is not supported for developing the new style Metro applications in Windows 8.

But XNA remains fully supported and recommended for developing on Xbox and Windows Phone, not to mention for creating classic Windows applications (which run on XP, Vista, Win7, and also Win8 in classic mode).

I’m planning to write about Windows 8 thoughts and how I envision Microsoft’s gaming future in the coming days…

source: XNA Forums

  • Malcolm Williams

    a lot of news sites alluded to the fact that wp7 games and all apps would be cross platform. Thankfully you remind that it is not the case

  • Anonymous

    What would a Metro style game be anyway though? Aren’t 99% of games full screen apps already?

  • MobileTechWorld

    Well, XNA apps can still run in Windows 8 without any problem but they will be treated and classic applications. The average Joe probably won’t see a difference. Just pin the App to the start screen and your done. What’s interesting though is that Microsoft isn’t supporting XNA as a way to built the Metro style applications and is instead pushing developers to use other frameworks. I don’t really find this logical but maybe there’s something we don’t know yet.

    No regarding the WP7 apps games being cross platform: Technically it’s 100% possible but will it becomereality? that’s the question. The Windows 8 Store demoed on Stage was filled with Windows Phone apps and games but theses could very well be place-holders:

  • MobileTechWorld

    Yeah that’s the relatively confusing part. My uneducated guess: Metro style apps can take advantage of all the OS/Cloud/Power Saving features / APIs / WinRT (with X86/ARM compatibility) while regular apps can’t.

  • Anonymous

    I think this is a good thing. Technologywise, DirectX is way more advanced, efficient, faster then XNA. I would not want Phone apps on a Tablet anyway :)

  • MobileTechWorld

    This hopefully means HLSL support for Windows Phone 8 (that’s if XNA is being killed or not updated…)

  • Anonymous

    Metro style is not only about the UI but also UX. For instance, ALL metro style Aaps get suspended when they are moved to the background and offer Fast-App Switching (similar to WP 7.5 but better).

  • Stephen Dunn

     DirectX isn’t “way more faster” than XNA, just professionals use C++ with DirectX, if you allowed these professionals onto using C# with XNA, you would see great things. They wouldn’t be able to push the system to the limit no, but games aren’t about making your system scream in agoney running so many points per sec, its about fun! You take the XNA away then you take away developers who are able to create fun games. I hope the review for Windows Metro Apps are better than that of XNA peer review.

    Some of the XNA games I’ve played have completely blown a lot of Xbox arcade games made in C++ DirectX, Also XNA uses DirectX just a wrapper, I’m guessing you know nothing of this “more advanced tchnology” you speak off…