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There seem to be many hurdles to get ones game onto Xbox, so far I have uncovered:

  1. You need Visual Studio (once your game becomes commercial you cannot use Express - but have to pay for professional). $1000+
  2. You then buy a XBox to find you also need a harddrive - so buy a Xbox harddrive too. $400
  3. You need to buy XBox Gold LIVE subscription. $70 (Free)
  4. You need to buy AppHub Creators Club subscription $100

Then after all that I cannot even find the place on my XBox to download Indie games?!!! Seriously WTF - after doing all this I could have come proficient in WebGL and done it all for free...

Before I go all the way down this path (hole) are there any other hidden hurdels before I can publish my game?

UPDATE: "Indie Games are not available in Australia, due to the requirement for all games to be rated by the Australian Classification Board, and the prohibitive expenses involved."....... im going to have to break something....

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If you are a student you are able to get the professional version of Visual Studio for free( A program called Microsoft Dreamspark ). I believe you need to supply a school email to verify. –  Milkboat Nov 20 '11 at 15:09
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once your game becomes commercial you cannot use Express I don't think that's true, I'm pretty sure you can sell stuff you make with Express just as legally as stuff you make with Pro. –  thedaian Nov 20 '11 at 15:26
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I am no expert, but as far as I know the only hurdle is the AppHub Creators account which is 99usd per year. and your game has to pass peer review. You should ask XNA forum for details. I think you can forget about the first three of your points. –  iamcreasy Nov 20 '11 at 15:55
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I honestly hope you haven't written your game yet, because it would suck if you just found that out now... –  DMan Nov 20 '11 at 17:18
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Also, you CAN submit your own Xbox Indie Games from Australia as stated in the App Hub FAQ in Regional information. Your limitation is that as an Australian consumer you cannot purchase them. –  ChrisC Nov 20 '11 at 23:42
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2 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted
  1. You can commercially release games on the xbox as a live indie game with the express version. I believe you can release PC games too.
  2. The xbox you develop on does need a hard-drive.
  3. You need (at least) a silver Xbox LIVE account (free).
  4. You do need an app hub account.

Note, i'm quoting parts of an EULA, but i'm not a lawyer, this is my interpretation of it.

For the first point from the EULA of Xna Game Studio (v4.0):

i. Commercial Use. Use of any programs developed for the Xbox platform using the software is restricted to your personal, non-commercial use, with the exception of commercial distribution via Xbox LIVE Marketplace.

For last 3 points see here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb975643.aspx

At the very least, you will need a Silver Xbox LIVE membership, an App Hub membership, and a hard drive for your Xbox 360 to be able to develop games for Xbox 360 by using XNA Game Studio.


Re commercial games on windows, again from the EULA:

iv. Commercial Programs using Games for Windows LIVE. You may not use the software to develop commercial programs that connect to Games for Windows LIVE.

I interpret that as, you can create commercial games, but not ones that connect to windows live.

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For the record, Xbox Live Silver is completely free. –  Amplify91 Nov 20 '11 at 16:59
    
Thanks, edited. –  George Duckett Nov 20 '11 at 17:03
    
Seriously, how do they catch someone breaking at least one tiny bit of their EULA! Or do they go after someone only when they are in the limelight. –  iamcreasy Nov 20 '11 at 19:40
    
I also read you need Silver but there is no such thing anymore: xbox.com/en-US/Live/Join.. Dont you need Gold to download the Indie games anyway? (I cannot tell cause im in Aus!@#$@!) –  markmnl Nov 21 '11 at 1:56
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@JonathanDickinson: I'm not a lawyer, but i interprete it as "you can create commercial games, but not ones that connect to windows live" i.e. you can make and sell PC games, but don't connect to Games for Windows LIVE (I think XNA throws an exception if you try and do this without game studio installed anyway). –  George Duckett Nov 21 '11 at 9:43
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So the final total is:

$100 if you already own an Xbox with a hard drive
$300 if you do not already own an Xbox
or
$500 and the endless hardship of dealing with a government that hates video games if you don't own an Xbox and you live in Australia.

Good luck!

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You should make similar lists for PS3 and Wii ;) (when I think about it, isn't the Wii web browser the most targeted indie games platform on the Wii? that seems basically free ;) –  Oskar Duveborn Nov 23 '11 at 7:01
    
You can save by buying an older, pre-Kinect version of the Xbox. I had a refurbished one on eBay for $100. But buy used models at your own risk. –  ChrisC Nov 23 '11 at 15:29
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