At the Game Developer’s Conference in San Jose, CA today, Microsoft announced a next-generation development platform called XNA, which will be used to develop games on all future game platforms, including the Xbox Next and PCs.
Microsoft claims that XNA will allow for a common environment to develop its games, removing the obstacles of programmers having to change code for different systems.
The new platform will enable developers to implement Xbox Live features into Windows games, using features such as billing, security, login, friends lists and matchmaking tools.
Control schemes will also be unified, giving the same input API's and button standards on both Xbox and PCs
XNA will give developers an easier time creating cross platform games, and the Xbox Next development kits will likely be largely based on the XNA platform.
"Software will be the single most important force in digital entertainment over the next decade," said Bill Gates, founder and chief software architect of Microsoft. "XNA underscores Microsoft's commitment to the game industry and our desire to work with partners to take the industry to the next level."