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As an independent developer, I would like to know what platforms I can use to reach what consoles, and under what prices. I'm assuming a small team (1-3 people) and low or non-existent budget (under $1000).

For the purpose of this question, a "console" is "anything other than a PC." So this includes mobiles phones and other devices.

For this question to be useful and not a collection of every game engine and platform in the world, maybe we should restrict it to technologies that support at least two platforms.

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XNA can deploy to a Windows 7 Phone and Xbox 360.

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And desktop as well. – Amplify91 Nov 5 '11 at 16:51
Not to mention you can port it to other platforms: or – Jon Nov 5 '11 at 18:08
Thanks for that link, I had no idea it was able to port to other platforms! – Milkboat Nov 5 '11 at 19:18
Adding on to Jon's comment: – michael.bartnett Nov 6 '11 at 2:14

Android is how I got started with game development. It's completely free to develop for and has a one time $25 fee to upload to the Android Market.

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You only need 99$ a year to deploy on the appStore. Cocos2d it's a free 2d engine and chipmunk or box2d for physics engines. for 3D there is NinevehGL and cocos2d is releasing a 3d engine (yes, the name is cocos3d)

Like someone mention before, you can deploy to android with 25$. There is a cocos2d version for android, but I think it's not as advanced as the IPhone one. You can check andengine to.

You have XNA for xbox and windows phone and it cost 99$ to deploy on XBox and windows phone.

Using unity do deploy on android and IPhone cost 800$ (400$ each). I guess this is a bit expensive for your budget but it's still a good option for indie development.

I think the only technologies that work on multiple platforms with almost no work are XNA and Unity.

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Note that most iPhone development requires a Mac, so if you only have Windows machines you should tack on the non-negligible cost of a Macintosh computer. There are ways around that such as various packagers for Windows-accessible development systems. – Gregory Avery-Weir Nov 6 '11 at 1:04

<= $500 platforms:

  • XNA (C#/Free): XBox360 (XBox Live Arcade)
  • Corona SDK (Lua/$350): iPhone, Android Phone
  • Game Salad (Tools): iPhone, Mac
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Corona isn't exactly free. iPhone development in general isn't free either. So you probably shouldn't name your list "free platforms" as that might be misleading. – bummzack Nov 5 '11 at 22:24
Oops, I forgot that Corona isn't free, thanks for that. iPhone dev IS free if you have a mac and iphone. – ashes999 Nov 6 '11 at 4:20
as long as you consider $99 per year free... – bummzack Nov 6 '11 at 8:54
@bummzack my question clearly states <= $1000. So yeah, that's within the scope of my question. – ashes999 Nov 7 '11 at 0:23
I saw that and I'm not questioning that either, but you keep telling iPhone dev is free which it's not. – bummzack Nov 7 '11 at 7:39

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