If I made an Xbox 360 game with XNA, would I need to debug it on the Xbox 360 as I was coding it? Or would there be a small emulator on my computer to debug it?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would recomend you to make your game in a way you can still run and play it on pc (maybe with an xbox controller). Just try it on xbox when you need to check if you have a good performance (xbox garbage collector is really slow) and if you see everything on screen, etc. Debugging on pc is so much easier (with edit and continue and stuff) \$\endgroup\$ – Kikaimaru Sep 18 '12 at 16:41

You need to register as an XBLIG Developer in order to run and debug on your Xbox.

To debug on your PC you can set up an additional windows game project (XNA runs on Windows as well). Then you would have two projects, one XBox and one Windows that run the same game. You just want to make sure that your solution is set up to be cross platform. The only problem with this is that it doesn't emulate an XBox entirely as in you aren't limited by hardware in any way and as such you have a good chance of experiencing bugs on your XBox that you can't reproduce on your PC.

  • \$\begingroup\$ you need to correct your answer, you can't debug an xbox 360 game without a devkit, period. It's basically the same thing written in your "debug" link if you read the table at that page and the phrase right before the same table, it's also a problem about kernel and libraries without any proper debug symbol so you need a device with special libraries and a special kernel for doing that. \$\endgroup\$ – user827992 Sep 18 '12 at 15:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't see anything on that page that says you can't debug. There are just certain features of the debugger that aren't available. This was a few years back but I was part of a group that was experimenting with XNA on the Xbox and the debugger tripped exceptions as you would expect and we knew exactly which line was causing the game to blow up. Also, it doesn't make sense that the article topic would be "Discusses issues that apply to debugging Xbox 360 games on your retail console." if ALL debugging wasn't possible on a retail Xbox. \$\endgroup\$ – SpartanDonut Sep 18 '12 at 16:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ I believe when you select "Start Debugging" from the Debug menu it kicks off a new process. That last row implies that you can't attach the debugger to an already running game. \$\endgroup\$ – SpartanDonut Sep 18 '12 at 16:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's honestly a presumption from all of my other experience with development. If you start debugging a console app it kicks off a new process and debugs that process. If you start debugging a web app, it kicks off a new process and debugs that process. If you start debugging an XNA Windows Game, it kicks off a new process and debugs that process. In all of these situations you have the option to attach the debugger in the middle of a running process. When debugging on the Xbox you do not. You can only debug a new process. \$\endgroup\$ – SpartanDonut Sep 18 '12 at 16:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Just to add, the 360 uses a smaller version of .NET than on Windows. It also costs $99 per year to retain membership, which lets you test/debug your game on the 360 as well as (I believe) publish to the XBOX Live Indie Arcade (or whatever they are calling it these days). This is what membership gets you: xbox.create.msdn.com/en-US/home/membership \$\endgroup\$ – Cypher Sep 18 '12 at 16:36

Yes, you don't need an XBox 360 to run or debug an XNA game. In fact, even if you have a developer account and are running it on an XBox360, you would still debug on a PC.

We have the professional dev kits in our studio which give you extra power to compensate for the extra bits you run while in debug builds, but we STILL debug on PC.

Also just to make it super clear - you can use a normal 360 to test and run games you make, it doesn't have to be a dev kit.


To debug an XBOX 360 game you need a devkit and here is how you can buy one.

You can run the game on your standard XBOX 360 if you have payed a subscription for your developer account.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So basically every time I make a change to my code and want to "test" my game, I need to turn on my xbox and hook it up and go to my tv? I cant debug it on the computer... And I am goingt to buy a developer account. \$\endgroup\$ – CJ Sculti Sep 18 '12 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CJSculti With this you can RUN it nothing to do with the DEBUG phase. It's a "feature" designed to test the performance of your game on a random console, a debugging phase is a much more complex phase. Basically running your game on a console will show you if you have problems with the size of your textures or the system requirements for your game. \$\endgroup\$ – user827992 Sep 18 '12 at 15:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ -1 You can debug your xna game. A lot of languages or environemnts does not have debugging features like "edit and continue", but that does not mean you can't debug int them. You can set breakpoints, view content of varbiables, etc... \$\endgroup\$ – Kikaimaru Sep 18 '12 at 16:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ -1 because you're just plain wrong. @CJSculti is building (or considering building) a game with XNA Game Studio, not C++/DirectX. He doesn't need the devkit to do anything. What you're talking about is the XDK, the devkit for major studios with big pockets and a track-record of published games (a C++/DirectX SDK for the XBOX). Not just anyone can go buying that devkit either -- Microsoft gets to pick and choose as well as demand huge sums of money. \$\endgroup\$ – Cypher Sep 18 '12 at 16:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user827992: When you debug on xbox, your game is running in CLR on xbox. (thats why there are so many limitations) \$\endgroup\$ – Kikaimaru Sep 18 '12 at 16:34

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