Wow, with the new CTP release of the XNA Game Studio 3.0 you can create games that work on the Zune. Since we only talk about things you can do using the Express products on this blog, you will need to download VC# 2008 Express. However, if you have access to the Visual Studio 2008 Professional or VSTS through one of the academic programs like Dreamspark or MSDNAA, then you could use those products. The difference is the way the IDE (integrated development environment) looks, and you can't do class diagrams in the Express products.
What is interesting is that you are going to be able to connect with a mobile device through an Express product, this is a first for the Express products. Until this time to work with a compact framework device (except for the Xbox) you had to use the Visual Studio professional (VS Pro) or Visual Studio Team System (VSTS), with the exception of the XBox 360. But to connect to the XBox 360 you had to be connected through the special process that used the Live.COM site. Not the case with the Zune
To get started you will need to download and install VC# 2008 Express (or VS Pro or VS Team Systems 2008)
|If you do not have the correct software installed, you will see this dialog box. You will need to either install Visual C# 2008 or install VS Pro or VS Team System 2008. You can get VS Pro 2008 through DreamSpark and MSDNAA at your school or VS Team System through MSDNAA. (MSDNAA stands for Microsoft Developer Network, Academic Alliance).|
If you are going to use VC# 2008 Express, then start the download by clicking on the link.
|Once you start the installation you will need to accept a number of dialog boxes like this one.|
|One the setup completes, you will see this screen, click on the "Registration Benefits" to get your benefit number, you will need to use your Live ID, or sign up for one. There are important benefits that you will receive by registering.|
|This is what the registration dialog box looks like, you will need to add the code in the box and then click on the "complete registration" button. This is a simple process and only takes about a minute. You will receive an email to your inbox with the benefits for you as a new member of the C# user group!|
|Now your programming environment is ready to do some fun coding!|
|Watch for: PONG ON ZUNE!|