Woot! The moment you've all been waiting for is upon us. XNA GSE 2.0 has been released with some killer new features. Paraphrasing the official announcement from the XNA team:
- Networking Support over Xbox 360 and Windows using LIVE.
- Support for all Visual Studio 2005 SKUs (Standard, Professional, Enterprise, Team Suite, etc)
- Improved Xbox 360 Integration and Management Experience (see here and here)
- Art and sound content can be processed through GSE with parameters.
Download XNA Game Studio 2.0 (Yes it's free)
I personally have seen a lot of interest in academia around XNA in my travels through the Southeast US. It makes game development accessible to people, especially students who are already shoulder deep in learning new stuff.